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While I have never been to U.S. Cellular Field, I can only look at the numbers, comments and experiences that accompany the Detroit Tigers.
Currently, the Detroit Tigers rank seventh in attendance in all of Major League Baseball with an average of 37,863 fans per game.
However, the White Sox only rank 24th and average 24,432 fans per game.
It is hard to argue with the numbers here. Even though the White Sox are playing great baseball and are currently leading the AL Central, they are still behind Detroit in fan attendance by 13,431 fans per game. Why are Chicagoans not coming to watch their team try to win a division?
Secondly, people who play in Detroit say there is something different about Tiger fans. Anibal Sanchez, who was recently acquired from Miami, pitched his first game in Comerica Park on August 3.
He was taken out in the seventh inning after giving up eight hits, no earned runs and five strikeouts. As he was leaving the field, Sanchez was given a standing ovation from Tigers fans and had this to say to the local media about the feeling.
"That was really amazing, really amazing...I don’t have any comparison for that. When I throw my (no-hit) game in 2006, it’s not even like that. It’s a lot of people, a lot of fans, and a standing ovation is incredible. I feel like it’s something really new for me...It definitely feels like home...The best people, it feels amazing. I don’t have exactly words to express that, but the thing is amazing."
Finally, a game at Comerica Park is unlike any other. Fans are actively involved in every pitch, no matter the score. Tigers fans never give up on their team, and it is rare to see fans leaving early from any game, whether it be a guaranteed win or loss in the ninth inning.
There is a distinct passion for Detroit sports in Michigan, but there is something different about the Motor City Kitties. Emotions run high when it comes to the Tigers, and fans, whether local or national, are more devoted and supported than most.
Detroit will be looking to this fan support for a distinct advantage as they head into the final months of the regular season.