Recreation & Sports
Detroit Tigers Spring Training
Come experience the nostalgia of a Detroit Tigers Spring Training game where players are still accessible, kids are kids and the sun is always shining.
If you’re a diehard Detroit Tigers fan or baseball fan in general, you know there is no better atmosphere for a day at the park than a Central Florida spring training game. Spring training is the closest you can get to the way baseball used to be, the way it should be. Tickets are affordable. Cozy stadiums are rich with history and throwback features like berms, unlike their larger major league counterparts. Players are relaxed and approachable. In fact, fans are welcome to interact with players and often get lucky enough to return home with an autograph and cool story. Best of all, you can enjoy an outdoor game in a t-shirt because you left those snowy 15 degree days back home in Michigan where they belong. This is the sunshine state; our spring training games are warm and sunny, just like our personalities and outlooks.
“Who’s Your Tiger?”
In case you didn’t know where the Detroit Tigers, or Bless You Boys, do their spring training, it’s Lakeland, Florida. The Tigers have been returning to Joker Marchant Stadium every March for more than 50 years now. It’s the longest-standing relationship between a major league team and a spring training host city. Hey, if it’s good enough for them…
Why We Love Joker Marchant Stadium
- It has a berm like the fields of the days of old. The Tigers’ berm is 45-foot sloped hill that encompasses all of left field, and has a 400 person capacity.
- You can purchase a “BP Pass” on game day that gets you into the park early enough to watch the Tigers’ batting practice.
- There is ample paved parking at the park, but there are also options at nearby Christ Lutheran Church and Peak Worship church. Insider Tip: Avoid Parking on the stadiums third base side and you’ll drastically lessen your vehicle’s chances of being hit by a foul ball.
- There is VIP seating available for when we feel like being VIPs.
- It’s not uncommon to snag an autograph when you gather in the box seats between The Tigers’ clubhouse and their dugout, before or after the game.
- Plenty of seats provide shade and refuge from the Central Florida sun.
- Ballpark bounty and swag is always on point. We love to order a Little Cesar’s pizza and cold brew before the game, and all of our game day gear comes from the stadium store.
More Spring Training Action
If you’re already in town watching the Detroit Tigers play, you might want to hit up a couple other Florida Grapefruit League Games. Lakeland is within an hour’s drive of the spring training hubs for the Atlanta Braves, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Houston Astros and the Toronto Blue Jays.
Where to Stay When the Tigers Play
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 hotel is pet-friendly and features free Wi-Fi, cable, hot breakfast and a full kitchen.
Minor League, but Major Fun
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.
Lakeland Flying Tigers play through August and host a wealth of fun, themed games and promotions. Game day 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.