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History of Tiger Stadium
Tiger Stadium in October, 1987
Photo © Larry Bock, all rights reserved
While the corner of Michigan Avenue and Trumbull Street has served as home base for the Tigers since 1895, the onsite playing field has gone through several incarnations. Bennett Park was the first ballpark to be built on the spot and consisted of an L-shaped grandstand with a peaked roof. It was made of wood, and the park took up approximately half the lot that Tiger Stadium would take up in later years. Over time, bleachers were added on to the wooden structure, but the park was eventually demolished in favor of a steel-and-concrete stadium in 1912.
Navin Field consisted of a covered grandstand that ran down the first and third base lines. Over the years, the stadium's name was changed from Navin Field to Briggs Stadium and finally to Tiger stadium in 1961. The years also saw a series of expansions to the stadium that overtook surrounding property and added upper decks to the original structure, albeit with support poles that blocked the view of the playing field from some seats. Because Trumbell Street bordered the stadium to the east, there was no room to expand, which meant that the upper-deck addition shortened right field and overhung that part of the grandstand.