Tigers celebrate another three million fans

Tigers celebrate another three million fans

Tigers celebrate another three million fans
DETROIT -- For the fans, and for Comerica Park, this has been an historic season for the Tigers.

For the third time in franchise history and third time under Jim Leyland, the Tigers surpassed the three million tickets sold mark.

"It's unbelievable," Leyland said.

This season, the Tigers have seen 41 percent of games sold out at Comerica Park (33 of 81 games). It started on April 5, when on Opening Day against the Red Sox, Detroit drew 45,027 fans -- the second-largest crowd in Opening Day history and largest at Comerica Park. And two days later, 44,710 -- another record-setting crowd -- pack the park once again.

Since then, the fans have continued piling in. On Thursday, in the regular-season home finale, the Tigers hit three million fans for the first time since 2008, when a record 3,202,645 tickets were sold. It also happened in 2007, the year after Detroit went to the World Series.

Leyland said he certainly wasn't taking any credit for it, deferring to owner Mike Ilitch's willingness to bring in stars like Ivan Rodriguez, Magglio Ordonez, Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. But he took pride in it happening under his watch.

"I'm proud of that. It's nice to be part of that," he said. "This has been some of the best times in Tigers' history it seems to me. Spirit-wise, fan-wise, emotion, so at least I've been here during that time. That's pretty good.

"Three million, when I thought about three million to be honest with you ... I thought of the Dodgers, the Cardinals, the Yankees. To be honest with you, I didn't think of Detroit. Now that it's happened three times, it's pretty impressive. These people are unbelievable."