Tiger fans will see some notable changes next season at Comerica Park. Before the start of next season, the Detroit Tigers will move the center field fence and lower some outfield walls. A Tigers official said that the goal is to reward batters who hit the ball to the deepest parts of the park, while maintaining the rate of extra-base hits in the gaps. The team predicts that lower walls will lead to more “electric defensive plays,” like home run robberies. When asked about the changes to the walls, Tigers President Scott Harris said, “This has been a topic of conversation for quite some time within our organization. We’re confident that this plan accomplishes our goals of improving offensive conditions on the hardest hit balls, while maintaining Comerica Park’s unique dimensions and style of play.”
Center field wall will be lowered from 422 feet (measured by laser) to 412 feet by Opening Day, making it the second deepest center filed in the MLB. Coors Field in Colorado (415 feet) is first. A number of “key areas” are also being adjusted in the height of the wall, including above the out-of-town scoreboard in right-center field. The wall will be lowered from 13 feet to seven feet. Center field and right field walls are being lowered from 8.5 feet to seven feet. An official spokesperson for the Tigers says, “The foundation of the entire outfield wall will be reconstructed with material and padding that enhances player safety.” A timetable as to when the reconstruction of Comerica Park will take place has yet to be released, but the team is confident the renovations will be finished before the start of the season in April.