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Detail of Sam Crawford baseball card, Library of Congress Collection.

One of Detroit’s unofficial holidays is the home opener for the Detroit Tigers. Tiger fans near and far gather in downtown Detroit for the kickoff of baseball season and unofficially, spring.

There’s a lot more to the home opener April 7 than just the game against the Boston Red Sox at 1:10 p.m. There are tailgates, bar parties, food specials and more around the ballpark.

Let’s get started.

1. The Detroit Home Opener Festival

If you’re looking for a turnkey party experience, the Detroit Home Opener Festival might be your ticket. It’s going to be in a parking lot (they call it their “festival grounds”) that’s located about a block away from Comerica Park on Madison Avenue. They’re boasting they have Detroit’s largest heated party tents and open air patios, as well as have full bars with DJs, bands, games, and if you feel fancy you can get yourself a private cabana. They also have party buses coming in from the suburbs if you don’t want to drive down. Their party starts at 9 a.m. and tickets starts at $20. More at DetroitHomeOpener.com.

2. Check Out A New Hot Dog At RedSmoke

On Monroe Street in Greektown is RedSmoke BBQ. The place is pretty tasty, and for opening day they have a special new Andouille hot dog.

The RedSmoke Andouille Dog is their house-made andouille sausage hot link, served in a soft bakery bun, and dressed with ketchup and mustard. It’s served with onion and relish on the side, along with house potato chips, coleslaw and a pickle. Beyond the sausage, they have a full bar and all of that fun stuff. They open at 10:00 a.m. Here’s their website.

3. Hit Up Nemo’s And Their Legendary Tent

Nemo's in Corktown

If you’re a traditionalist when it comes to opening day and still miss when it was in Corktown, Nemo’s is the place to go. The Polish Muslims will be playing in their giant outdoor tent, and this bar is a Detroit classic that’s plastered with memorabilia. They have buses to and from the game. They’re kicking off at 11 a.m. 1384 Michigan Avenue, and their Facebook Event is here.

4. Get Your And Your Friends A Tailgating Parking Spot In Eastern Market

Eastern Market Tailgating

If you have a crew who’s looking to tailgate right, Eastern Market has a set of spaces available for cars and trucks for tailgating. You’re going to want to jump on this quickly if there’s something you want to do as spots fill up fast. It’ll be between $40 and $80 bucks but split among a group that’s nothing and you’ll be saving cheddar by bringing the party with you. More here.

5. Town Pump Tavern Opening Day Tent Party

Kicking off at 6 a.m., Town Pump Tavern, just a couple blocks from Comerica Park, has a tent party going on. They’re sharing that their beers and spirits will include Miller Lite, Griffin Claw Brewing Company (GCBC), Blue Moon Brewing Company, Tito’s, Bayou Rum, Buffalo Trace Distillery, Tequila Corazon and Fireball Whisky. 100 West Montcalm in Detroit. Facebook event here.

6. Slows Bar BQ + Founders Opening Day 

slows bbq

The legendary Michigan brew Founders is coming to a Detroit icon, Slows Bar BQ in Corktown for a special opening day event. On tap will be: KBS, Nitro Breakfast Stout, Sleeper Cell, Red’s Rye, PC Pils, All Day IPA, and Centennial IPA. There’s also going to be a special bbq breakfast sandwich of house sausage, fried egg, cheddar & SC Mustard BBQ Sauce. Starts at 10 a.m. at 2138 Michigan Avenue. Facebook event here.

7. Grand Trunk Pub + New Holland

If New Holland is up your alley, or if you feel like hanging out at a longtime Detroit establishment, Grand Trunk opens their doors at 9 a.m. 612 Woodward.

8. Opening Day In The Belt At The Skip

The 2016 Detroit Tigers Opening Day celebration in Downtown Detroit. People visiting The Skip, a bar located in The Belt. April 8, 2016.

The Skip will be serving up a full bar including their awesome frozen drinks. There will also be satellite bars throughout The Belt that will have a limited drink menu.

If you’re feeling hungry during the day you can head over to one of the food stands inside the Belt and grab some of the food on the special menu:

  • Bratwurst with avocado mayo, shallot, cilantro
  • Lamb Hot Dog with red cabbage slaw, Fresno yogurt
  • Israeli Couscous with radish, cucumber, feta, mint
  • Potato Salad

All ages are welcome inside The Belt, however it goes without saying that only those over 21 will be able to purchase alcoholic beverages at The Skip and the satellite bars. The Opening Day festivities at The Skip will begin at 10:00 a.m. and will continue to 8:00 p.m. DJs Frankie Banks and Dante LeSalle will be spinning.

The Skip is located in The Belt. The Belt is located between Broadway and Library and connects Gratiot and Grand River in Detroit.

9. “Can’t Beat That” Maine Lobster & Prime Rib At Mario’s

So nowhere on any other event did we see lobster listed, so Mario’s in Midtown is the place if you want Maine lobster or prime rib before the game, starting at 11 a.m. After the game, they’ll be raffling tickets for later in the baseball season and have live music. 4222 2nd Avenue. Facebook event here.

10. Basement Burger Bar

Good for an early start as it opens at 7 a.m. and has tasty burgers and two live DJs. 1326 Brush. Website.

11. Opening Day Rockfest At PJ’s Lager House

Remember that this one kicks off after the game! The show itself starts after the game with The Stomp Rockets at roughly 4:30 p.m. The Seatbelts are on at 5:30. Food, booze and music! 1254 Michigan Avenue – Facebook event here.

–BONUS TIP–

Be smart out there. If you’re enjoying one, some, or all of these fine options and you don’t think you can drive, fear not. Check out this deal.

Fans departing Comerica Park will be able to enter a promo code in the Lyft app before requesting a ride. Wallside Windows will pay for half the total cost of Lyft rides up to $30. More on the Wallside Windows website here.

Also, please note – it’s always important to respect your hosts. Here’s our guide of Do’s and Don’ts for opening day.

If you have a suggestion for something we should add to our Tigers home opening day guide, hit up our submission form here.