Executive chef Mark Szubeczak shows the special coney dog pizza and other edible additions at Comerica Park this year on Thursday, March 30, 2017. Max Ortiz, The Detroit News
A coney dog pizza, chicken shawarma nachos and Michael Fulmer autographed merchandise are among the new things to look for this Detroit Tigers season at Comerica Park.
“We’re getting excited for opening day, we have a lot of new items at the ballpark,” said executive chef Mark Szubeczak at a media preview at Comerica Park Thursday.
In recent years Szubeczak has gone for a “wow factor” with stadium food, introducing queso pork rinds and bacon with deviled eggs. Both those items are gone, and in their place is the star of Thursday’s media event: a Little Caesars coney dog pizza.
While the concept isn’t new, it is well-executed. It’s a “deep deep dish” pizza topped with chili and melted mozzarella, a sprinkle of white onion, sliced hot dogs and a yellow mustard drizzle. The pizza, which is $12.50 for four corner slices, has all the qualities of a coney dog, but instead of a bun you get fluffy, baked pizza crust. It works.
Szubeczak also featured a Hawaiian dog (topped with bacon, pineapple, pickled onion and jalapeno slices), greek salad, hummus plate, chicken shawarma sandwich and chicken shawarma nachos, with baked pita chips in the place of fried tortilla chips.
“Around the park there are also gluten-free options, fresh fruits, salads and grab-and-go offerings,” said Szubeczak, who adds that there will be some culinary “surprises” throughout the season. “We’re trying to showcase a lot of healthy things ... water, yogurts ... trying to take care of everyone.”
On the merchandise front, Tiger fans will have some new wardrobe choices. The team has joined forces with Levi Strauss & Co. to offer men's and women's flannel tops, a Detroit Tigers windbreaker, denim jacket and a fleece top.
Also found at one of eight shops around the park are hats, glassware, caps and MLB Stance socks, including the same style worn by the players on the field.
For those who want to stock up on official gear before opening day, the D Shop at Comerica Park is open Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
For authentic Tiger memorabilia Tigers Authentics (located near the third base line) has new items this year including autographed photos, baseballs and jerseys from Rookie of the Year Michael Fulmer, plus home run bats and photos autographed by Miguel Cabrera.
The Autograph Saturdays series will also return for a second year, giving fans a chance to meet former and current Tigers at special ticketed events during the day at the D Shop. So far Iván Rodríguez is scheduled for May 20, Nick Castellanos is set for June 17 and Fulmer will sign merchandise and greet fans on July 15. Al Kaline will also appear at a date to-be-determined.
Information, when available, will be posted to tigers.com/autographs.
Special Ticket Packages are available now, and give fans an exclusive Detroit Tigers item, usually with a charity tie-in. For example, a special ticket to the April 8 game includes a $5 donation to the no-killer shelter Detroit Dog Rescue, plus an orange and navy Detroit Dog Rescue T-shirt and dog bandana.
Women in Sports day is May 16, and those special tickets include access to a pre-game, interactive panel in the Beer Hall, a “Women in Sports” T-shirt and a donation to Women of Tomorrow. Other theme days throughout the season include Space Day, Journalism Day, Golf Lovers, Negro Leagues Weekend, Grandparents Day, Star Wars, and days celebrating Jewish, Polish, Greek, Italian and Irish heritages.
Addition ticketing information is at tigers.com.