Tiger Stadium To Be Demolished?
Not if Ernie Harwell has anything to say about it!
Legendary sportscaster Ernie Harwell will become the voice of Tiger Stadium when he urges the city to delay a decision on the ballpark’s fate until September.
The City Council had planned to vote Friday morning on a proposal by Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to demolish most of the stadium by the end of the year, to clear the path for stores and homes.
Harwell says that the city should put the brakes on knocking down the stadium, which has been empty since the Tigers moved to Comerica Park in 2000.
“They’ve waited this long to decide what to do with it, a month longer won’t hurt,” said Harwell, now retired.
The 89-year-old Harwell said he’d like to see most of the playing field preserved for the city’s youth. And if the stadium is demolished, he advocates that a plaque or something similar commemorate the site.
But Harwell said he understands the $25,000 a month Detroit taxpayers spend to maintain the aging structure is expensive.
“There has to be some alternative,” said Harwell, who broadcast his last Tigers game in 2002.
It would be a “heavy day” if the stadium were razed, Harwell said, but that would not be as sad as when the team played its last game at Michigan and Trumbull.
The city believes tearing down the stadium and then trying again to find a developer would be the best strategy, which would also save the city maintenance costs.
Meanwhile, opponents of that plan assert the city has ignored proposals that would keep most of the stadium intact.
If anyone can save the park it is the velvet voice of Ernie Harwell, I hope he does it! That whole area is a hellhole and I don’t think I would want youth hanging around old Tiger Stadium anyway, but if it could be refurbished somehow into a sports park maybe it could revitalise the area.