DETROIT (WWJ) – Will there soon be more than just an empty field at the corner of Michigan and Trumbell?
The Parade Company apparently would like to use the land that once housed the old Tiger Stadium to store Thanksgiving Parade floats and eventually build a new headquarters.
Tony Michaels, President & CEO, The Parade Company issued this statement Wednesday:
“We are certainly excited by the possibilities of a new home. The search is ongoing including the financial realities for a non-profit organization to make such a move. Our goal is to continually grow and improve the great traditions The Parade Company brings to our city and region.”
Tiger Stadium Conservancy Director Gary Gillette said Detroit officials briefed the Conservancy on the plan on Wednesday, but he’s still not sure what to make of it.
“The situation is just too unclear at this point,” Gillette told WWJ Newsradio 950’s Sandra McNeil. “We need more information before we can make an informed decision and we’re hoping to get a lot more information in the next couple of days.”
Gillette said the Parade Company plan also calls for the reconditioning of the field for youth baseball.
“We’re not exactly sure what to make of it, but any interest that would preserve the field for youth baseball we’re certainly positive about,” Gillette said.
The city would need approval from the Conservancy to use federal money set aside to develop the land.
Much of the stadium was torn down in 2008, but a section extending roughly from dugout to dugout was left standing while the conservancy sought to put together financing to redevelop the partially destroyed ballpark as a commercial building with a field for youth and amateur baseball. Since then, several plans to develop the land have failed.
Tiger Stadium opened in 1912 as Naven Field. The Tigers left for Comerica Park after the 1999 season. The last portion of the stadium was demolished in 2009. Only the diamond remains.