Pre-game attractions for Comerica Park

The Pre-game attractions for Comerica Park
by Malcolm MacMillan
  • Look for all the tiger statues around ballpark
  • Area is also home to Ford Field and numerous notable buildings
Taking the time to check out all the tiger statues around the park is a must during your Comerica visit.

It’s always fun to take a long walk around the entire perimeter of every ballpark you visit, but doing so during your visit to Comerica is a must. The highlight of your walk will be the dozens of lifelike tiger statues you’ll notice along the way. (If visiting with young kids, create an impromptu game of counting all the statues they see.) You can start your walk anywhere outside the park, but try to end it at the main gate at the corner of Witherell and East Adams streets; there’s little doubt that this is one of the coolest-looking gates in baseball.

If you’re a sports fan in general, you can’t miss Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions. It’s directly across Brush Street from Comerica Park and is worth a pre-game look-see. Whether you have time to take a guided tour of the football stadium or just want to duck your head into the team shop and look around, you won’t be disappointed.

Legendary concert halls The Fillmore Detroit and Fox Theatre, as well as notable churches St. John Episcopal Church and Central United Methodist Church, which are all on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, are just a block away from Comerica Park’s east side, bordered by Witherell Street.

If you’re hungry before the game, Cheli’s Chili Bar (47 E. Adams St.) is across the stress from the park’s main gate and is one of the downtown area’s most happening spots. Owned by longtime Detroit Red Wing Chris Chelios, the popular sports bar has dozens of TVs showing any game you’d want to watch and a typical sports bar menu highlighted by several chili variations. If you can, get up to the rooftop patio for a great view of not only Comerica Park, but also of downtown Detroit.

Another good choice is the Hockeytown Café (2301 Woodward Ave.), which is just a block away from the park. Like Cheli’s Chili Bar, the Hockeytown Café has a happening pre- and post-game vibe. It also boasts a typical sports bar menu and more than 50 beers on tap. AOL CityGuide has called it the best sports bar in D-Town.

If you want to be closer to the park, check out the Beer Hall at the corner of Brush and East Montcalm streets. It opens when the park opens and with a game ticket, you can get in through the sidewalk entrance.

Beyond the downtown core, Detroit has a number of interesting attractions to try to fit into your schedule. The Detroit Institute of Arts (5200 Woodward Ave.) is often listed among the best art museums in the country and if you’re into music history, don’t leave town without stopping by the Motown Historical Museum (2648 W. Grand Blvd.) The Henry Ford (20900 Oakwood Blvd. in Dearborn), featuring artifacts from many of the country’s most notable moments, is a must for history and car buffs.

The Henry Ford was atop my non-sports sightseeing list when I visited the Motor City, and it’s a phenomenal way to spend an afternoon. The Rosa Parks bus, JFK’s limo and Lincoln’s Ford’s Theatre are three of the famous artifacts in the museum, but you’ll find scores of other neat sights from throughout American history. And when you’re done, be sure to check out the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile Café for a wide range of hot dog meals.