DETROIT (WOOD) - The Detroit Tigers' home opener win Friday gave Detroit fans a much-needed distraction while their city is in financial crisis.
When asked about what it's like to live blocks away from the stadium, Homer Garren told 24 Hour News 8 "It's tough. Dangerous. I don't go out at night." Garren added he often hears gunshots, but he's used to it by now.
You don't have to walk far from Comerica Park to find the Motor City's plight and blight. Just five blocks from Comerica, we found Richard Dggs in a neighborhood that seemed like a trip back in time.
"You come out here on a different day, you see people all out here through this stuff. It's messed up out here, man," Dggs told 24 Hour News 8.
Windows were nonexistent in the skeletons that tried to pass as buildings.
Graffiti clung to the brick walls. One read, "Zombieland".
Dggs told us the city was just putting on a good face for Opening Day just blocks away. "That's all they're doing is making it look good," he continued.
Detroit is the largest U.S. city under state control. It faces $14.8 billion dollars in long-term debt, and an emergency manager started overseeing the city's financial books last month.
Some Motown residents are more optimistic.
Kevin Dougherty, a Grand Rapids native who moved to Metro Detroit five years ago, told 24 Hour News 8 that he is encouraged by recent investment by the likes of Quicken Loans CEO Dan Gilbert.
"Detroit does have issues," long-time Detroit resident Cheryl Robinson told 24 Hour News 8, in-between selling her "Big Cat" sunglasses near the stadium.
Robinson said the start of a new season can also be seen as a symbol. A new start is what her city needs, she said.
"We may be a little bit down now, but we can bounce back," Robinson said. "We were a great city way back, and we can become a great city again. I believe that; I'm a Detroiter," she beamed.
The majesty of Comerica is a far cry from the barren buildings five blocks away, and in other parts of the surrounding city.
The good thing for Tiger fans is the team's finances are in a much different place compared to the city.
The team has the 6th highest payroll in baseball, and recently signed ace Justin Verlander to a 7-year, $180 million contract.
The Tigers defeated the New York Yankees with a final score of 8-3 Friday.
Fred Glespie was found not guilty in the death of three children who died in an apartment fire.
Police are looking for the suspect in an armed robbery that occurred at a gas station in Plainwell Thursday night.
The rink will be open that day from 3-9 p.m.