Detroit Tigers Spring Training
Swing and Don't Miss the Tigers
If you're feeling chilled during this long, cold winter, a springtime Central Florida vacation is a great way to thaw out. The weather is mild, the fragrant scent of orange blossoms hangs in the air, and baseball fever is in full swing!
Baseball Fever is Always in Full Swing in Central Florida
For the devoted baseball fan, it doesn’t get much better than spring training in Florida. It’s the chance to experience a different kind of Major League Baseball; the way it was decades ago - before the huge stadiums and inflated ticket prices. Spring training facilities are more intimate and the seats are close to the field, so every seat in the house has a great view of the action. The atmosphere is more relaxed, and the players are more accessible than at a major league stadium. In fact, fans are welcome to interact with the players and have been known to come home with an occasional autograph or two.
Any Detroit Tigers Fans in the House?
Every March, the Detroit Tigers return to sunny central Florida for a little pre-season ball. Their spring training games are played at Joker Marchant stadium in Lakeland, which has been proudly been the Spring Training home of the Detroit Tigers for 80 years - the longest-standing relationship between a major league team and a spring training host city.
Even if you're not a Tigers fan, Lakeland is still the perfect home base for your spring training getaway, with several Florida Major League spring training facilities within about an hours’ drive – including the Atlanta Braves, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Boston Red Sox and the Toronto Blue Jays.
Drawn to Central Florida
The first stop on our Drawn to Central Florida social media campaign tour, was Joker Marchant Stadium and a Detroit Tigers game. Lakeland artist, Josh "Bump" Galletta, describes his time at the game and sketches the stadium.Blog Post & Sketch Video
The following hotels are located just a short distance from Joker Marchant Stadium, dining and shopping.
The Terrace Hotel - This historic full-service hotel is located in the heart of lovely downtown Lakeland, with its close proximity to several unique restaurants and shops.
Insider Tip: Those looking to get in a daily workout will appreciate that the hotel is close to several picturesque lakes with multi-purpose trails including: Lake Mirror, Lake Morton and Lake Hollingsworth.
La Quinta Inn & Suites Lakeland East - This pet-friendly hotel is conveniently located off of I-4 between Tampa and Orlando, and features free Wi-Fi, an outdoor pool and free Bright Side Breakfast®.
Crestwood Suites Lakeland - This extended stay, pet-friendly hotel features free wi-fi, cable, hot breakfast, and a full kitchen.
The Birth of Florida’s Grapefruit League
Central Florida’s tradition of spring training baseball goes back more than 100 years. The Chicago Cubs held the first spring training in Tampa in 1913; many teams followed suit, favoring the temperate weather over the springtime cold temperatures, rain and snow the north is susceptible to. Today, 15 Major League Baseball teams comprise Florida’s Grapefruit League, playing games all across the state during spring training.
Lakeland Flying Tigers : Class A Affiliate of the Detroit Tigers
Lakeland is also home to the Detroit Tigers' Class A Affiliate team, the Lakeland Flying Tigers. The team plays their Florida State League home games in Joker Marchant Stadium at Tigertown, which has been their home since 1967.
Minor League, but Major Fun
Being a local team, the Lakeland Flying Tigers play through August. This means that even if you missed spring training fever, you can still catch a game during the summer on your Central Florida vacation. And you won’t regret it. Lakeland Flying Tigers games are extremely entertaining and fits anyone's budget. Not only do you get to watch great baseball, you get to participate in fun events and promotions. Past themes include Dogs Days of Summer, where man is invited to bring his four-legged best friend out for a night of man’s favorite sport; Bromance Night, where Bros get group discounts, can lounge in a man cave and win manly prizes like fishing gear; and the Annual Wing Ding fundraiser, where every wing you eat helps a cause. The list could go on, but we think you get the point.
On a budget? One of the most popular promotions is "Dollar Days" where tickets are just $1.00 and hot dogs and sodas are just $1.00 as well.
Worried about the summer heat? Don’t. Most games are held in the evening, providing a "cool" way to tend the day.
Fierce College Competition - Where the North Meets the South
Major League Baseball spring training isn’t the only Central Florida baseball spring training tradition. If you are a northerner planning a vacation in Central Florida, you just may get the chance to cheer on your hometown college baseball team during RussMatt Central Florida Collegiate Invitational Baseball.
RussMatt Central Florida Collegiate Invitational Baseball
The annual RussMatt Central Florida Collegiate Invitational is a crowd-pleasing favorite that runs from mid-February through the end of March, and features more than 200 college baseball teams in all divisions (NCAA Div I, II, III, NAIA and JUCO).