Detroit (WXYZ) - Tiger Stadium is long gone but there’s a chance for new life for the hallowed group at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull.
More than four years after stadium was demolished, the City of Detroit is once again seeking development opportunities for the 9.5 acre site.
“We were never against a baseball field, we just wanted to make sure that we had the highest and best use of the facility, of the land,” said George Jackson, president and CEO of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation.
The playing field would remain as outlined in the Request for Proposals (RFP) released today. The project calls for retail space and up to 100 residential units along Michigan Avenue and Trumbull Avenue.
“Timing, economy, momentum, are all there and that’s what I mean when I say, right time, right place,” Jackson told 7 Action News. “Let’s give this a good shot.”
The project has the support of Corktown business owners like Dave Steinke, who has recently opened two restaurants in Detroit’s oldest neighborhood.
“Sooner or later it’s just obvious to take the next step and develop it and hopefully pay homage to the site and the neighborhood,” said Steinke.
The Detroit Police Athletic League, which operates athletic programs for 11,000 Detroit kids would move its headquarters to the site and run the baseball diamond.
“We want to make sure the flag pole stays there and that the home plate is intact,” said Tim Richey, Detroit PAL CEO.“There’s going to be baseball played there for the next 100 years so we’re happy to be a part of it.”
On a day that could signal a new beginning for the longtime home of the Detroit Tigers, members of the Navin Field Ground Crew were hard at work. The volunteer group has cared for the field since 2010.
“I’m not a developer, I don’t know how that works, “ said Dave Mesrey, one of the volunteers. “I’m no architect but I certainly hope they can make it work for all of us, especially the youth of Detroit but also the big kids too.”
It’s a sentiment likely shared by many baseball fans in Detroit.