Detroit Tigers fans share what makes Opening Day so special

Posted at 6:42 AM, Apr 05, 2024

(WXYZ) — Opening Day is a major event in Detroit, and some even call it an unofficial holiday.

It means so much to so many people in metro Detroit, and I hit the town to find out what makes it so special.

Detroit will be awash in a sea of orange and blue on Friday, and the day is about baseball and so much more.

In the weeks of spring, just the first buds of the season peek through. Detroit will be awash in a sea of Orange and blue.

"One of the few days in Detroit, everybody comes alive," Ari Zucker told me.

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"It's an exciting time to enjoy spring. Get ready for baseball season cheer on the Tigers," Lauren Groskaufmanis said.

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"Everybody is just happy for the game to finally start. You know, when they can come out and see it in person," Zoria told us.

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It’s an occasion that extends far beyond home runs, great catches, and the white lines of the baseball diamond.

"I think everyone comes together. So, you get people from the city. Obviously, you get people from the suburbs. You go from, I don't know, probably maybe from up north, from the upcoming down for opening day," Jeff Aspinall said.

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It’s a celebration linking family, friends, and strangers in a way few events can. It’s an outdoor party that activates baseball casuals and die-hards alike

"I expect there to be tons of festivals exciting, then everyone's going to be doing stuff," Zucker said.

Like tailgating, grilling, and hanging out. Opening Day is a party around baseball, because fun begins hours before first pitch and continues after the dimming of the stadium light.

But the center of the celebration is the game itself and the party in the park. It’s the first-time fans of the home team can see the boys of summer on the field, and the party can get raucous.

"It's rowdy, you know, it's like everybody got their food and their drinks," Zoria said.

Win or lose Opening Day is like spring - a time of renewal and hope.

"It’s a day of optimism. Everything's going to go right. Everything’s going to be good," Zucker said.

"So it's a new season. Well, Tigers are undefeated right now, so everyone's excited for that," Aspinall added.

Others are excited because opening day is a link to the past. And memories held closely.

"I love baseball. I've grown up with it, and it's my grandfather's sport. It's something that I want to watch till I die," Stephen Grennan said.

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In truth, Opening Day is so magical because of the people who come alive around the game. The end of winter’s short dark days and turning to a new fresh page of the next chapter in Tigers history in Detroit history.

Even though not everyone can join the tens of thousands of fans inside the stadium and or on the streets of downtown, many are still taking part in Opening Day in whatever way they can

"Do you know how you're going to spend Opening Day" I asked.

"I'm probably going to be at work but refreshing my phone and score," Groskaufmanis said.

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