Thursday, October 18, 2007

Another day, another plan to save Tiger Stadium

I love living in this area. I was born here, and I'll die here. Despite all the crap Detroit and southeast Michigan take from those in other parts of the country (Just spend a minute reading the lowest common denominator comments on the Detroit Free Press' web site, I dare you. It's disgusting how some dillweeds talk trash about this state), who have either never spent any time here, or left long ago, this area is still a great place to live.

I'm not talking as someone who only went to Detroit for concerts and sporting events. I had a Detroit address, living on the far west side, for close to a decade. I'll say this, all the time I spent in Detroit and environs, I never ever felt unsafe, or at risk.

For all that is good about this area, there is one thing that has always bothered me. The way we refuse to move on from an issue, no matter how hopeless, or futile, it may be. I'm sure you can guess where I'm going with this...

The Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy has submitted its proposal to save a portion of the ballpark as the city moves forward with demolition plans for other parts of the aging structure.

Here we go, another plan to save part of Tiger Stadium. Why can't we let the old building die with a little dignity? Why do we feel the need to save even a part of a building that is in as good of shape as the Roman Coliseum?

Come on, put the place out of it's misery...

The deed should have been done a decade ago, but we in Michigan just have to drag out the inevitable for years and years. It's long past time to let Tiger Stadium go.

It's nice that Ernie Harwell has endorsed this latest plan. But he should know better than anyone just how bad of shape Tiger Stadium is at this point. It was out of date when he started calling Tiger games in 1960. It's been on a slow downhill slide ever since.

This group claims their proposal is a $10-$12 million dollar project.

The Conservancy wants to keep about 3,000 seats from dugout to dugout and the entire infield. The $10 million to $12 million project could be developed into a museum commemorating the city's sports history.

Have any of you ever bought a fixer upper? My first house was just that, and the repairs ended up costing one Hell of a lot more than my then wife and I originally anticipated. Our budget was blown sky high. We would have been financially better off spending the money on a place that didn't need near as much the work.

In Tiger Stadium, you have the ultimate fixer upper.

So when I hear that saving a few thousand Tiger Stadium seats, from dugout to dugout, is only going to cost $10-$12 million dollars? Color me skeptical. Considering how dilapidated the Corner was in 1997, and that there has been no upkeep in the decade since, you'd be much better off building a museum from scratch.

Let alone they use the words "Could be developed as a museum." That doesn't come across as a very sound plan to me. What it does sound like is another pie in the sky project, one that keeps the city from moving forward, but the clueless Tiger Stadium Fan Club happy.

Then I read the following...

"We included some information about how we are going to get the funding. That's pretty basic in terms of reaching out to corporate donors and foundations"

Hold on a second. Did I read that correctly?

They don't have the funding in place, just a PLAN to get funding? Good Lord, let's get real. They want to save part of Tiger Stadium, yet they don't have the money on hand to do so. But not to worry, as they have a PLAN to raise the money. They want to find corporate donors in an area that has the worst economy in the NATION? You want to stop progress for a group that has NO FUNDING IN PLACE?

Just how long will it take them to get the funding to do what it takes to make this so-called plan to come to fruition? A year? 5 years? 10 years?

My guess is this will only serve to keep Tiger Stadium on life support for who knows for how God damn long. The last thing the city needs is for this white elephant to continue to rot from the inside out, and keep the Corktown area from getting the help it needs, being some sort of realistic retail/housing/entertainment development. You know, a development that actually has funding...

I have a plan too! My plan won't take years to implement. I call it, for lack of a better name, "The Big Al plan."

It involves a truckload of dynamite, a wrecking ball or 3, a handful of bulldozers and trucks, tons of fill, and a nice plaque saying Tiger Stadium once stood at this location.

Now that's a God damn plan! It's practical, cheap, quick, and sensible. My plan will allow us to put an end to the "Save the Corner" silliness. And that's just what it is, silliness.


  1. I loved Tiger Stadium just as much as the next person. I have a lot of great memories of that place, and seen a lot of great games there, but after driving by there this summer it became obvious to me that its time to tear it down. I had plans to swing by there and take some pictures for memory sake, but after seeing it I realized that the memories I have are better than the pictures I would have taken of the rusty and decaying old. It would be nice if they could perserve just the playing field and turn it into a park or something..but I'm sure that would probably just end up being neglected as well.

  2. They should just raze the damn thing and sell the seats/bricks to the public. Or allow the fans to go in and loot the place. Every other team has leveled their old stadims and turned them into parking lots.

  3. I love Ernie's plan.