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For old Tiger Stadium site, is it nostalgia vs. progress?

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Old Tiger Stadium site in Corktown Old Tiger Stadium site in Corktown
DETROIT (WJBK) -

The field where Tiger Stadium once stood holds a lot of memories for a lot of people. That is exactly why the Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy does not want to let it go.

"This is one of the most important baseball sites in America," says Thomas Linn from the organization.

However, it is also in a prime location owned by the City of Detroit in a neighborhood that is ripe for more development.

That is where Geroge Jackson and the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation come into the picture. They say The Parade Company had a plan that included a corporate headquarters and warehouse facility along Trumbull and much needed retail and apartments along Michigan Avenue.

To make the project a reality, they need space, and that would require developing a portion of the original baseball field.

"This is not a knee jerk reaction or just a purely sentimental journey for us," Jackson says. "It is a business decision, and it is one that we have to take into account a lot of factors, also needs of the community."

Jackson says the Conservancy would not approve the plan because they want to maintain the original field. Without their approval, developers cannot tap into nearly $4 million earmarked by Senator Carl Levin.

"It was very clear that from day one, not only since this concept was in play, but from day one they have insisted on basically taking up almost the entire field," Jackson says.

"We've never said no to anything," Linn says.

Jackson says the plan included a provision to build ten Little League baseball fields across the city that would be operated by Detroit PAL, including one on the Tiger Stadium site.

"There's nine acres, and there's lots of room on the site, and you could have all sorts of youth athletic activities on the site, as well as still have commercial on the southeast corner," Linn says.

"With compromise, I think that we may have a concept that we could pursue and work together to make happen. We're open to that," Jackson says.

The Parade Company did release a statement confirming that the company is in the process of searching for a new home in Detroit, but it did not say much else.

From talking to all parties involved, it appears that any development coming to the Tiger Stadium site is still a long ways off.

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