Tigers World Series Lifts Spirits, Boosts Business in Detroit

Spirit of Detroit Tigers jersey
The Spirit of Detroit statue got swept up in “Tigers Fever.”

Well, the storybook ending didn’t turn out as Tigers fans envisioned, but if you take a step back and look at the big picture, it was an amazing year. You could feel the enthusiasm growing in September, when the Tigers started their amazing run to catch the White Sox and win the AL Central, and Miguel Cabrera won the first Triple Crown since 1967. The buzz around town seemed to multiply as the Tigers beat the A’s, then swept the Yankees to reach the World Series.

Everywhere you went in Detroit in recent weeks, there were signs of “Tiger Fever.” From the Spirit of Detroit statue dressing up in a Tigers jersey, to high-rises sporting a huge lit-up “D,” to the Detroit Institute of Art using blue and orange lights in honor of the Tigers, it was hard to miss the enthusiasm in the D.

BCBS D logo
Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan showed its support with a huge “D” on the side of their building facing Comerica Park. (Photo courtesy: Michael Wayland, mlive.com)

That enthusiasm also translated into booming business for bar and restaurant owners, souvenir shops (and some temporary souvenir tents that sprung up all over), hotels, parking lots and many other businesses. The Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates that each World Series game played in Detroit brought in more than $8 million to the area.

As much as Detroit gets hammered in the media, the positive energy and lifted spirits the Tigers’ playoff run brought should go a long way toward further changing national perceptions of the city. Bud Liebler, owner of The Whitney in Midtown, told Crain’s Detroit Business the city needed a positive event like the World Series to rally around.

World Series bars
Detroit bars and restaurants were packed for the World Series games.

“It elevates everyone’s mood in town,” Liebler said. “And we will take every extra pair of feet walking in the door we can get.”

Did you feel a change in the energy of Detroit during the World Series?  Tell us in the comments below! 

– Scott

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