BY: RICKY LINDSAY, STAFF REPORTER
April is a month that Detroit sports fans have come accustomed to over the years. As baseball season roars to a return, hockey and basketball seasons enter the stretch run of their regular seasons. This week, FOX Sports Detroit celebrated their sixth annual ‘April in the D’ event with life sized bobble heads of players from each team participating in the program located in the city throughout the month.
“’April in the D’ is obviously one of our biggest months because we have over 40 games on air, so all three teams are playing, the Tigers, Pistons, and Red Wings,” said Courtney Welch, manager of social media and communications for FOX Sports Detroit.
Each team participating in the program decided upon which players would participate in FSD’s event.
“We worked with the teams on that,” said Welch at the unveiling of the Cabrera and Verlander bobble heads. “We worked with the Tigers, they helped select the two players we have here with Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera, and the same thing for the Pistons.”
The Tigers chose two of their All Stars in Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander, the Pistons are represented by Brandon Knight and Greg Monroe, and the Red Wings turned back the clock with alumni Kris Draper and Nicklas Lidstrom. According to Welch, the Red Wings selected the players that would participate in this event after their “Operation Bobblehead” program this year.
The six bobble heads are spread throughout the downtown area for fans to visit. Welch explained that the locations were decided after collaboration efforts between the city of Detroit and FOX Sports Detroit.
“We worked with the city on that. That was a long process in terms of figuring out the locations of where they suggested as well as the different sites where we were looking at.”
Cabrera and Verlander are stationed at the GM Renaissance Center, Lidstrom is located at Campus Martius, while Draper resides in Grand Circus Park. Knight and Monroe are located at Rivard Plaza on the riverfront and Rosa Parks Transit Center respectively.
The addition of bobble heads in Detroit not only promotes ‘April in the D,’ but promotes the city and its tourism efforts. Fans that will be visiting can view the locations of bobble heads with the help of an interactive map on foxsportsdetroit.com.
“Fans are more excited and we wanted to do something that got people out into the city,” said Welch. “It gives people a good reason to come downtown.”
Whether or not this will become an annual event put on by FOX Sports Detroit remains unseen, but a successful showing could help that decision.
“We would love to; our goal is to continue this, creating a little tradition,” said Welch. “We want to see how this year goes.” The bobble heads will stay in Detroit until the beginning of May.