SpliceToday's Andrew Sargus Klein, however, is making me reassess:
I’ve experienced over half a dozen ballparks—not an astounding amount, I realize—and Comerica is, without a doubt, the worst example of a baseball stadium I have ever seen.
Any sports stadium has two main motifs from which to draw a visual narrative: the sport itself and the team name. In the case of Comerica, we have baseball and tigers. The resulting visual assault is most similar to a balls-out amusement park. Massive, massive baseball bats and tigers flank the main entrance; along the curving sides there are tiger heads gripping baseballs in their mouth (a la pigs with apples) and wavy claw marks. Altogether the stadium has all the subtlety of a foul ball to the forehead. It is kitsch—offensively ugly kitsch . . .
. . . That Detroit is suffering commercially, and the stadium is over the top commercial, is the point. The intentions, I'm sure, are benevolent but the result borders on mocking.
As the years have gone on, I've heard fewer and fewer complaints about Comerica, but the overly-busy, kitschlike nature of the place identified by Klein were mentioned a lot circa 2000-2001. Maybe people have just gotten used to it, or maybe no one cares about this stuff other than Klein and me. And make no mistake, Klein's central premise -- that a ballpark should strive to reflect the city in which it sits -- is a tall order in the case of Comerica, because there is so much wrong with the city in which it sits.
But they still should have made the effort. Detroit has had so much of its rich, rich history ripped away from it over the past 20-30 years. It's a shame to see that extend to the ballpark as well.