The one thing we can give Detroit a pat on a back for

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One of my bosses told me that there are only two holidays that he and his girlfriend celebrate, St. Patrick’s Day and Opening Day. Which to me meant that he pretty much stayed drunk for the entire month of March.

I don’t think most Detroiters take holiday celebration to that extreme, but I must give Detroit a pat on the back for having an extreme sports culture  (despite being so passionately disappointed in our teams) and businesses smartly responding to that.

For example, today is Opening Day in The D  #OpeningDayInTheD (if this isn’t a twitter hashtag by now, save me). My fellow marketing analyst here at DRoots is like, “Everyone I know is pumped for today. I don’t think they are even going to the game. They’re tailgating and hitting up bars.”

Detroit sports bars owners have done the best job of making sure that their bars are the one category of stuff in Detroit I can name run off an entire list off the top of my head: Cheli’s, Hockeytown Cafe, Bookies, Nemos, THE BIGGEST BW3 IN THE NATION WHUUUUT [I know I just called in BW3, not BDubs. My Ohio is showing. I’m sorry], the entire row of nameless/faceless sporty-pubby places in Greektown.

I can even imagine the Ole Shillelagh being open now, because we’re a city of shameless day drinkers on our holidays.

And a lot of these bars are newer developments too — Cheli’s, Hockeytown, Bookies, Buffalo Wild Wings, are all either new or have been redone in the past 10 years or so and don’t seem to be riding the strugglebus with attracting customers.

With that said, if you are going to make an investment in Detroit, do not open a sports bar.

I just shocked the hell out of you right? You may be thinking, “If sports events take the fear out of people and make them flock to Detroit, why would you not open a sports bar? You have just listed tons of successes!”

They are all successes, yes. The market has been saturated! I can give a Detroit business a pat on the back for fully embracing the sports-entertainment market, but there are other things that need to be developed optimize the experience. Given, I’ve never been Downtown on Opening Day, but I was down there for the playoffs last year, so yeah, here, just take it:

THINGS DOWNTOWN DETROIT NEEDS ON SPORTING EVENT DAYS:

  • Parking. Not gonna lie, this is an all around Downtown Detroit problem (and I have some secret Detroit parking strategies that I’ve developed over time), but I’m really surprised no one has jumped on this. There are so many dilapidated buildings take up space– this is one of those moments were it’s ok to “pave paradise and put up a parking lot.”
  • Need Moar Shuttles. I know Nemo’s is a classic and I love to see them toting ’round people. But the smells I smelled from being packed in butt-to-face suggests to me that Nemos and the Peoplemover aren’t enough to handle these crowds.

Given, these are the only two things I can think of off the top, but I’m sure more will come to me. Or someone please contribute because you know what I mean here. What kind of business other than a bar would make your experience better? I’m unna make this short because this wasn’t my best blog entry, but GO TIGS! Welcome back and Happy Opening Day!

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