SBD/February 13, 2013/Facilities

Tigers' Spring Training Complex In Lakeland To Get Makeover With Cost Close To $50M

Designs and permits for the Tigers' facility should be completed by early '14
The Tigers' Spring Training home in Lakeland, Fla., is “about to get a massive makeover" that could approach $50M by the time it is completed in '16, according to Lynn Henning of the DETROIT NEWS. Joker Marchant Stadium will “undergo a 360-degree expansion of its seating areas, including preservation of the 16-foot grass berm that has become a beach-blanket fixture at Grapefruit League games.” Seats will be “extended along base lines and will wrap around the outfield perimeter, all connected by way of a free-flowing walkway.” Third-base bleachers “will be demolished and replaced with lower-altitude seats facing the infield as a ballpark that now offers 15-percent shaded areas moves toward at least 50-percent shaded seating.” The venue's capacity of 9,200 “will not expand” because high-rise bleacher seats “will be reduced and will be part of a circular extension.” The concourse area “will be expanded and integrated to allow fans a continuous game experience even when they leave their seats.” A reconstructed press box “with 10 extra work stations and an additional radio booth is planned.” A new, segmented clubhouse “accommodating big-league and minor-league players will be built.” In addition, at least “one of the five practice fields at Tigertown will be converted from natural grass to synthetic turf.” Also being planned is a “‘Pepsi Porch’-style party area in right field.” The left-field berm's “back side will be home to tiered seating and to an expansive bar/restaurant facility, which could be operated by a third party.” The project will involve “local and state money, as well as funding from the Tigers.” Designs and permits are “expected to be completed" by early '14. A new clubhouse “will be built during the construction's first phase,” while all other work is “to be completed" by early '16 (DETROIT NEWS, 2/13).
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