Tigers to keep Lakeland as spring training home through 2036
The Detroit Tigers have extended their contract to hold spring training in Lakeland, Fla. until 2036, the team announced in a news release.
Lakeland will also continue to host Detroit's rehabilitative program and Class A Flying Tigers Florida State Team at Joker Marchant Stadium and the TigerTown Complex.
The City of Lakeland estimates that there is $45 million in economic benefits associated with Spring Training and additional $18 million in economic impacts from the Flying Tigers playing in Joker Marchant Stadium.
The contract includes proposed design changes, such as building separate Major and Minor League clubhouses, realigning the seating areas, adding a 360 degree walk around layout, upgrading concession areas and building a new artificial field surface in the minor league complex.
The additions will be completed by Jan. 2017.
According to the release, through the Spring Training Retention Program, the State of Florida will fund $1 million per year for 20 years. The Tigers will pay the city $530,000 per year for 20 years, and Lakeland will fund an estimated $190,000 per year for 20 years.
The previous contract, signed in 2000, was to expire Dec. 31, 2016. The Tigers' 78 years in Lakeland is the longest tenure of any team in one city.
- Sarah Barshop
h/t Detroit Free Press