|Screengrab from the MLB web site|
My friends at HistoricDetroit.org are reporting on a Detroit Tigers viewing party that was originally scheduled to be held on the Old Tigers Stadium site. According to them, a group of dedicated Detroiters came up with the idea to put a giant screen at the site during the World Series, invite everyone to come out and watch it for free on the hallowed ground of The Corner. They would have DJs play between innings and everyone thought it was a great idea.
Our neighbors in Corktown loved it. MLB threw its support behind it, granted a broadcast license, and promoting it on its website. Fans were pumped. Fox News reported on it. Organizers even got insurance just in case someone was injured during this event..
Everyone thought it was a great idea, except for the City of Detroit, which officially pulled the plug on the party this morning. They reportedly threatened to arrest anyone on the field for trespassing.
Yes, the same city government that brought you a giant empty field instead of a preserved National Historic Landmark and field for youth baseball has said no one is allowed on the field. The public is welcome to prance on any of the tens of thousands of other vacant, city-owned lots, but not the Old Tiger Stadium site. People would be arrested for that.
Mayor Bing's argument is that the site is not a park.
I, for one, am more than a little upset with this development.
Nothing is happening at the Old Tiger Stadium site other the occasional amateur baseball game. When actual felonies happen in the Warrendale neighborhood, my neighbors and I cannot get the Detroit Police Department to show up. In spite of this, when some folks want to watch television at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Trumbull, Mayor Bing and his Administration respond by threatening to arrest them.
Update @ 1:32 p.m. The organizers of this event have decided to move it to the nearby Imagination Station (2236 14th Street). This is a much smaller venue - basically, it's a pair of vacant houses near the old Michigan Central Station that have been converted into an art venue. Regardless, I'm glad to hear that this will move forward.