This is the price of doing business. If Tiger fans want to play with the big dogs, then they must reach deeper into their pockets.
Some Tigers fans are not happy with the recent increase in ticket prices at Comerica Park. The $5 seats are a thing of the past and that is sad to see. However, that price doesn't make sense anymore for a team that has high-payroll players such as Justin Verlander, Prince Fielder, Miguel Cabrera and Torii Hunter.
The Tigers are in it to win a World Series this season. They also want to keep their pieces intact for a while. That means they are competing with the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox.
The Tigers are big business and major players. They've been to two World Series since 2006, made the playoffs three of the last seven years and are geared up to win a title. But payroll is not the only factor.
We are actually lucky. Tickets in Detroit are middle-of-the-road, but the Tigers have a top-five payroll. There's no YES Network to fuel the engine like there is in New York. I hate to play the it's-worse-in-other-cities card, but I will play it now.
And let's throw out the Yankees, who have tickets that cost more than $2,000 a game that few buy.
The Chicago White Sox have bargain-basement season-ticket packages for $619 a seat. And they go as high as $21,465 for a select few tickets behind the plate.
The Los Angeles Dodgers ticket prices go from $35 to $260 and the Boston Red Sox have $170 seats.
On the high end the Tigers' on-deck-circle tickets went up from $85 to $90. Upper-level mezzanines are $25, up from $20.
Detroit is third in its division in average ticket prices behind Minnesota and Chicago.
The great thing about the Tigers is they had a $5 deal that made games affordable to just about everybody. You could get $5 tickets in the upper reaches down the third-base line. They had a $5 meal deal that included a hot dog and chips, and if you were willing to walk six blocks, you could get parking for $5. That's a great deal but it is not feasible in today's market.
The Tigers are no longer acting like a small-market team. Those tickets will be anywhere from $12 to $23. Those tickets are still lower than anything I found online in Chicago or Boston. I did see $8 seats in Kansas City, but do you want to change places with the Royals?
I didn't think so.
There will be some deals, however. The Tigers will continue with $5 value meals, $5 parking and some $5 beers. So the deals have not totally disappeared. They are just harder to find.
Turf to remember?
I cannot figure out why any fan would want a piece of the Ford Field turf that is being replaced before the 2013 season begins. The Lions sure do not have fond memories in their new building since moving in prior to 2002. Maybe it is the turf and uprooting it will turn the Lions' fortunes around.
Here are some painful numbers to ponder. Since moving to Ford Field the Lions are 51-126 and have been outscored by opponents, 4,626-3,543 points. They are 34-54 at home and 17-72 on the road. There are really no memories unless you want to count the handshake debacle between Lions coach Jim Schwartz and San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh. There was general manager Matt Millen hugging Bill Ford Jr. after they finally won a game in 2002, and of course, there's the spot where Titus Young deliberately lined up wrong, costing his team and sending him out of town.
The Lions have made the playoffs just once and do not have a playoff win. The only team with a playoff win in Detroit is the Pittsburgh Steelers, who beat Seattle in Super Bowl XL. For the record, Central Michigan has more postseason wins than anybody at Ford Field with four. It's followed by Purdue and Northern Illinois, which have two each.