The Detroit Tigers opening home game was this past Friday. Weather-wise it was a perfect day to explore the stadium area via bicycle to check out the festivities. Needless to say, the streets were crammed full of people making their way to the early afternoon game. Although the ball park holds about 45,000, there was probably double that amount of Tiger fans taking advantage of the sunny, chilly weather. Many were frequenting the downtown pubs, restaurants and pop-up parties (some with live music on stages) being held in the adjacent city parks and lots.
No breaking news here, but Tiger fans of all ages were dressed in their Tigers garb. The old English D seemed to be everywhere. It could be seen on t-shirts, hats, purses, and jerseys. Some of the die-hard fans even had it painted on their faces. The Tiger paraphernalia wasn’t limited to clothing and face paintings. I saw Tiger flags mounted on motorcycles flapping in the breeze as they rumbled by. I also spotted a customized vehicle wildly painted with Tiger stripes. It included everything that is Tiger baseball, including a life-size model tiger mounted to the roof!
Pedaling around the area I noticed that the opening day parties and festivities were not confined to the streets. Most of the rooftops on the tall buildings surrounding the stadium were full of people too. Like the fans on the streets, those up there were dressed in a sea of tiger colors.
Although I’ve never been to an actual opening day game, I have been to the stadium area in the past to check out the festive activities. I think the last time was when the Tigers played at the old historic Tiger Stadium on Michigan Avenue and Trumbull, which is now gone. Those were the days when street vendors were able to sell hats, t-shirts and many other souvenirs from push carts; something that was conspicuously absent on the streets near the downtown stadium a few days ago. I guess it all has to do with major league baseball licensing agreements with team owners and all of that other legal, copyright stuff. Regardless, it was fun weaving my way through the crowded streets on my bicycle to check-out opening day baseball happenings in Detroit.