The Detroit Tigers’ spring training home field will have a new name when it reopens with a new look next season: Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. Lakeland-based Publix Super Markets announced today it has acquired naming rights through 2036 for $3 million.

The new name takes effect Feb. 9, the first day of spring training. Publix’ payments to the city of Lakeland will take place over the next 15 years, according to a Publix news release.

This is the first time that Publix has bought naming rights for a field, spokesman Brian West said, adding, “It was a very special opportunity for everyone involved.”

The sponsorship will help pay for reconstruction underway at the city’s Tigertown complex. According to the news release, they include:

  • A 72,000-square-foot player development facility to house major and minor league clubhouses
  • A new state-of-the-art high definition video scoreboard on the improved berm in left field
  • A “unique food and beverage destination” on the berm.
  • Improved seating areas, including additional shading
  • A 360-degree walk-around design offering fans a constant view of the game
  • Upgraded concessions and new vending areas
  • New artificial field surface in the minor league complex
  • Expanded press box

The total renovation project at Joker Marchant Stadium is expected to cost around $40 million, The Detroit News reported.

“Lakeland is where our roots are, and we are proud of our long-standing relationship with the city of Lakeland and Tigertown,” West said.

Joker Marchant Stadium, named for a former city parks director, was first used by the Tigers in 1966. Lakeland has been the Tigers’ spring training base since 1934.

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Barry Friedman founded in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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