The Tigers play their spring games at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Fla.
When it comes to spring training stadiums in Florida, it doesn’t get better than Joker Marchant.
That’s the word from BallparkDigest.com, which named the spring training home of the Detroit Tigers the best Grapefruit League ballpark of 2019 on Monday.
Officially Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium, the longtime home of the Tigers in Lakeland won over Clearwater’s Spectrum Field, spring home of the Philadelphia Phillies, in the finals of a bracketed online competition.
“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 in a statement.
“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.”
Joker Marchant Stadium opened in 1966, but has undergone multiple renovations since then, most recently in 2017.
Part of the historic TigerTown training complex, the stadium now has 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.
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.
“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.
Myers also noted the partnership between the Tigers, city of Lakeland, Polk County, the state of Florida and Publix Corporation, among others.
LECOM Park in Bradenton, the spring home of the Pittsburgh Pirates, won the honor in 2018.