Tiger Stadium is roaring back to life.
The historic site at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull avenues has been redeveloped to serve as the home-base playground for the next several generations of Detroit youth. And The Detroit News and Detroit Police Athletic League are teaming up to provide eight children the very special opportunity to throw out a ceremonial “first pitch” at the public grand opening, scheduled for Saturday, March 24.
The contest — open to any Metro Detroit child, grades K-12 — launches at noon Thursday, March 8, and the deadline to enter has been extended through noon, Tuesday, March 20.
To enter, go to detroitnews.com/firstpitch. A short, 250-word essay is required.
■ For K-2, the essay question is: If you were mayor and had the key to Detroit, what positive changes would you make?
■ For 3-12, the essay question is: In the last decade, Detroit has seen a lot of exciting change. Tell us what the future of Detroit looks like to you.
Children age 13 and younger wishing to enter must receive a parent or guardian’s permission. There are four categories: K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12.
A panel of Detroit News and PAL judges will select 16 finalists (eight girls, eight boys), whose essays will be published on DetroitNews.com and whose family and friends will be invited to attend the grand opening of The Corner Ballpark presented by Adient.
During the grand-opening celebration, eight winners (four girls, four boys) will be announced, and each will throw out a ceremonial first pitch before the first baseball games at The Corner — high-school contests between Detroit King and West Bloomfield (1 p.m.) and Detroit Western and Saline (3:30 p.m.).
All 16 finalists will receive a prize pack, and the eight announced winners each will receive a personalized brick to be placed at The Corner Ballpark’s entrance for all to see, for years to come. The eight winners also will receive a family four-pack to a 2018 Detroit Tigers game.
The Corner Ballpark and its Willie Horton Field of Dreams is a project more than two years in the making, and nearly two decades after the Tigers played their final game at The Corner before transitioning across town to Comerica Park. The $21 million project will serve as PAL’s home headquarters and features a new, state-of-the-art turf playing surface (with the same dimensions as Tiger Stadium), grandstands to seat thousands and a banquet center. There also are plans for a future Hall of Heroes.
PAL was founded in 1969 and today serves more than 12,000 area children.