By Edward Cardenas
DETROIT (CBS Detroit) – Comerica Park’s setting in the midst of office and entertainment buildings has provided its neighbors with a unique views of ballgames and other events held in the stadium.
There are at least three public and private rooftop locations surrounding the park, where those looking for a unique night out can gather under the stars – or sunshine if it is a day game.
Detroit Opera House
The Detroit Opera House, which is a long Miguel Cabrera center field home run over Adams and Madison streets from Comerica Park, opened the 9,000-square-foot roof in 2013.
In the original prints in 1927 for the building – which was originally a silent-movie-theater – was plans for a rooftop garden, stated Jason M. Warzecha, director of operation for the Michigan Opera Theatre. Inspired by other cities which utilize the rooftops, the Opera House added deck which features bars, bleachers, a stage and even misting coolers for hot summer days.
“It is much more than we have a great view of Comerica Park and the Tigers’ game,” said Warzecha, of the deck which is used for public and private parties throughout the summer. “It’s more about a completely different way to look at the city.”
The deck, which is open to the public for Friday and Saturday home baseball games, wraps around the building and provides views of the park and a 360-degree view of the city’s skyline.
“It is a unique location to really let people see the city in a new light,” he added.
Another remodeled theater is the former Madison Theater, which is now home to businesses in the Quicken Loans family and Detroit Venture Partners, and across Grand Circus Park from the stadium.
When Quicken purchased the abandoned building in 2011, the company embarked on ambitious remodeling project.
In addition to preparing the building to be an incubator for technology companies, the rubber roof of the building was remodeled into a meeting and event space for Quicken-family businesses.
There is a raised meeting area on the rooftoop where catering facilities are located, and along the exterior – which is closest to the ballpark – are a variety of seating areas for people to discuss tech ideas, watch the game or take in the views of the skyline.
“When we built the building out we wanted to have event space. We created an outdoor event space with barbecues, a bar and a beautiful view,” said Bruce Schwartz, Detroit ambassador for Quicken Loans, who also includes the rooftop in his tours of Detroit. “This is usually the last stop on the tour, and when we bring people up here, they are amazed of the view. They get inspired, and they see what is going on, and everyone wants to be a part of it.”
Cheli’s Chili Bar
Cheli’s Chili Bar was one of the first rooftop bars to open near Comerica Park in 2006. The bar, which is located directly across the street from the stadium, offer bleachers and a deck with a view into the stadium.
“Everyone really enjoys it up here. It’s a good view, good people watching,” said Katie Sperry, Cheli’s manager.
The deck is open before Tiger home games, and after weekend games. While it resembles one of the rooftop bleachers near Wrigley Field in Chicago, Sperry stated that it was likely Chris Chelios’ love of the outdoors which led to open-air seating and party area.
“He loves the outdoors,” said Sperry, who added that the former Cheli’s Chili Bar in Dearborn also had a deck.