DETROIT (CN) – Wrecking crews resumed demolishing historic Tiger Stadium on Monday, after a Wayne County judge refused to stop the destruction while the Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy appealed. Tiger Stadium, formerly known as Briggs Field, opened on April 20, 1912 – the same day as Fenway Park.
The Conservancy sued the City of Detroit and its Economic Development Corp. on Monday, saying it had a Memorandum of Understanding with the city allowing it to try to find another use for the old stadium, where fans saw Ty Cobb, Al Kaline and other Tiger greats.
In April, the city told the Conservancy it needed $24,000 for security at the park through the end of June, and the Conservancy says it paid up. Nonetheless, the Conservancy says, the city informed it on June 2 that it had not complied with the MOU, and said it would go ahead with the demolition.
The Detroit Free Press reported today that the destruction has begun, after Wayne County Judge Prentiss Edwards lifted a temporary restraining order he had issued on Friday. He refused to extend the order while the Conservancy appealed.
A leader of the Conservancy told the Free-Press that the fight was over.
Tiger Stadium was home to the Tigers from 1912 until 1999, and to the Detroit Lions from 1938 to 1974. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.
Detroit’s newly elected Mayor Dave Bing – a former NBA star – told the Free Press he would not interfere with the decision of the Economic Development Corp. The EDC told Judge Edwards that the Conservancy had been given several extensions to meet deadlines for the $27 million redevelopment project it proposed.
Much of the stadium was demolished last year. The recent flurry of court activity and demolition will finish the job.