2301 Lakeland Hills Blvd Lakeland, FL 33805
Tiger Town is indeed one of the institutions of spring training — only Dodgertown eclipses Tiger Town as a well-known spring training venue associated with a single team.
Joker Marchant is one of the more historically interesting sites in the Grapefruit League. It was built on the site of a World War II flight school, the Lodwick School. Between 1940 and 1945 more than 8,000 cadets, including British Royal Air Force cadets, attended the Lodwick School of Aeronautics and more than 6000 graduated. Some of the remnants of that school still exist, including several hangars that have been renovated and used for various purposes. Sadly, the most recent renovations to Tiger Town included the removal of a runway beyond the outfield wall.
Marchant Stadium was named in honor of the late Joker Marchant, Lakeland’s former parks and recreation director. The all-concrete grandstand has a capacity of approximately 8,500. Previous renovations have included the addition of lights that allowed the first night game to be played in Lakeland in 1972 and a food and picnic court that was added in 1994 to increase the fan appeal of Joker Marchant Stadium.
Renovation projects have transformed the park into a state of the art facility that features six luxury suites, a second tier concourse level, new seating areas, an outfield berm, as well as brand new individual seats with cupholders and improved seating for handicapped fans. The improvements continued to the exterior of the park with the extensive use of Mediterranean style architecture. The press box was improved and expanded, a new practice field has been added, as well as four new indoor batting cages.
Adjacent to the 12-acre tract on which the stadium sit is Tigertown, the Tigers minor league training site since 1953. A three-story dormitory provides housing for 190 players and coaches. It was dedicated in 1971 and named in honor of the late John Fetzer, former owner and president of the Detroit Tigers.
Tigertown is the regular season home of the Class A Florida State League Lakeland Flying Tigers.