"Reed's Read" - Whatís New in Motown
by Tom Reed
WMV Web News Cleveland
Story filed May 5, 2000

Detroit doesnít come to the top of anyoneís list of tourist destinations. But some new attractions, and a few older ones, make it worth a visit.

Comerica Park, the new home of the Detroit Tigers, opened this year, replacing the 88-year-old Tiger Stadium. Like Jacobs Field, itís a fan-friendly ballpark seating about 40,000, on the edge of the downtown area. There are no upper deck outfield seats, so patrons have a good view of the cityís skyline. Comerica Park boasts the largest scoreboard in the majors, as well as such non-baseball attractions as a carousel and ferris wheel.

Unlike Jacobs Field, Comerica is not sold out, making it an alternate site to catch an Indians or other AL game. In fact, the Detroit News says the average attendance after the first few games has been less than 25,000, lower at this stage of the season than at any new park opened in the past 15 years. The Tigers' dismal early-season record could have something to do with that. You can get more information about the team, the new park, and even order tickets online from their website.

Under construction nearby is Ford Field, the $300 million domed stadium that will be the new home of the Detroit Lions. Itís scheduled to open in 2002.

Detroit is hoping... you might say betting... that its new casinos will bring in enough tourist dollars to help revitalize the struggling downtown area. The MGM Grand Detroit and the MotorCity Casino are in operation now. A third, the Greektown Casino, has been delayed but is expected to open later this year after some ownership and licensing problems have been ironed out. The two existing casinos are pulling in a combined average of $1.6 million a day, and itís a safe bet that many of those dollars are coming from Ohioans.

As John Herrington reports, the Van Gogh exhibit at the Detroit Institute of Arts is a hit with tourists. If youíre planning to take it in, leave time to explore some of the other treasures at the DIA, the nationís fifth largest art museum. Donít miss the renowned Diego Rivera fresco, Detroit Industry, on four walls of the museumís central court. Their website is www.dia.org.

The Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village in suburban Dearborn has long been the areaís top tourist attraction. Greenfield Village is especially suited for families, with its recreated historic buildings and demonstrations of what American life was like in an earlier era. A good way to make history come alive for children. For more information, check out their website.

No, Detroit is not likely to become a tourist mecca. But it makes a good weekend getaway, and itís about a three-hour drive from Cleveland.

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Copyright 2000 Tom Reed