Detroit — Tigers' Opening Day tickets used to be as good as gold, often selling out mere minutes after they went on sale.
Like the Tigers themselves, Opening Day tickets are just not what they used to be.
Tickets still remain for the Tigers' home opener, set for 1 p.m. Thursday against the Kansas City Royals. The Tigers are calling it an "extremely limited" number of seats, though it's not clear what "extremely limited" means. The team doesn't have an exact number. On the Tigers' website, as of Tuesday afternoon, fans reported still seeing multiple sections in the lower deck where you could get several seats together.
“Comerica Park will no doubt be sold out for Opening Day, as it has been for the last (19) years," said Ron Colangelo, vice president of communications for the Tigers, in an emailed statement Monday. "For those still wishing to attend, there are an extremely limited number of seats remaining.
"In addition, as we have in prior years, we have made standing room tickets available for those looking for a great value option.
"With the gates opening at 10 a.m. this year, we are looking forward to welcoming all to Detroit’s Biggest Party with the best fans in the world.”
On the secondary markets, Tigers' tickets are going for less than in previous years, too. On StubHub, for instance, there's a get-in price of less than $60. During the Tigers' heyday, 2006-13, you could scalp SRO Opening Day tickets for two or three times that.
The home opener has been the Tigers' only announced sellout in each of the last two seasons. The second-largest crowd in 2018 was 34,674; in 2017, a year in which Opening Day drew 45,013, the second-largest crowd was 40,036.
The Tigers last year announced an Opening Day crowd of 42,516, the lowest for a home opener since 2004. The game was played March 30, after it was postponed from the day before; it was 39 degrees, and there was a stiff breeze.
The weather for Thursday's game could be an issue, too. It's set to be chilly, in the low 40s, with a chance of rain. If the game is rained or snowed out, the Tigers have their traditional built-in day off Friday.
Guillermo "Willie" Hernandez, the closer and MVP of the 1984 World Series champion Tigers, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch, and Mary Wilson of the Supremes will sing the national anthem.
This is the start of the 20th season of baseball at Comerica Park.