Post Number: 243
|Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2007 - 11:56 am: || |
I almost posted last week a question about why CoPa's upper deck seats (I sat behind home plate during World Series game #1) seemed like they are in a different county.
I was at Orioles Park in Balto last week and it seemed very, very different. Much nicer.
Anyway, here is Lynn's take:
"Not so at Comerica. There are acres of turf between the lower seats and the infield. Worse, the upper deck seats are swept far back -- the direct opposite of Tiger Stadium's splendid architecture and a design that is at odds with the critics' favorite parks."
As Lynn mentions in the article (and Tig fans know), the stadium HAS been modified to make the stadium better. It was much worse as constructed.
Why was this stadium so poorly designed? Who did the design and engineering?
Post Number: 2375
|Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2007 - 12:08 pm: || |
I believe the architect was HOK Sport, out of Kansas City--the same architect for Oriole Park, Jacobs Field, and the new Nationals ballpark, among others.
Post Number: 237
|Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2007 - 2:10 pm: || |
HOK blew it, and everyone knew it from the day it opened (even before). The seats are set back in the upper deck, the lower bowl is too flat...all in the name of getting in more people, more suites, more $$ (also no obstructed views). This was no mystery, but I am glad Henning is bringing it up again, as it is something of a bummer, and those responsible like to either feign innocence or sweep it under the carpet. Just think if the upper decks were closer in, and the lower bowl was no so flatly pitched....then you would have a classic. Instead....it's nice, perfectly acceptable.... ok.
Post Number: 2699
|Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2007 - 2:26 pm: || |
He's right. I like the basic plan of CoPa, the way that it fits onto the city plan, and the view of downtown. I don't think the foul territory is too huge, it's just the lack of slope in the lower bowl, and the fact that the upper deck begins so far back. They should have gone with 20-30 lower bowl rows on the pitch they have now, or the same 35-40 that they have now at a higher pitch, such that the upper deck could have been brought foward more. I'm sure the upper deck could have been cantilevered more to create more of an overhang, too.
The upper deck itself isn't too bad, I like the steepness and the first few rows are pretty good, especially. I think fans would be a lot more into the game for all nine innings if they didn't feel so distant, though.
The thing about building a new stadium is that it is so hard to do on an existing site, unless you slowly piece apart the old one by replacing it with components of a new one. I think major renovations will come to CoPa within 15-25 years.
Post Number: 1363
|Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2007 - 8:20 pm: || |
I went to several games at CoPa last season, and despite being from SF, it sorta became my "home" park for the year. Sat upper, lower, outfield. I got a nice mix. I never really felt like it was that bad. No obstructions of any place on the field from any of the seats. I felt like I could see the game quite well from everywhere. CoPa is NOT a bad park. In fact, of the new ones, I really like it. It is no worse upper deck than AT&T in SF, at least not noticably so.
Then last weekend I went back to Wrigley. Holy crap. I had forgotten over the past 2 years how it really is the "friendly confines". We did sit lower level, in front of the overhang, which really helps the feeling of intimacy, but just looking up and across the field, it seemed everyone was close. The bleacher seats seemed close, and rose upwards quickly as opposed to the very flat bleachers/outfield seats at CoPa.
Anyway, Wrigley truly is a gem, but CoPa is still a very very nice new ballpark. No it isn't Camden or AT&T or Petco, but it is a good place to watch baseball, even if it feels less intimate. One thing to remember about Wrigley (I can't comment on the new-retro parks like Camden) is that you have posts in the way. Cantilevered upper decks solved that problem these days, but the even bigger bummer is that when you push the upper deck too close to the field (like Tiger stadium) that if you have seats in the lower level and back a little ways, any high hits completely disappear from your view. I've had a couple seats like that at Wrigley in the past. The experience in those seats is FAR reduced from seats that give you the view of the field, the outfield, and the skyline. Night and day.
Bottom line, I'd rather be a bit further from the field (like CoPa) and let everyone have a good view of everything even if further from the action than have it in close, with big overhangs so everyone is close to the field but with their views of the skyline and high hits chopped off.
At least comparing Wrigley, I'll take the outfield seats and close lower and upper seats there, but I'd take the way back upper and lowers at Comerica over Wrigley's obstructed views. Maybe someday I can compare Petco or Camden to CoPa. But overall, CoPa is better for everyone at the game whereas Wrigley gives you great views for certain seats and poor views for a ton of others.
Post Number: 244
|Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2007 - 10:39 pm: || |
Lot of good comments here.
I know RFK has those damn lower deck obstructed seats but didn't realize that Wrigley has that problem. (I've never been to Wrigley).
I'm tempted to say when they did CoPa someone at HOK Sport 'had a bad day at the office."
I guess I can accept the upper deck at CoPa but those dimensions to the outfield were absurd.
Post Number: 9
|Posted on Friday, April 20, 2007 - 9:50 am: || |
i have had 4 season tickets (21 game package, now 27) for the past 5 years in the upper deck (section 326, row C). there previous 3 seasons we sat further out along the first base line.
i think my seats are great. there is only a very small portion of right field foul territory that that is not visible.
i attended baseball games at tiger stadium since 1960 through 1999. while i miss the old stadium, comerica park has many more positives than negatives when compared to tiger stadium.
i cannot blame mr. ilitch for attempting to squeeze in as many suites as possible. the team makes more money on these than regular seating.
i like the outfield depths because i like to see players leg out triples more than seeing home runs, although it will be interesting to see if any player can jack one out of this stadium.
just my opinion, which usually is incorrect.
Post Number: 212
|Posted on Friday, April 20, 2007 - 11:03 am: || |
I like CoPa also,, I also enjoy Jacobs Field in Cleveland and Pittsburghs new stadium is also cool ,, My seats in Detroit are usually in the 3rd row past 1st base in the 112s etc. You feel very intimate to the game there and definitely a part of the action. I don't find the 25.00 price horrific either for where you are. While Tiger Stadium will always be dear to me, I really do enjoy having the park in the middle of the city, especially at night games. I find the people seem to really be having a good time there and have heard numerous comments on how they like coming to the city for the games and going out after. The effect of thousands of people milling through the downtown streets , bars and restaurants I think is a major plus,and, for those of us who live downtown, we walk to it all.
Post Number: 248
|Posted on Sunday, April 22, 2007 - 1:27 pm: || |
Granderson safe at 2nd...
Back to the comments at hand.
I heard yesterday on WGN a comment that CoPa is widely considered throughout the league to have the worst glare and they thought maybe the low slope of the seats might be responsible (the slope was mentioned in an earlier post).
Granderson scores on a Polanco hit.
Post Number: 910
|Posted on Sunday, April 22, 2007 - 1:35 pm: || |
I heard on the radio that it was the new signage that was causing problems.
Post Number: 5045
|Posted on Sunday, April 22, 2007 - 7:29 pm: || |
I've visited a bunch of ballparks in my travels over the years and I've found that because of the uniquesness of baseball stadiums and their dimensions, it adds to its allure. I like the fact that Wrigley isn't like Fenway. Camden doesn't need to be like Shea. Three Rivers doesn't need to be Veteran's. And even within our own town, Comerica Park shouldn't be like Tiger Stadium. Beyond the fact that each stadium has its own field measurements, I think each ballpark has its own charm and distinctiveness. There isn't a universally beloved ballpark, but seeing as how Comerica Park is our Tigers' home venue, I'm going to accept its less than stellar features and live with them.
Post Number: 831
|Posted on Sunday, April 22, 2007 - 10:37 pm: || |
It is tricky, trying to critique a ballpark, or even an concert hall or auditorium. The truth is that, if you have premium/very good seats, you're probably going to give the place a thumbs-up. However, there are venues where even the "economy" seats are fairly decent. In the case of Comerica Park, I have been in the Lower Saucer and way up in the Thin Air Section, and while the former were pleasing enough, the latter were terrible. I felt like I was watching from the Goodyear Blimp, and the part that really detracted from my experience was that, even with the house full, I barely could hear the crowd, even when it was excited. Part of the Tiger Stadium experience was how, when the crowd got worked up, the sound was thunderous; a deep, percussive, resonant roar which was befitting the animal for whom the team is named. Even in the bleachers, you could hear and feel it.
Post Number: 1981
|Posted on Sunday, April 22, 2007 - 10:42 pm: || |
quote:Very well written. Bravo!
...the sound was thunderous; a deep, percussive, resonant roar which was befitting the animal for whom the team is named.
Post Number: 327
|Posted on Monday, April 23, 2007 - 8:05 am: || |
I have a very hard time with the glare at the place -- it is often very difficult for me to follow the ball.
Another problem I have is that there is virtually no shade anywhere in the seating area of the park.
Post Number: 249
|Posted on Monday, April 23, 2007 - 8:43 am: || |
What is the signage? I'm not sure.
BTW, Ilitch supposedly spent 3M on upgrades to CoPa.
Anyone remember what they are?
Post Number: 2716
|Posted on Monday, April 23, 2007 - 10:52 am: || |
Upgrades: actual seats replacing some of those wooden table sets in the outfield. New video boards below the suite level and on the outfield wall.
Post Number: 82
|Posted on Tuesday, April 24, 2007 - 2:41 am: || |
I'm only a fair weather fan, but I prefer Tiger Stadium. The upper deck was my favorite spot for watching the GAME. No Ferris wheels, no sushi, no Disneyland, no gimmicks. Isn't that why we go to Baseball parks, to watch Baseball?
Yes, I still go to Comerica Park on occasion.
On a side note, could Comerica Park resell the naming rights if Comerica Bank gets bought up or goes under?
Post Number: 85
|Posted on Tuesday, April 24, 2007 - 3:48 am: || |
Went to a few games last week and could not help but notice the ribbon of video screen lining the second deck. That has GOT to be distracting to the batter. Is that what is meant by "glare"?
Post Number: 328
|Posted on Tuesday, April 24, 2007 - 8:18 pm: || |
The glare I'm talking about seems to come from -- I'm guessing -- the concrete. Haven't seen the new video screens except on TV, so I don't know what they add. But even with Transition lenses or prescription sunglasses, I always find myself squinting a whole lot at CoPa.
Post Number: 834
|Posted on Tuesday, April 24, 2007 - 9:50 pm: || |
Vic's posts, regarding the glare, reminded me of something I noticed while watching the game, on TV, the other night. Jesus CHRIST that park is brightly lit. It didn't look that way last season. I couldn't get over it. The field isn't THAT well lit when the SUN is out, fer chrissakes. Must be the new signage.
Post Number: 9
|Posted on Friday, April 27, 2007 - 1:06 pm: || |
I don't know how anyone who grew up going to Tiger Stadium can stand Comerica. There have been so many cool parks built in the last 20 years. Other than the White Sox park, we built the worst. For a community that is so into tradition, and that had such a distinct stadium, it was insane to build what they did. Their solution to obstructed view seats which impacted maybe a thousand or two seats out of 50,000 was to move what, 15,000 seats so far back that the first row of the upper deck is further back than the last row was at Tiger Stadium.
Post Number: 13
|Posted on Friday, April 27, 2007 - 1:25 pm: || |
Soomka1, I can't agree with you more. I feel Comerica Park is an insult to those of us who love(d) Tiger Stadium's intimacy, charm and unique design. They could not have built a stadium that fails to respect the fans’ love affair with Tiger Stadium more so than CoPa. Hell, even the Texas Rangers' new park has characteristics of Tiger Stadium with their right field overhang (check it out next time – almost an exact replica). Most of new baseball stadiums built in recent years replaced stadiums that were despised by the fans (i.e., Cleveland, Baltimore, Texas, Pittsburgh) – the new design could not help but be an improvement. Comerica Park, however, represents the first stadium that replaced a stadium loved by the fans, players and the media. Whether Tiger Stadium could have been saved or not is irrelevant. The point is, Illitch should have incorporated at least some of the characteristics of Tiger Stadium into the new park design - proximity to field, rise of seating, upper deck overhang, the bleachers, etc. – if not a modern replica of the entire stadium itself. In the end, the only similarity is a flag pole in center field which isn’t even in the field of play anymore!
Post Number: 258
|Posted on Friday, April 27, 2007 - 2:34 pm: || |
I think folks are living in the past and quite frankly not being fair in comparing CoPa to other contemporary stadia.
It isn't the best, but it isn't a dog either.
I could go point-by-point but won't now, but will say CoPa has most of the elements of modern stadia including 40K+ plus seats, some cheap seats, no seats in center field, luxury seating, good vista (there was NO vista in Tiger Stadium), etc.
If I had my way, home plate would be 10 feet closer to the stands and the OF fences could come in a little.
I might have dropped the field some (the new Nationals' stadium will have the playing field below street level). That would have helped on the lower deck slope. (I don't know if that was a cost savings not to drop the playing field).
I don't like how the upper deck is set back BUT didn't Tiger Stadium have poles which obstructed the view and the upper deck which also obstructed the view of many lower deck seats.
Those aren't hardly minor problems. Those relic stadiums were poor designs.
Weren't the upper deck seats in CF a very, very long distance away?
I'm going tonight to a relic* which has obstructing poles and an upper deck overhang which obstructs a lot of lower deck seats.
(*RFK in D.C. that stadium thankfully won't be used for MLB beyond this September).
(Message edited by emu_steve on April 27, 2007)
Post Number: 2412
|Posted on Friday, April 27, 2007 - 2:48 pm: || |
I'm going tonight to a relic* which has obstructing poles and an upper deck overhang which obstructs a lot of lower deck seats.
Be sure to wave at those of us sitting in the $5 upper deck outfield seats! RFK--the last of the ashtrays.
Comerica isn't bad, but I don't enjoy it as much as say Jacobs Field or Camden Yards--from which Comerica got a lot of its ideas. I do like how the concourse is open, so you can watch the game while in line for concessions. In a sense, though, Comerica is too cartoony to be taken seriously. And I never did like that it's practically completely surrounded by parking.
Post Number: 934
|Posted on Friday, April 27, 2007 - 2:58 pm: || |
Comerica's field IS below street level.
That said, what I think a lot of people are forgetting is that the old stadiums were never loved until they were closed or closing. Wrigley was widely considered to be a dump until it and Fenway were the last parks left. I don't know how people felt about Fenway, but it wouldn't surprise me if it was the same. Tiger Stadium was a great place to watch a game, but it certainly wasn't LOVED until we found out it was gone. What was attendance in the year BEFORE the closing, like 15,000 a game? That's less than they draw in Kansas City.
Let's face it, you don't know what you got 'till it's gone. No one cared at the time.
Post Number: 14
|Posted on Friday, April 27, 2007 - 3:00 pm: || |
Sure, compared to some of the newer stadiums, Comerica Park holds up well. In fact, the new stadiums are all practically the same with the city views being one of the few distinguishing characteristics.
No one is saying that Tiger Stadium should have been replicated down to the support posts and obstructed seats - just incorporate the elements of the stadium that long-time baseball fans in this town have grown to appreciate.
BTW, Comerica's playing field is well below street level. The fact that you can see part of the field from Adams Ave. which overlooks the right field grandstands supports this.
Post Number: 264
|Posted on Friday, April 27, 2007 - 4:36 pm: || |
Went to Jacobs Field last summer. They did a recent major upgrade to their high tech video screens. It was very impressive and puts Comerica's 1999 technology to shame. I also liked the relative intimacy of Jacobs over Comerica.
One thing I really like about Comerica over Jacobs was the view of the field from everywhere on the lower deck concourse. This is a great feature of Comerica.
My favorite Comerica feature is that it is about a three block walk to my partial season tickets in Sec. 138 from my loft. Very cool!
Overall, Comerica is very good place to watch baseball and it is a phenomenal addition to downtown.
Post Number: 259
|Posted on Friday, April 27, 2007 - 11:20 pm: || |
I owe readers two mea culpas:
I was thinking that maybe CoPA was below street level but wasn't sure so I made the false assumption that it wasn't.
and I was at RFK tonight and there are no obstruction posts. There are, however, 18 rows of seats up from the concourse that have obstructed views because of the upper deck and press box overhangs, etc. I couldn't tell how much of a problem it is as I was at those seats after the game was over so I couldn't see a pop up and check the obstruction.
That said, RFK, in many ways isn't as bad as some, including me, make it out to be. The upper deck seats between the foul lines, esp. between 1st and 3rd have very nice views.
Post Number: 181
|Posted on Monday, April 30, 2007 - 11:29 pm: || |
I heard somewhere that Comerica's gradual slope on the lower deck seats is supposed to be similar to the lower deck slope at Tiger Stadium.
All in all, I like CoPa well enough. It is no TS, and it is by no means the best park in MLB, but it's like anytime you move into a new house: after a short time, you start seeing things you would do differently if you had the chance to do them over. Hindsight is always 20/20
Post Number: 1589
|Posted on Tuesday, May 01, 2007 - 12:19 am: || |
The worst stadium is still in Oakland, hands down.
Comerica, Jacobs, Camden Yards, and US Cellular (after renovation) are all very similar -- decent modern parks, good places to watch a game (the distracting tigers and bats and other gimcracks all over Comerica notwithstanding).
Pacific Bell (or whatever they're calling it now in SF), PNC in Pittsburgh and Safeco in Seattle might be the best of the new parks.
Fenway has some charm, but it's tiny and the food is bad. Wrigley IS a dump, and the food is bad there too.
Post Number: 433
|Posted on Tuesday, May 01, 2007 - 12:51 am: || |
CHASE Park in Arizona isn't bad either....