As part of a new $3 million sponsorship by Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix Super Markets, the spring training home for the Detroit Tigers will be renamed the Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. The sponsorship, to start in time for the 2017 Major League Baseball spring training season next February, will fund numerous improvements at the 8,500-seat stadium.
“Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium will symbolize how deeply rooted and invested both the Tigers and Publix are within the Lakeland community for many years to come,” said Duane McLean, executive vice president of business operations of the Detroit Tigers.
The Publix sponsorship, which will be payable over the next 15 years, will assist with a redesign and updates to the complex.
- Separate Major and Minor League clubhouses
- Improved and realigned seating areas and additional shading
- A 360-degree walk around layout to allow fans to be in constant view of the game
- Upgraded concession and new vending areas, and expanded press box facilities
- A new artificial field surface in the Minor League complex
- A new team cafeteria
- Various improvements throughout the complex to assist in player development and rehabilitation, including new training area just beyond right field
“We have a dedicated team overseeing construction of the stadium and once the project is complete, we will have one of the finest spring training facilities in all of Major League Baseball, ” says Howard Wiggs, mayor of Lakeland.
Named in honor of the late Joker Marchant, a former Lakeland Parks and Recreation Director, Joker Marchant Stadium was used by the Detroit Tigers for spring training for the first time in 1966. It is also used for college games and the Detroit Flying Tigers, a minor-league team. Publix Super Markets’ naming rights will continue through 2036.