What to expect at the dog-friendly Tigers baseball games
Bark at the Park is a series of Tigers baseball games that allow dogs. This was the first year that I attended, although they’ve done this for a few years now. And to be honest, it was my first Tigers game ever. Now I can’t imagine watching a game any other way! And the best part is that it supports the Michigan Humane Society. So you enjoy a game with your bestie and help other dogs as well. Bark at the Park is sponsored by Pet Supplies Plus.
I had a lot of questions about the event so I thought I’d share our experiences to help you decide if this is the right event for your pup, what vaccines are required, and how to get the most out of your evening.
Only 4 games this year are eligible for the Bark at the Park tickets – the last two games still have seats available at the time of publication. Those games are Monday, Sept 16, against the Baltimore Orioles and Tuesday, Sept 24, against the Minnesota Twins.
Before you can purchase tickets you must agree to a liability waiver. This includes the rights for your images to be taken and used by Detroit Tigers, Inc, and you are assuring them that your dog is well behaved, up to date on annual shots, and will be kept on a leash during the entire event.
After agreeing to the waiver (you’ll also be asked to print it out, sign it, and bring it with you to the game) you can access the tickets. Dog access is limited to the mezzanine seats. You won’t have the ability to choose your seats but at the last game people shuffled around a bit as there were some empty areas in the mezzanine.
You must buy a separate ticket for your dog. One dog per 18+ person is allowed. Even though we have two dogs that would love to go we only bring one so that we can have more control, and honestly, so I can go take photos of all the dogs at the event.
Each ticket costs $14-$19 (plus any handling fees, ours had a $3.50 per ticket fee with electronic delivery). Right now the MN Twins tickets cost $14 and the Baltimore Orioles tickets are $19. I think it costs less the earlier you buy.
Tickets are delivered electronically, you must download the MLB Ballpark app to access them (unless you’ve requested to pick up at will call which is also an option). Download the app and make sure your ticket account is linked (via the email you used when purchasing the tickets) before you go to the game. It took me a few minutes to get it all set up and you don’t want to try doing this while in line with a lot of people waiting behind you! If you run into any issues with the app you can call 313-471-2200.
All tickets must be purchased in advance, there are no tickets available at the gates. And these events do sell out pretty quickly so if you want to go, get your tickets now!
To attend a Bark at the Park event your dog must have a valid rabies vaccination and you will need to show proof before you can enter the game. I found it a little confusing as some of the original communication from the event mentioned several other vaccination requirements but I think they’ve cleared it up now and I can confirm that it is only the rabies vaccination that they require.
We wanted to take our puppy to the first game but we wanted to wait as long as possible to give her the rabies vaccination. We ended up getting the vaccination the morning of the game and were able to enter the park with no problems but I would recommend getting the vaccination at least a few days in advance. Especially since any vaccination can make your dog tired or have a rare reaction that you wouldn’t want to discover while at a baseball game.
All dogs must be on a leash and no retractable leashes are allowed. Again, you cannot use a retractable leash within the ballpark. Amen!
Dogs do not have to be spayed or neutured but please use common sense and do not bring a dog that could be going into heat. The future Bark in the Park games depend on keeping everyone safe.
Every dog must be wearing a collar with an identification tag with a name and contact information. Again, pretty common sense and side note – your dog should also be microchipped. As a volunteer with a dog rescue group we have sometimes gotten a dog home before the owner knew it was missing because the dog was chipped. It’s a very inexpensive insurance policy.
What can/can’t you bring to the game?
Backpacks and large bags are not allowed. Your bag must be smaller than 16” x 16” x 8”. You can view the standard prohibited/allowed items on the Tigers website, here: https://www.mlb.com/tigers/ballpark/information/security
Remember – no retractable leashes!
What should you bring to the game?
Bring doggie bags with you. There is an outdoor grass carpet area for the dogs to relieve themselves on but not all dogs will like that so please make sure that your dog has been walked/had a chance to go to the bathroom before the game.
There were plenty of dog water dishes set out around the park. If you don’t want your dog to drink from them bring your own. You are allowed to bring in factory sealed bottles of water (the clear kind like you buy at a grocery store).
I brought a shoulder bag with a blanket (for me, it was a May game), slober towel (we have a newfoundland), an unopened bottle of water, a collapsible dog water bowl, doggie bags, and some dog treats. And of course I brought my camera!!!!! Check the lens restrictions at the link above.
Want to arrange your parking before the game? Follow this link to see locations and pricing of available parking. Or use the ParkWhiz website, it appears that both have the same pricing.
How to enter the park
The gates open at 5:30pm. All dogs must enter via Gate B. This is the southwest entrance at the corner of Witherell Street and E Adams Ave. The dog check in area closes at 8pm, but you’ll want to get there much earlier to get the most out of your adventure.
There is a four step process to enter the park. I recommend that if you have at least two people in your group have one person wait in the security line while the other person checks off the other steps.
Check in at a table with your name and hand over your printed and signed waiver.
Take your vet records with proof of valid rabies vaccination to the table where the vets are located. You do not need the actual rabies vaccine certificate, just proof from the vet that it has been done on their records. They will check your name off the list. You will receive a slip of paper once you’ve completed these two steps and you will need this paper to complete step 3.
Join your group in the security line, make friends as you wait, and then hand over your paper as you approach the metal detectors. You’ll need to open your bags and go through the detectors.
Open the MLB Ballpark app on your phone so they can scan your tickets. Paper/printed out tickets are not accepted unless you picked them up from will call.
And you’re in!!! The whole process was very smooth and easy.
At the game
Once you’re in you’ll go up the two flights of stairs to the Mezzanine area. This is where all the action is.
Immediately at the top of the stairs you’ll go down the somewhat narrow walkway. This area can get a little crazy at the beginning of the event so if it’s a bit overwhelming for your dog keep walking through until the space opens up. The Tigers mascot will be there so you can get some photos.
On your left will be a one-way area to check out the vendor booths and official photography station. There are several pet food companies handing out samples and a photo station with a Tigers/Michigan Humane Society backdrop. The line was pretty long at the beginning of the game so you can either wait and watch everyone walk by or come back later.
Tip – there is a second group area across from the food court where you can also get the food samples and a dog play area. This is where the outdoor “bathroom” carpet is located, along with some dog pools if your dog needs to cool off.
Once you’ve taken in all the festivities you can grab your food and find your seat. Or you can hang out in the dog areas and meet all kinds of dogs and admire their outfits.
Bark at the Park Tiger’s games can be fun for your whole family, including your favorite family member – your dog!
Have you been to any of the Bark at the Park Tiger’s games? What did you think? And let me know if I’ve missed anything. And don’t forget to show some love to the sponsor of Bark at the Park, Pet Supplies Plus.
Keep an eye out for me if you’ll be attending the next games and I’ll take some photos of your dogs at the event.
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