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Tigers Spring Park Voted Best in Grapefruit League


closeup of home plate at publix field at joker marchant stadium (field in background)

Lakeland, FL (March 18, 2019) | Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium, spring training home of the Detroit Tigers, today was named the best Grapefruit League ballpark of 2019 in the annual Ballpark Digest Best of the Ballparks vote. Fans selected Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium over Spectrum Field, spring home of the Philadelphia Phillies, in the finals of a bracketed online competition at springtrainingonline.com and ballparkdigest.com.

“We know Tigers fans love Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium, and so do so many fans of spring training,” said Ballpark Digest/Spring Training Online publisher Kevin Reichard. “This ballpark represents all the great traditions and history of spring training, and with recent upgrades fans can also enjoy a modern experience. It’s really the best of both worlds.”

“This award means a great deal to all of us with the Detroit Tigers, and we’re honored to be recognized considering the high standard of ballparks throughout the Grapefruit League,” said the Detroit Tigers Director of Florida Operations, Ron Myers. “TigerTown is built on the amazing partnerships we have with the City of Lakeland, Polk County, the State of Florida and Publix Corporation, among many others. With the recently completed renovations, we’re thrilled to offer an unprecedented gameday experience for fans of all ages, and be one of the best value entertainment and tourist options in the area. Thank you to the fans for selecting Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium for this award, and to the experts at Ballpark Digest for providing the honor.”

Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium opened in 1966 as the spring training home of the Detroit Tigers and has been renovated several times since, mostly recently in 2017. Part of the historic TigerTown training complex, Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium is now a state-of-the-art facility with the addition of outfield seating areas, premium group spaces and new administrative and training buildings. The Tigers and Lakeland have the longest active relationship between a club and spring training host city among all teams in Major League Baseball, dating back to 1934 (taking a break during WWII), with the Tigers playing first at Henley Field and then moving to what is now known as Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. As the needs of MLB teams evolved and grew over the years, so did the scale and civic commitment to both TigerTown and Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium, culminating in a 2016-17 renovation that saw the addition of a 360-degree concourse, upgraded seating and new player facilities.

This is not the first time Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium has been honored by Ballpark Digest readers: In 2017 the ballpark, which is also home to the Florida State League’s Lakeland Flying Tigers, was selected as the fans’ choice for best High-A MiLB ballpark.

Voters were asked to choose their favorite Grapefruit League spring training venue in a bracketed vote promoted on both Ballpark Digest and Spring Training Online. The previous winner of the Best of the Ballparks vote for Grapefruit League ballparks: LECOM Park, spring home of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Original Publication: mlb.com