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This is the official blog of the City of Lakeland, Florida. Check back frequently to stay up to date with all that going on in our beautiful city!


LAKELAND, FL (February 20, 2017) — Due to newly instated Major League Baseball security measures, no baseball complex can have any parking within 100 feet of the entire stadium. Unfortunately, this includes handicap parking as well. There is also player and player family designated parking that has been mandated by Major League Baseball. These new standards include Spring Training facilities and Major League ball parks.

In order to comply with the new MLP security regulations and meet the growing demands by Spring Training fans, Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium has established 72 new handicap designated spaces with access to the First Base Gate. These spaces are wider than traditional handicap spaces to accommodate wheelchairs and mobility vehicles.

Major League Baseball security protocols now mandate that all fans must have bags checked and they must walk through metal detectors before entering the stadium. This new security process and new parking regulations may cause some delays that fans have not experienced in the past. In order to get fans to their seats so they won’t miss any action, the City of Lakeland is suggesting that fans come to the stadium at least 15 minutes earlier than they have in the past. Also, because of the fanfare associated with opening day on February 24th when the Detroit Tigers play the Baltimore Orioles, fans are suggested to plan on coming to the stadium at least 30 minutes earlier than they have in the past.

LAKELAND, FL (August 3, 2016) — Publix Super Markets is pleased to announce support of the City of Lakeland, the Detroit Tigers and the Lakeland Flying Tigers by sponsoring the field naming rights of Tigertown. On February 9, 2017 —  the first day of the 2017 Major League Baseball (MLB) spring training season — the stadium will be renamed Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. The naming rights will continue through 2036. 

“Lakeland is where our roots are, and we are proud of our long-standing relationship with the City of Lakeland and Tigertown,” said Brian West Publix Lakeland media and community relations manager.  “We are honored to have an opportunity to help keep America’s pastime alive and well in this great city.”

The Publix sponsorship will assist with the redesign and updates to the complex, which include:  

  • A 72,000-square foot player development facility to house Major and Minor League clubhouses (largest in the Grapefruit League)
  • A new state-of-the-art High Definition video scoreboard will sit atop the enhanced Berm in left field
  • The “new Berm” will feature a unique food and beverage destination
  • Improved and realigned seating areas, including additional shading
  • A 360-degree walk around design offering fans great sightlines and a constant view of the game
  • Upgraded concessions and new vending areas offering a variety of menu items
  • New artificial field surface in the Minor League complex
  • Improvements throughout the complex to assist in player development and rehabilitation

“This is a great day and we are very excited to have Publix Super Markets as the naming sponsor for what will now be Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. Publix Super Markets is synonymous with Lakeland and we can’t wait to see their name in the outfield,” said Mayor Howard Wiggs. “We have a dedicated team overseeing construction of the stadium and once the project is complete, we will have one of the finest Spring Training facilities in all of Major League Baseball.”

Bob Donahay, Director of Parks & Recreation said, “The construction and design team has been working day and night on the Tigertown complex so it will be ready for the opening day of Spring Training. The partnership with Publix Super Markets will allow us to complete the vision and we look forward to showcasing Lakeland’s very own field of dreams.”

"The Detroit Tigers thank Publix, the City of Lakeland, Polk County and the State of Florida for sharing our vision and commitment to provide a first-class entertainment experience and a point of destination for Tigers and all baseball fans to enjoy," said Duane McLean, Tigers' Executive Vice President of Business Operations.  "The history both the Tigers and Publix have in Lakeland is historic and unique. Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium will symbolize how deeply rooted and invested both the Tigers and Publix are within the Lakeland community for many years to come.” 

Named in honor of the late Joker Marchant, a former Lakeland Parks and Recreation Director, Joker Marchant Stadium was used by the Detroit Tigers for Spring Training for the first time in 1966.

Publix is privately owned and operated by its more than 184,000 employees, with 2015 sales of $32.4 billion. Currently Publix has 1,122 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina. The company has been named one of FORTUNE’s “100 Best Companies to Work For in America” for 19 consecutive years. In addition, Publix’s dedication to superior quality and customer service is recognized among the top in the grocery business. For more information, visit the company’s website, corporate.publix.com.

The City of Lakeland was incorporated January 1885 and has grown to become on of the largest inland communities in Florida.  With a current population over 100,000 Lakeland continues to grow. It has been designated a Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area by the US Census Bureau for over 30 years.  With tourist attractions and gulf beaches only an hour away, Lakeland continues to capitalize on its ideal central Florida location along the I-4 corridor.  The City owns and operates Lakeland Electric, the third largest publicly owned utility in Florida and it was one of the first to offer power in the Sunshine State over 110 years ago.  To learn more about the City of Lakeland, please visit www.lakelandgov.net.

The Detroit Tigers, Inc., a charter member of the American League in 1901, have won four World Series and 11 American League pennants. The team is owned by Michael Ilitch who purchased the ballclub in 1992. Michael and his wife, Marian, jointly own other companies in the food, sports and entertainment industries include: Little Caesars Pizza, Blue Line Foodservice Distribution, the Detroit Red Wings, Olympia Entertainment, Olympia Development, Little Caesars Pizza Kit Fundraising Program, Champion Foods, Uptown Entertainment and Ilitch Holdings, Inc.  Marian Ilitch is the sole owner of MotorCity Casino Hotel. For more information, visit www.tigers.com.

CONTACT:

Brian West | Publix Super Markets | (863) 688-7407 ext. 63486