DETROIT -

With Opening Day less than two weeks away -- it's Monday, March 31 -- crews at Comerica Park are working to prepare the field for the 2014 Detroit Tigers season.

Because of the placement of a hockey rink on the surface of the field for the NHL's Winter Classic on New Years Day, all of the sod in the stadium was taken out. It will have to be replaced in less than two weeks.

The harsh, cold winter has hardened the infield ground, which is not a unique problem. For example, U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, which is home to the White Sox, is under 30 inches of permafrost. Crews there are using heaters to defrost the ballpark's ground.

Watch: Chicago White Sox stadium needs defrosting

Crews are hoping for warmer temperatures before the home opener so the field can soften up a bit and be ready for Major League Baseball.

The Tigers will open the season against the Kansas City Royals at 1 p.m. on March 31 at Comerica Park.

Meanwhile, Comerica Park's "Pepsi Porch" in right field is getting a $4 million makeover. The project will include adding 426 new seats, new furniture and adding fire features. A new bar, "the New Amsterdam 416," also is being brought into the park.

Special section: Detroit Tigers baseball

Images: Crews prepare Comerica Park for Opening Day

Published On: Mar 19 2014 02:16:46 PM EDT
Comerica Park preps 1
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