The story behind how Detroit's grand prix raced back downtown

New season ticket holders 'test-drive' their seats

Ursula Watson
The Detroit News

Detroit —The Detroit Tigers' select-a-seat and open house event can be compared to the experience of purchasing a car .

Prospective season ticket buyers come to Comerica Park, meet with a sales representative, who explains various game plan packages available and lets fans choose their seat for the season.

Before sealing the deal, folks are taken out into the ballpark and check out their prospective seats.

"It is a way to test-drive the seats, see things first-hand," said Steve Fox, Detroit Tigers' director of ticket sales.

Fox said there are usually up to three select-a-seat and open house events during the off-season.

"Usually 200 people come down during the event," said Fox. "It is very popular."

Up to 80 percent of the folks who come to the select-a-seat and open house, walk away with a package, said Fox.

"You are pretty serious if you are coming down to look at seats," said Fox. "Not too many people want to leave empty-handed."

The Woodliff family of Dearborn, poured over brochures that explained each game plan. They considered not only the seats but which days of the week they wanted and the teams the Tigers are scheduled to play.

This will be the first time the family will purchase season tickets for the Tigers said Al Woodliff, 66.

He said Opening Day inspired him and his family to invest in a package.

"You either go online and pay $100-$150 per ticket for Opening Day or get a package," he said.

Baseball is serious business for the Woodliffs.

Woodliff's eldest daughter, Nicole Woodliff, 33, said she began going to games at Tiger Stadium with her dad and grandfather when she was a child.

"I remember going with the whole family and sitting in the rusted seats," she said. "I remember listening to the stories of when my dad and grandfather used to go to the games. It has always been a big deal for our family."

Nicole's mother Carol Woodliff, 66, and younger sister, Marissa, 20, said they like baseball but are not as fanatical about it.

"I like baseball," said Marissa Woodliff, a Central University student. "I don't know if I am as intense as these guys (pointing to her father and sister) but I do enjoy a good game every so often."

The Detroit Tiger's event was also an opportunity for the Woodliffs to enjoy the city.

"We made a stop at the Fox Theatre and got Bob Dylan tickets and then came here (Comerica Park)," said Al Woodliff. "After this we are going to Hitsville U.S.A and then to Green Dot Stables for lunch."

Douglas Reid, 57, of Detroit heard about the event on the radio and came down hoping to get a tour of the ballpark.

Fox and his staff were happy to grant Reid's request.

"It is everybody's ballpark," said Fox.

Reid, a self-professed "sports enthusiast" said he came to a few Tigers games last year, one being a Father's Day present from his daughter.

Following his tour, Reid was in awe.

"It is beautiful," he said of Comerica Park. "It brought back memories and it is a reminder that summer is coming."

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