Jay-Z, Eminem to play local ballparks
Shows at Comerica Park, Yankee Stadium set for September
DETROIT -- Comerica Park and Yankee Stadium now have a headline concert this season, and it involves the return of hometown icons. Rap stars Eminem and Jay-Z will team up for two September shows at their respective cities' Major League parks, including the first concert in the history of the new Yankee Stadium.
The pair will perform at Comerica Park on Thursday, Sept. 2, then at Yankee Stadium on Monday, Sept. 13, making it a home-and-home series. In each case, the hometown performer will be the headline act, with the other one opening up the show.
"This is a once-in-a-lifetime set of shows, and I know we're both really going to bring it to our hometowns," said Eminem -- who hails from Detroit -- in a statement. "The fans are going to love this -- and so am I. It's gonna be historic."
Ticket availability for both shows will be announced in the near future.
Both entertainers were on hand at Comerica Park on Wednesday night between games of the day-night doubleheader between the Tigers and Yankees. They took pictures with Detroit manager Jim Leyland and several Tigers players before taking in the game from one of the ballpark suites.
"That was cool," said Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson. "I was hoping [Jay-Z] was going to stay so he could hear one of the songs I walked [to bat] by him. That's one of my favorite artists. It was real good to get to see them in person. I definitely didn't think that I would get a chance to meet them. I was kind of star-struck a little bit."
When told the Tigers will be on the road when the two perform at Comerica Park, Jackson joked that he might have to pull a hamstring.
A Detroit native, Eminem has been one of the biggest names in rap and hip-hop over the past decade. His 2002 movie "8 Mile" chronicled his rise in Detroit and earned him an Academy Award. He still lives in the area, and he is slated to come out with a new album, "Recovery," on June 22.
Eminem's shows in Detroit have always been a headlining event. He played at Comerica Park in 2005 as part of the Anger Management Tour with several other performers. It also marked his last full concert tour. He also played at Ford Field in 2003 and at Joe Louis Arena and the Palace of Auburn Hills several times.
Jay-Z, of course, is no stranger to Yankee Stadium. He performed "Empire State of Mind" with Alicia Keys at the park in 2009 prior to Game 2 of the World Series, a performance that landed on national television.
A full concert, however, is a first for the new Yankee Stadium, which opened last year. Jay-Z is currently touring in support of last year's album, "The Blueprint 3," his 11th album to hit No. 1 on the charts.
"These shows are like a dream come true," Jay-Z said in a statement. "I've always hoped that hip-hop could play any stadium like other genres of music. How perfect is it that Eminem and I get to play our hometowns and show how far the live rap experience has come? Fun and historic -- a great combination all around the board."
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.