Posted January 29, 2016
Kyla Smith - The Detroit News
Detroit — A field of dreams is inching closer to becoming a redeveloped reality at the old Tiger Stadium lot.
On Tuesday, the Detroit Police Athletic League, PAL, along with city and state officials and representatives from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr., Skillman and Kresge foundations plan to make an announcement about PAL’s “Kids at the Corner” fundraising campaign, which will contribute to the development of the old Tiger Stadium space into a new PAL sports complex.
The joint partnership between PAL and the Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy to develop the land was approved in December by the Detroit Economic Growth Corp.
Construction on the project could begin in March and be completed by spring 2017.
It’s been a passionate and sometimes ugly public debate of what to do with the 9 1/2 acre site ever since the Detroit Tigers moved to Comerica Park for the 2000 season.
Preservationists fought hard to keep the stadium. But city officials maintained that never made financial sense. The stadium started to be demolished in 2008.
The new athletic turf field would hold soccer, football and baseball games, as well as day camps. Detroit PAL officials said the artificial turf ensures the field can be used during any type of weather and for years of activity.
The sports complex meshes with a $33 million plan called The Corner, which includes retail and residential development.
The stadium’s actual playing field remains at the corner where the stadium once stood and the diamond and grass have been preserved mainly by a volunteer group called the Navin Field Ground Crew.
Detroit PAL is a nonprofit organization established in 1969 to help children through athletic, academic and leadership development programs.