The Detroit Tigers will train in Lakeland through 2044

The Detroit Tigers will continue spring training for the next 20+ years, and the City of Lakeland will help fund a new team facility. We break it down by the numbers.


Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium

Photo by Tom Hagerty

We may not know what Lakeland will look like over the next 20 years, but one thing’s certain: The Detroit Tigers will still be running Tigertown. The Lakeland City Commission has approved a modification to the team’s lease + use agreement, securing the team a seven-year extension to its lease. The Tigers’ lease now ends on Dec. 31, 2044.

The modification includes a new state-of-the-art facility including dormitories, a cafeteria, and recreation space. Former facilities will be demolished to make room for the new building, including Fetzer Hall and a World War II-era hangar from the former Lodwick School of Aeronautics.

What’s in it for Lakeland? Spring training is about more than just baseball. The month or so that the Tigers train here can bring in around $55 million for Lakeland’s economy.

Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland during an evening baseball game. A dark cloud lingers in the blue sky, blocking the sunset.

Publix Field and Joker Marchant Stadium won’t be affected by the new deal.

Photo by @julio__garza

Let’s break down this new deal by the numbers:

  • $33 million. That’s the total cost to build the new facility.
  • $25 million. That’s the maximum amount of bonds the City of Lakeland will issue the Detroit Tigers for construction, which the Tigers will repay. Why? The City would likely find better financing options as a municipality, and it would essentially own the facility.
  • $8 million. That’s how much total capital the City and the Tigers will put towards construction, with both paying $4 million.
  • $300,000. That’s the Tigers’ annual rent, plus a $274,448 Management Services Fee paid to the City each year.
  • 110. That’s how many years the Tigers will have trained in Lakeland by 2044 — the longest relationship in the MLB.

If you’re already putting on your Tigers gear in celebration, mark your calendar for 2024 spring training from Feb. 24 to March 24 at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium.

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