The 2017 season will mark the 81st year of the Detroit Tigers using Joker Marchant stadium in Lakeland, Florida, as their spring training home. With all that time and history between the team and the city of Lakeland, it was inevitable that at some point Joker Marchant would need to upgrade itself in order to meet the Tigers’ modern needs.
Following the 2016 spring, the stadium began a year-long, $40 million process of getting the Tigers’ spring digs up to snuff for 2017. Since the stadium also serves as the summer home to the Tigers’ Class A affiliate team the Lakeland Flying Tigers, the new upgrades are not purely for the benefit of the major league players and staff.
Some of the new additions include a brand new administration and clubhouse building, a new 30-foot scoreboard, and a fancy 7,000-square-foot weight room where players can get into top form.
This week, as the team headed south to their spring home, glimpses inside the renovated space started to emerge, giving fans unrestricted access to the new Joker Marchant Stadium.
From the outside, their are obvious changes to the dugouts, which have been deepened and made to mirror those in Detroit.
The outfield scoreboard, at 30-feet, doesn’t come close to dwarfing the 80-foot scoreboard at Coca-Cola Field, home of the Blue Jays affiliate Buffalo Bisons, but it’s still a big upgrade. And the city of Lakeland itself was quick to brag about the new addition.
New scoreboard is being installed TODAY at @LkdFlyingTigers Joker Marchant Stadium. Can't wait for @tigers' #springtraining! #baseball #lkld pic.twitter.com/p2sKToXxPH— City of Lakeland (@lakelandgov) January 27, 2017
We have arrived at the renovated Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. Live report at 6 on @WXYZDetroit before pitchers and catchers begin pic.twitter.com/gPCJ6Yklx4— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) February 13, 2017
Of course a new scoreboard looks best in a renovated stadium, and Joker Marchant’s Publix Field is looking absolutely stunning after the upgrades.
Some views from inside the renovated Joker Marchant Stadium. pic.twitter.com/lMwkcM8N1P— Evan Woodbery (@evanwoodbery) February 14, 2017
The new administration building also houses the upgraded Tigers clubhouse.
The new Tigers headquarters at Joker Marchant Stadium. Crews still painting and finishing details. pic.twitter.com/WmLYthSF5R— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) February 14, 2017
The new clubhouse itself is stunning and state of the art, really taking advantage of showing off the old-English D logo. The on-site weight room is no joke.
This place is incredible. Check out photos of the renovations to Tiger Town and Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. pic.twitter.com/pfGD9ee27P— Tigers PR (@DetroitTigersPR) February 15, 2017
Pitcher and catcher workout in newly constructed weight room at Joker Marchant Stadium. #lkld pic.twitter.com/oy2qgGRT1r— City of Lakeland (@lakelandgov) February 14, 2017
Take a look behind the scenes at all the work that has gone into this ongoing project.
Today Joker Marchant opens the doors of the Tigers clubhouse in Lakeland but we were there first. #Pacifica pic.twitter.com/gT5joAtwNl— FOX Sports Detroit (@FOXSportsDet) February 14, 2017
Looking great, Lakeland!
Checking out progress at Joker Marchant stadium. Crews are putting finishing touches to everything and the Tigers are moving in gear. @BN9 pic.twitter.com/JV7kqhWZxb— Stephanie Claytor (@ClaytorReports) February 3, 2017
The #Tigers love their upgraded Spring Training home.— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) February 15, 2017
"One of the best in the game now," Brad Ausmus said. ➡️ https://t.co/aoPzzM3teh pic.twitter.com/c9GrRQYEro