Apr 3, 2018; Detroit, MI, USA; Fans sit in the stands wearing ponchos as it rains during the fifth inning of the game between the Detroit Tigers and the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park.

© Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Brutal Weather Pushing Comerica Park In Unprecedented Directions

Prior to this season, Comerica Park had never experienced more than four weather-related postponements in an entire season.

Will Burchfield
April 16, 2018 - 2:36 pm
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A late-arriving spring is taking its toll at ballparks across Major League Baseball, but none have been hit as hard as Comerica Park. 

Through nine home dates, the Tigers have been forced into an MLB-high six postponements. That number doubled over the weekend when the Tigers called off three scheduled games versus the Yankees -- one on Saturday and two on Sunday -- thanks to winter-like conditions in Detroit. 

Prior to this season, Comerica Park, which opened in 2000, had never experienced more than four weather-related postponements in an entire season. The high through the Tigers' first nine home dates was two (2014).  

It hasn't helped that the Tigers' schedule featured a cluster of late-March and early-April home games. Sunday's originally-scheduled game versus the Yankees brought the Tigers to nine home dates through April 15; only one time in Comerica Park history have the Tigers reached that number at an earlier point on the calendar (April 13, 2003). 

The Tigers have avoided a single postponement through their first nine home dates in eight different seasons at Comerica Park. Their ninth home date in said seasons -- unsurprisingly -- never came before April 22. 

Even when the Tigers have taken the field at home this year, temperatures have lingered in the 30's and low 40's. That, plus a team with low expectations, has contributed to extremely sparse crowds. 

The Tigers are averaging 21,289 fans per game, their lowest total through six home games since the 2004 season (19,862). Through six home games last year, they were averaging 30,157. That's about a 30 percent year-over-year decrease. 

Most MLB teams are dealing with a similar trend. The average crowd of 27,532 through 221 games is about about 2,700 fans fewer per game than last year through the same point of the schedule, per Yahoo! Sports. The Orioles have seen the sharpest drop, down by about 16,000 fans per game. 

The Tigers have six more games on their current homestand, which concludes Sunday versus the Royals. With more cold, wet weather in the forecast, more postponements are possible. 

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