Lakeland to remain the spring training home of the Detroit Tigers through 2036

Joker Marchant Stadium will receive new upgrades

LAKELAND, Fla. - The Detroit Tigers have reached an agreement to keep their spring training operations in Lakeland.

The Major League Baseball team's current contract with the city, which was signed in 2000, was scheduled to expire on December 31, 2016. The new agreement extends that contract for an additional two decades.

The deal has the Tigers continuing their spring training, rehabilitative program, and Class A Flying Tigers Florida State Team at Joker Marchant Stadium and the TigerTown Complex through 2026.

"This new agreement will ensure the ball club will maintain its winter home in the City of Lakeland for an unprecedented 100 years,” said David Dombrowski, Tigers President, CEO and General Manager. "We are thankful and appreciative of the long-standing relationship with the City of Lakeland, Polk County and the State of Florida."

Part of the deal will see the City of Lakeland spend money to upgrade TigerTown and Joker Marchant Stadium to be competitive to other spring training facilities in Florida and Arizona.

The changes include separating the Major and Minor League clubhouses; upgraded concession and vending areas; improving seating for fans with additional shading; building a 360-degree walk around to allow fans to view the game from anyway in the stadium; expanding the press box facilities; and, installing a new artificial field surface in the minor league complex.

Polk County officials believe the money will be a good investment.

"According to the Florida Sports Foundation, the annual economic impact of the average Major League Baseball spring training operation in Florida is $47 million," said Melony Bell, Chair of the Polk County Tourist Development Council. "We feel strongly that the Tigers have far more impact than that."

"Our hotels, rental homes, restaurants and other recreational facilities benefit during the spring season when the Tigers are in our community," said R. Todd Danzler, Chairman of the Polk Board of County Commissioners. "We appreciate the Detroit Tigers’ long-term commitment to Lakeland."

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