Detroit— If Saturday's crowd for Game 2 of the baseball season at Comerica Park is any early indicator, the Tigers could be poised to break the franchise's season attendance record.
A quick search for tickets on Tigers.com for Saturday's game against the Red Sox shows there are no pairs of seats available. There are single seats available, but for multiple tickets, only standing-room tickets still remain.
If that holds true, Detroit might open the home season with back-to-back sellouts for the first time in their storied 112-year history.
According to a search on BaseballReference.com, the Tigers haven't sold out the second home game of the season during the modern era. Attendance figures aren't available from the early 20th century.
Even if Saturday's game is not an official sellout, though, it could end up being the most fans the Tigers ever have seen for the second home game.
The largest Game 2 crowd the Tigers have had at Comerica Park was in 2010, when they drew 35,332 for a game against the Indians.
The largest Game 2 crowd they had at Tiger Stadium was in 1948, when the Tigers drew 41,655, coincidentally also for a game against the Indians. The ballpark was called Briggs Stadium back then.
There are several reasons for Saturday's anticipated big crowd.
For starters, there is massive hype surrounding this team, which has more stars than most — Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. Game 2 also is on a Saturday, when school's out, against a big-draw opponent (Red Sox). Plus, the weather is expected to be pleasant again in this mild spring.
The Tigers already have sold the equivalent of nearly 22,000 full-season tickets for 2012, and a competitive season — they are the overwhelming favorite to win the American League Central and compete for a world championship — could push them over the 3 million mark for just the third season in club history.
Detroit's attendance record was set in 2008, when the team drew 3,202,654. Much of that was from season tickets bought after the team had a busy offseason, acquiring Cabrera, Dontrelle Willis, Edgar Renteria and Jacque Jones. That team, like this team, was a heavy favorite, but the 2008 Tigers ended up being a bust.
The Tigers also passed 3 million in 2007.
Thursday's Opening Day crowd of 45,027 was the largest for an opener at Comerica Park, which opened in 2000.