DETROIT (WOOD) — The city of Detroit felt like it was full of new life.
People tailgating, bags being tossed, DJ setups with fans dancing in signing. All of them decked out in blue, orange and white to support their Tigers on Opening Day.
This one, however, felt like a trip back in time to the days when this team had something to play for. The Tigers’ expectations have been bumped up to being playoff contenders by the team, managers and owner Chris Ilitch. The fans responded by flooding the streets and filling up Comerica Park.
“This is great, this is a party, there’s like 100-thousand people out here and this makes you feel like life is back to normal for once,” Grand Rapids native Ross Ebels said. “Compared to the other years, it’s just nice to come out here with family and friends.”
There was rain in the forecast all week with the temperatures being predicted to stay a touch under 50 degrees. That didn’t stop these fans from coming out to show their excitement after being kept from Opening Day traditions the past two seasons.
COVID-19 shut down the sports world for fans, even when the players were allowed to return to game action in 2020. There was a shortened 60-game season where fans were not allowed at games in Detroit. To start out 2021, there was only limited fans with COVID-19 restrictions in place. It limited the Opening Day party throughout the city.
On Friday, a sense of normality was renewed in the Motor City. Baseball was back, and the fans didn’t take this opportunity for granted.
“They call it a holiday, we love it,” Milford native Pamela Meyer said. “Everybody says, ‘oh I don’t come because it’s cold’, but that’s not a problem for us.”
Regardless of Friday’s result, it can’t take away from the joy and excitement that Detroit was able to experience on Opening Day.
“It’s great having everybody back here, just having the whole city alive, that’s awesome,” Cory Whickerham said.