Joker Marchant Stadium - The new spring training home of the Detroit Tigers
The Detroit Tigers’ home-away-from-home is Lakeland, Florida. It’s where the Tigers have prepped for the MLB season since 1934, including playing more than 50 years’ worth of spring training games at Lakeland’s Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. When the facilities in the “Tiger Town” complex required renovations, they had to be carried out in a way that was minimally disruptive to the Tigers’ spring training schedule (not to mention the Lakeland Flying Tigers Class A minor league team that the stadium also hosts).
Barton Malow, along with HKS Architects, Rodda Construction and Walter P. Moore, worked diligently to condense what would have otherwise been two years’ worth of renovations into 15 months. Together, we hit a home run, as the end result has been a major score for both players and fans.
A new clubhouse
As part of the project, a new three-story 70,000-SF clubhouse was constructed for the Tigers as well as their A Ball affiliate, the Lakeland Flying Tigers. The first floor of the clubhouse is 50,000-SF and consists of the locker room, weight room, trainer’s area, equipment storage area, operations room, mail room, and other administrative offices. The second floor consists of a commissary for mobile concession operations, as well as public restrooms and fan areas. The third level features administrative offices.
Renovations and additions were made to about 116,000-SF worth of space in and around the complex, including demolition and build back of bathrooms and concession areas in the stadium’s main concourse. A Premium Club and two-tier elevated deck was also built for fans. Suites were renovated, the third-base grandstand was rebuilt, and a new scoreboard was added. Many of the fan seating improvements also incorporated more shaded areas into the stadium to allow for more comfortable spectating.
Ancillary space improvements
The other main piece of the project was building and renovating ancillary spaces around the stadium. A new batting cage facility was built, a practice field was converted from natural grass to synthetic turf, the fan observation deck was rebuilt, and various walkways, railing, and fencing was improved.
The $48-million project broke ground in October 2015 and was completed by the time pitchers and catchers reported for spring training in February 2017. It was honored with a 2017 ABC Excellence in Construction Award.