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Sports

Historic Tiger Stadium diamond could be replaced with artificial turf

navin_filed_grounds_crew.jpeg
courtesy of Dave Mesrey
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It was 2009 when the wrecking ball took down Tiger Stadium.

Since then, volunteers who love that historic site at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull have cut the grass and maintained the field. They call themselves The Navin Field Grounds Crew, a tribute to the ballpark's name a century ago.

Now they fear their beloved grass could be replaced by artificial turf.

"To a lot of people this is truly sacred ground," says Dave Mesrey of the Grounds Crew.

The Detroit Police Athletic League is proposing to make the site theirs. Replacing the grass with artificial turf would be an important step for their goal of having the site open 250 days a year to host a variety of sports and events.

But Mesrey says the grass is one of the last remaining parts of the stadium, and preserving its history is important.

"The infield diamond is still in the same configuration it has been since April 20, 1912."

The Grounds Crew started a petition to keep the natural grass and it has already garnered strong support from the community.

Mesrey says he hopes the city will reconsider their proposal for artificial turf.

"A lot of people say this is the field of dreams."

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