DETROIT (AP) -- Crews began the process of tearing down historic Tiger Stadium on Monday.
At least one hole was punched in the side of the stadium, which closed following the 1999 season. A back-hoe could be seen removing trash and other debris from the interior of the old ballpark.
A handful of fans stopped by the site to watch the work.
An Aug. 1 deadline still stands for a nonprofit group seeking to raise enough money to save part of the stadium.
Messages were left with MCM Management Corp. and the Farrow Group, the contractors that received permits last week to begin the demolition.
Robert Tipton, a 47-year-old construction worker from Detroit, came to Tiger Stadium looking to land a job on the demolition crew Monday afternoon. He said he worked on building the Tigers' new home at Comerica Park, as well.
Tipton said it's time the old stadium comes down to "press on to bigger and better things."
"I would love to be one of the operator engineers on this job to tear it down," Tipton said. "That'd be something to tell my kids about."
Fans bought 6,909 pairs of seats from Tiger Stadium worth a total of more than $2 million during a memorabilia auction last year.
The park opened in 1912 as Navin Field and hosted among other things thousands of Tigers games, Babe Ruth's 700th career home run in 1934 and a speech by South African president Nelson Mandela in 1990.