There is a certain reality about living in the metropolitan Detroit area and it is that we do not have a mass transit system that really counts for anything. So if you want to get to a Lions game, the only real solution is to drive downtown, but that does not mean that you have to try and park at Ford Field, which can be congested and pricy. There are other options that will put you close to the game and with each there is inexpensive transportation to the stadium.
One of the best places to head is to the parking lots at Eastern Market. Not only are they reasonably priced at $10, it is from here that you can take the Eastern Market shuttle bus to and from Ford Field. And all it costs is $5. Tickets for the shuttle are available online at the Eastern Market website and can also be purchased on the day of the game.
The best part about heading to Eastern Market is that you can get there a bit early and take in all the area has to offer. There are, of course, the tailgaters, but that is only the beginning with the area surrounded by eateries big and small that offer not only good food, but also a ride to the game.
Many of the restaurants surrounding Eastern Market provide free shuttle passes for those who enjoy a pre-game meal. Finding out who does this can be a bit difficult though because many of the restaurants do not advertise this fact. One that does is Vivio’s Food & Spirits which is known for its delicious meals and bloody Marys.
In Greek Town, you will find that Fishbone’s offers up wonderful meals on Sundays and a shuttle to the game. Fishbone’s is located right in the heart of Greek Town, so after the game, you can always wander the Monroe Street and find a place for a late lunch or early dinner.
One of the more classic and traditional places to grab a burger and a beverage before the Lions game, and then get a free ride to Ford Field, is at Nemo’s Bar and Grill on Michigan Avenue. This is only a short distance from where Tiger Stadium once stood.
When the Detroit Tigers moved from Tiger Stadium to Comerica Park, Nemo’s was one of the businesses that understood how important it was to keep its customer base. So with the games no longer just around the corner, Nemo’s decided to keep its fan base by providing transport to games via Nemo’s Shuttle.
This is no ordinary “Plain Jane” bus, this is Nemo’s Shuttle. The shuttle takes the form of an old school bus all decorated up to leave no mystery of who is offering the ride. It is filled on every Lions home game with eager fans. Best of all, it is free to paying customers at the pub, so not only will you be able to grab a snack and a beverage before the game, but when you return, you can do it all over again. And once football season is over, the shuttle runs to every major concert downtown. If hockey ever starts up again, it can bring you over to Joe Louis Arena for Red Wings games.
If you’re in the mood for a Lions game and don’t feel like tailgating or dealing with the madness of finding a parking space, treat yourself to a meal and then get a free ride to the game.
Check out Tailgate Fan to keep the party going at tailgatefan.cbslocal.com.
Award winning freelance writer and photographer Lawrence DiVizio is based in Southeast Michigan and works to convey in words and images the world around us. His work can be found at Examiner.com.