May 6, 2013

The Special Events at Comerica Park Keep Getting More Special

Between this post and the last one I wrote here at the Fungo, I hope I’m not giving the impression that I’m against ballpark promotions.

Far from it. I want a t-shirt, bobblehead, mini-bat or commemorative cup as much as any baseball fan.

tigers_glutenI think the Detroit Tigers have been pretty darn creative with their promotions and theme nights over the past few seasons. Disco Night, Star Wars Night, Country Night, etc.

Even if you’re not at Comerica Park enjoying the events, you get some fun visuals on TV — especially if Mario Impemba and Rod Allen join in the fun (often with creative Photoshopping by the Fox Sports Detroit production crew.)

I especially like the ethnic heritage nights that the Tigers hold because they highlight and celebrate the many backgrounds and nationalities that live in the metro Detroit area. I certainly haven’t lived everywhere, but I’ve lived in a few different places now and can say that other cities are sorely lacking in the sort of ethnic diversity and varied cultural backgrounds that you can find in Detroit.

In looking over the special events schedule this season (courtesy of an e-mail from the Tigers), a couple of occasions do stand out.

Zubazpalooza looks pretty fun. I’m sure it’s a celebration for those who actually held onto those zebra-striped monstrosities from the early 90s. It would be even better if Prince Fielder took the field in some Zubazs, as he did during batting practice as a kid.

But how about the event on June 17? “Gluten Free Package” night?

Seriously? This is a thing?

I understand that gluten-free diets are the trendy thing nowadays. The increasing number of items at grocery stores and restaurants will tell you that. I do wonder, however, how many people actually need to follow a gluten-free diet because they suffer from celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

But hey, if you feel better by eating gluten-free, that’s all that matters.  Maybe I should try it.

I guess my point — I was getting to it eventually — is being surprised gluten-free eating is such a thing that baseball teams such as the Tigers are creating theme nights based around it. I get that there’s not a “Vegetarian Night” or “Paleo Diet Night” because people could create those sorts of meals from what’s already available at the concession stands. Well, presumably. I’m not saying it would be easy.

Perhaps the Tigers feel like they missed the boat on the low-carb thing and should’ve had a “Low Carb Package” night years ago, including hot dogs without the buns and Michelob Ultra beer.

Maybe I shouldn’t poke fun at this. Are the Tigers providing a service to those who have felt underserved? Are you gluten-free with a gluten-free family and excited about June 17 at Comerica Park? I’m just trying to learn here; I’m trying to understand. Help me bridge the gap.

4 Comment(s)

  1. Farris Khan (@BobbleHeadGuru) | May 6, 2013 | Reply

    It is hard to eat very healthy at Comerica Park.

    I wish they had a few more choices. The concession stand behind RF (where my seats are) had really nice Grill Cheese and Turkey/Cheese sandwiches which I enjoyed several times last year.

    Now they have the most unhealthy options you can imagine… Deep fried Peanuts, Bacon a stick, etc.

    What would be cool is if they used the LF and CF SRO area for a “Boot Camp” Crossfit day. Sell tickets for just those areas for people who would be instructed to do push ups, situps, burpees, box jumps, lunges, squats, leg lifts, jumping jacks etc between innings. Give them a joga mat as give away. Maybe have them do one lap around the concourse in the middle of the game.

    Perhaps have the whole crowd joint in for a couple of the moves. Squats would work nice even with seats.

  2. Ian Casselberry | May 6, 2013 | Reply

    I would definitely do some tire flips for some tickets. OK, maybe some of that other stuff too. Just no octopus tosses outside the ballpark.

  3. Mike McClary | May 6, 2013 | Reply

    My daughter has a significant gluten allergy and this would be a huge help if we were to attend a lot of Tigers games. The D-backs have gluten-free food stands at every game, so when we do venture to Chase Field it’s nice that she can eat stuff from the ballpark and not have to bring food from home.

    But would a special series featuring gluten-free food be a draw for me? No.

  4. @wardb4 | May 8, 2013 | Reply

    Being that my fiancé has Celiac disease, I get a bit hostile when the general public is insensitive about such diets. Coining the gluten-free diet as a “fad” or “health kick” isn’t exactly accurate, although it may be true to some uninformed dieters. It may be the trendy diet for some, but it’s an unfortunate necessity for those unlucky few. (Imagine getting severe food poisoning anytime you eat wheat, barley, or rye.)
    The truth of the matter is, as many as 1 in 100 Americans may be sensitive to gluten and not realize it. It can be the cause for numerous health complications and is often misdiagnosed as IBS.
    Although I don’t think it warrants a “gluten free day” at the ballpark, it certainly deserves some attention at Comerica. A simple “gluten free menu” would be perfectly fine, similar to what the WhiteCaps in GR are offering these days.
    Poke fun at those who follow the diet as a trend, but please remember it’s not a trendy diet when you have to follow it to survive.

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