Thousands of fans sporting Navy Blue and orange filed into Joker Marchant Stadium for the 86th season of Detroit Tiger Spring Training. Home of the ballpark is Lakeland, FL. or better wise known as TigerTown USA.
The Tigers have been holding Spring Training in Lakeland since 1934, and moved to Joker Marchant Stadium in 1966, making their over eight decades in Lakeland the longest-lasting relationship between a major league baseball team and a current Spring Training host city.
With the weather about 40 degrees warmer than Detroit this time of year, it’s no wonder why the stadium is always packed with Tiger fans. Located right between Tampa and Orlando it’s also an easy drive for opposing fans to make.
A beautifully manicured exterior welcomes fans to the park into an equally beautiful interior. No seat in the stadium is a bad view, from the outfield grassy berm seating, to bleacher seats, to the elevated large beach chairs on the outfield patio bar area.
The bullpens for the Tigers and the opposing team are next to each other directly behind the right-center field wall. Fans can look down into them from the wide walkway above their location.
History of the Tigers can be found throughout the stadium and even on the roads leading to it. The single-lane streets outside the stadium are named for past Tiger greats, Kaline Drive and Horton Way.
The six suites at the ballpark are named after a different Tiger legend including, Ty Cobb, Charlie Gehringer, Hank Greenberg, Willie Horton, Al Kaline and Hal Newhouser.
Joker Marchant Stadium has multiple club levels for fans to enjoy. These include the Pepsi Pavilion in right field, Club 34 which offers food and beverages, and the Outback Dugout which is the perfect place to snag player autographs before and after the game.
There are six suites on either side of the press box. Two are on the first base side of home plate and four extend down the third baseline and all six have balconies with stadium seats.
Fans also have the option to upgrade their ticket to watch batting practice on the main field or walk along the backside of the stadium to see any members of the AA and AAA teams practicing.
Whether fans are here for a long time or just for a few days, making it over to Lakeland to see the Tigers play is a great experience for those of all ages.