Tigers Opening Day: How to Navigate Detroit’s Biggest Party

March 19, 2018  |   Story by Chloe Seymour  |   Photos by Bill Bowen

Two of Detroit’s greatest loves, baseball and parties, come together for Tigers Opening Day.

If there are two things you should know about Detroit, it’s this: Detroit sports fans don’t mess around and this city loves to throw a good party.

What happens when Detroiters get to celebrate the beginning of a new Tigers’ season, take their first trip of the year to Comerica Park and get to watch the first pitch with a great beer in hand? Opening Day – one of the most lively days in Detroit.

With city residents, diehard Tigers fans, suburbanites and people just here for the party atmosphere flooding the downtown streets, it can be a challenge to navigate the city. Where’s the best place to grab a beer? Is there a perfect spot for families hoping to watch the game?

Here’s a few answers to some of Tigers Opening Day’s biggest FAQs:

What neighborhood should I be celebrating in?

Based in the Corktown neighborhood for many years, surrounding the now defunct “Old Tigers Stadium,” Opening Day festivities have found new life in the downtown core area. Although, you shouldn’t count out the classic Corktown bars like Nemo’s – their fan shuttles run from Corktown to downtown on all ballgame days, to make drinking in different parts of the city incredibly convenient.

Nemo's is a favorite Detroit bar on game day

If the weather’s nice, where should I be hanging out?

Downtown is chock-full of bars and restaurants that will have drink and food specials running until the last batter is up to the plate. Rain, shine or snow, bars open up their patios and rooftops for fans to celebrate the day that, in Detroit, marks the official start of spring. Cheli’s Chili Bar will give you an outrageous party and an even more insane view of Comerica Park. Briggs, Hockeytown Cafe and Old Shillelagh also host porch parties that will get you in the spirit.

Hockeytown Cafe patio view of Comerica Park

Hockeytown Cafe patio.

I’m getting hungry! Where should I stop for pre-game food?

Virtually all food and beverage venues will be packed on Opening Day, but there are a few places around the city with enough space to accommodate ballgame-goers. Basement Burger Bar, Town Pump Tavern and Firebird Tavern are spacious and casual stops so close to the ballpark, you may catch a foul ball.

Basement Burger Bar burgers

Basement Burger Bar

Where’s the best place to take my family to watch the Detroit Tigers game?

The best way to watch a Tigers game? Front in center, behind home plate at Comerica Park. But if you can’t make it into the stadium, Opening Day family tailgating, including food trucks and lawn games is happening at Beacon Park, organized by the Downtown Detroit Partnership. Just a QLine ride away, HopCat Detroit is a perfect place to watch the game, just a little outside of party central.

From the Tigers fan that can recite batting averages for every member of the 1984 World Series team, to the visitor wanting to witness Detroit’s diehard sports culture for themselves, Opening Day in Detroit has a little something for everyone – because, there ain’t no party like a Detroit party.

Mentioned Attractions And Venues
  1. Comerica Park
    2100 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48201313-471-2000Highlight on map | More Details
  2. Nemo's Bar
    1384 Michigan Ave., Detroit, MI 48226313-965-3180Highlight on map | More Details
  3. Cheli's Chili Bar
    47 E. Adams Ave., Detroit, MI 48226313-961-1700Highlight on map | More Details
  4. Briggs Detroit
    519 E. Jefferson Ave., Detroit, MI 48226313-656-4820Highlight on map | More Details
  5. Hockeytown Cafe
    2301 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48201313-471-3400Highlight on map | More Details
  6. Old Shillelagh Irish Pub
    349 Monroe St., Detroit, MI 48226313-964-0007Highlight on map | More Details
  7. Basement Burger Bar - Detroit
    1326 Brush St., Detroit, MI 48226313-818-3708Highlight on map | More Details
  8. The Town Pump Tavern
    100 W. Montcalm St., Detroit, MI 48202313-961-1929Highlight on map | More Details
  9. Firebird Tavern
    419 Monroe St., Detroit, MI 48226313-782-4189Highlight on map | More Details
  10. HopCat Detroit
    4265 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48202313-769-8828Highlight on map | More Details