There will be some noticeable changes at Comerica Park in the 2023 season.
The Detroit Tigers, owned by Ilitch Holdings, plan to move in the center-field wall at Comerica Park, the team announced Wednesday.
The center-field fence will be moved in 10 feet, making the wall 412 feet from home plate. The height of the walls will be lowered in center field (from 8.5 feet to 7 feet), right-center field (from 13 feet to 7 feet) and right field (from 8.5 feet to 7 feet). Due to the alterations, the Tigers will lose about 50 seats in right field.
“This has been a topic of conversation for quite some time within our organization,” Tigers president of baseball operations Scott Harris said in a statement. “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.”
The dimensions at Comerica Park, long viewed as pitcher-friendly, have been set at 345 feet in left field, 370 feet in left-center field, 420 feet in center field, 365 right-center field and 330 feet in right field from 2003-2022.
Laser measurements of the outfield wall, as part of the research process, measured the old center-field wall at 422 feet. The new center-field distance, 412 feet, makes Comerica Park the second-deepest ballpark in baseball, behind only Coors Field at 415. (The league average for center field is 402 feet.)
The entire outfield wall is going to be reconstructed with material and padding that enhances player safety.
The Tigers began discussing changes to the outfield dimensions during the 2021 season, and those conversations intensified when CEO and chairman Christopher Ilitch hired Harris as the franchise’s president of baseball operations in September 2022, replacing former general manager Al Avila.
After hiring Harris, Ilitch assembled a team of confidants to evaluate the situation.
“My general opinion on dimensions is that I would prefer to be on one side of the aisle or the other,” Harris said Dec. 6 at the winter meetings in San Diego. “I would prefer to have the opportunity to have some asymmetry in the environments that we’re playing. Whether we are on one side of the aisle as a pitcher’s park, or on the other side of the aisle as a hitter’s park, we have the opportunity to build a team a certain way to take advantage of the dimensions 81 times a year, because we…