Some potential good news for the folks who have been maintaining Detroit’s Tiger Stadium ballfield ever since the stadium itself was demolished in 2009: New mayor Mike Duggan plans on issuing a request for proposals for redevelopment of the site, and his top development aide says, in the Detroit Free Press’s paraphrase, that it will “call for private developers to build mixed-use housing and commercial space but keep a baseball field on the historic site, but with smaller dimensions than the original playing field.”
That’s at least an improvement on the open hostility to keeping a ballfield on the Tiger Stadium site that was a hallmark of previous administrations. (George Jackson, the Detroit economic chief who was for years the primary foe of any preservation of the ballpark site, resigned last month, though he’s still not exactly going away.) The city’s prior position was that a ballfield couldn’t possibly be maintained because the old major-league dimensions were too big to accommodate new construction; the Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy responded that they didn’t care about center-field dimensions, but discussions never got any further than that. Duggan’s move at least seems like a possible nod in the direction of compromise, but we’ll know more when we see the actual RFP.