DETROIT -- The Tigers held their "What's New at Comerica Park" event on Friday, unveiling new promotional items and ballpark food that will be available during the upcoming season.Executive chef Mark Szubeczak presented his yearly smorgasbord of new taste options, while the promotions department had samples of most of the
DETROIT -- The Tigers held their "What's New at Comerica Park" event on Friday, unveiling new promotional items and ballpark food that will be available during the upcoming season.
Executive chef Mark Szubeczak presented his yearly smorgasbord of new taste options, while the promotions department had samples of most of the giveaways for the 2018 home schedule. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1968 World Series team will be among the promotional highlights.
"We're highlighting Mickey Lolich, Al Kaline and Bill Freehan with bobbleheads," Tigers promotions and special events manager Haley Kolff said. Another 1968 hero, Willie Horton, will get a bobblehead, and there will be a gnome for new manager Ron Gardenhire and replica jerseys for newly elected Hall of Famers Alan Trammell and Jack Morris.
Ferris State and Michigan Tech have joined the "University Days" events schedule, which already included 10 Michigan academic institutions. Also new this year are similar events for high schools in the Detroit Catholic High School League (CHSL) -- including hats for each existing school and many of the shuttered schools -- and several suburban school districts.
The list of new food items includes burritos and burrito bowls, halal knockwurst, an ode to the Detroit dog, Nutella and apple pie egg rolls, and a brisket-and-cheddar-stuffed cornbread muffin.
"They're just what fans gravitate to. I like going back to straightforward good food, like Sy Ginsberg corned beef [sandwich] and Guernsey [Dairy ice cream]-stuffed donut. It's just a fun play on food," Szubeczak said. "I'm not the guy putting corn flakes or Froot Loops on a hot dog or whatever, I'm more straightforward food, and I think fans like that. I think they appreciate it. It's just fun playing with all the different [ingredients]. … I think the fans are going to like it. It's kicked up."
Like any artist, Szubeczak admits that even though he's constantly on the search for new ideas from all over the world, inspiration for his new culinary creations comes at the oddest times.
"Yeah, or I take a picture of something I see and I'll save it," Szubeczak said, noting that the menu was changed for the Tiger Den/Beer Hall when the idea hit him in July. "When you have something, you have to write your ideas down and bring it to the table."
Matthew Mowery is a contributor to MLB.com.