COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. (WZZM) -- Six weeks after a fire ripped through the Fifth Third Ballpark, Whitecaps fans came out to support their team Saturday.
The Whitecaps held an open house and sold opening season tickets, a first for the team. Loyal fans showed up before the doors opened.
Up until Saturday, Whitecaps fans' perception was the fire that destroyed a section of the ballpark this winter.
"It's surreal watching it on the news, watching it burn," said one fan.
"I was crushed, devastated," said Ryan Cupp.
But now, they can put the last six weeks in the past and look forward to the next seven weeks, the 8th of April.
"And now being here, it's just different."
"Never a doubt we'd be open for open day, ready to get back to baseball.
The first 1,000 people in line for tickets received a free t-shirt, and they went quickly.
"Even though I'm hurt I got up early and got here," said Greg Chavez, who arrived on crutches.
The long-time fan and his friends
For the kids, hockey and s'mores are a good enough substitute for now.helped the Whitecaps sell 1,200 opening game tickets and thousands more regular season tickets in five hours Saturday.
"We are ready for baseball season, even in the cold weather," said Jared and Merrie Herron.
Now they have reason to count down the days.
"Their dedication to West Michigan's team I think it's going to be all the more exciting with the re-build," they said.
Tickets are now available online.