PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Both the Detroit Tigers and West Michigan Whitecaps took advantage of loosened restrictions by opening up their stands to full capacity on Tuesday.
The Whitecaps won the series opener against the Lansing Lugnuts 2-0. The Tigers lost their season opener to the Seattle Mariners 5-3.
This comes as all outdoor capacity restrictions in Michigan were lifted on June 1.
Mask requirements at both LMCU Ballpark and Comerica Park were dropped on May 15 following the announcement. Masks are still required for nonvaccinated people in indoor areas of the ballpark.
“Every seat in the house is available for Tigers fans to come back to the ballpark and cheer on the Tigers. It’s a very, very exciting day,” Ron Colangelo, vice president of communication for the Tigers, said.
Rain in Detroit did not stop fans from flocking to Comerica Park.
“Oh, it’s wonderful. I was sitting and waiting and counting the days, so this is exciting,” Tigers fan Velma Eason said.
Many fans told News 8 this was their first time back to the ballpark since the start of the pandemic.
“First game of the year, return to baseball. We love coming down as a family, so we’re excited to be here,” a Tigers fan said.
The Tigers said they weren’t expecting a sold-out crowd, but by Tuesday afternoon, they had already sold 10,000 tickets and expect some additional walk-ups — including some who have free tickets for getting vaccinated just down the street at the Fox Theatre.
“I love the Tigers, so it would be a great idea to come down and get a vaccine and get the tickets,” Nick Stevens, a Tigers fan, said.
Stevens attended the game with family, who said the vaccine promotion was an exciting opportunity.
“We were excited he wanted to go for it and get the vaccine. We’ve been talking about it as a family, so obviously it was an exciting opportunity. He is a big baseball fan, so it kind of tied in all nicely together,” Shaun Stevens said.
LMCU Ballpark will host theme nights this week. Tuesday night was Peanut Free Night, where the park had no peanuts in sight for anyone with allergies who can’t normally attend a game.
Wednesday there will be a bobblehead giveaway, Thursday will be Dog Day, Friday is Harry Potter night, Saturday there will be fireworks and Sunday is Family Day.
More information on tickets and other ballpark rules can be found online.