Flying Tigers Unveil Publix Field Upgrades

By Lakeland Flying Tigers | November 2, 2016 3:57 AM ET

Following the historic agreement to ensure the Detroit Tigers winter home remains in Lakeland for an unprecedented 100 years, we're excited to unveil the renovations taking place at the newly christened Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium.

Driven to improve the fan experience and enhance player development, the Detroit Tigers, City of Lakeland, Polk County and the State of Florida have come together to transform Publix Field into a world class facility. The project is scheduled to be completed in February, just prior to the start of the 2017 Detroit Tigers Spring Training season.

We're excited to announce MORE - more comfort, more entertainment and more fun in a family friendly atmosphere.

More Shade - Remember those old hot, cramped bleachers down the 3rd base line - DEMOLISHED. We're erecting 6 new covered sections (211-216), increasing the number of covered seats (rows N and up) from 1246 to 2098 seats (increase of 41%), while many more seats will be shaded thanks to the extended roof. The new 34 Club will provide an additional 203 covered seats, while casting shade to sections 200-201, previously unprotected from the sun.

More Box Seats - Sections 111 and 112 are being rebuilt and expanded, and we've added 4 additional box seat sections down the 3rd base line (113-116), bringing the total seating in the 100 sections from 1243 to 1888.

More Air Conditioned Spaces - If you wanted air conditioning before, you had to work for us (in the press box or the box office), be a member of the press or be lucky enough to have a suite, but no more. The 34 Club presented by Miller Light, located atop sections 200-201, will feature an indoor bar and seating, all-inclusive buffet and outdoor padded seating for 203 fans. Four former suites on the third base side of the press box have been transformed into the On Deck Suite, an all-inclusive space for 36-60 people that includes upscale food and beverages. And if your 2012 Flying Tigers championship t-shirt is looking a little faded, upgrade your wardrobe and cool off in our new 1800 square foot indoor merchandise store (located at the home plate entrance), with extended operating hours.

More Concession Stands and offerings - The concession stands have been rebuilt and expanded with all new equipment, allowing us to offer more items while rotating in new items to keep the menu fresh and exciting. A new POS system should shorten wait times, and digital menu boards will allow us to easily post new food offerings and food specials, even in game.

More Restrooms (rebuilt and expanded) - Women rejoice - the number of women's toilets is increasing 50% from 48 to 72. Men's toilets/urinals are increasing from 38 to 48. We've also added two family restrooms.

More ADA Seating (and Elevators) - 4 new ADA sections are being added atop sections 212, 214, 215 and 216, and while the ADA section in 205 in being removed; the number of ADA seats (wheelchairs and companion seats) is increasing from 30 to 42. Two additional elevators have been added, bringing the total to three. Elevators will now be located near the home plate, 1st base and 3rd base entrances.

More Premium and Group Seating -

The 34 Club presented by Miller Light - Sitting atop sections 200 and 201, this brand new upscale offering celebrates the Tigers relationship with the city of Lakeland that dates back to 1934, the longest-standing relationship between a major league team and a current Spring Training host city. Enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet (the menu changes daily), air-conditioned indoor seats, and cushioned outdoor seating. Perfect for individuals and small groups during Spring Training, the 34 Club is available for group rentals during the Flying Tigers season.

On Deck Suite - Situated behind section 208, the On Deck Suite provides a living room feel, with comfortable furniture and couches, HD TVs and an all-inclusive buffet (the menu changes daily). Outdoor seating is also available to take in all the action. Ideal for groups of 48-60 during the Flying Tigers season, the On Deck Suite is available for Spring Training in sets of 4 season tickets.

Hooters Dugout - Located adjacent to section 100 just down the 1st base line, the Hooters Dugout is the prime spot for autographs and player interaction. Perfect for groups of 20-40, the area includes an all-you-can-eat picnic with select ballpark and Hooters food along with your own private waitress staff.

Pepsi Pavilion - Featuring two tiers with covering to protect against the sun and rain, the Pepsi Pavilion is perfect for group ranging from 30-200 people. A mix of fixed stadium seats, drink rails and picnic tables allow for groups to watch the action or socialize with friends and family while enjoying an all-you-can-eat picnic.

Margaritaville presented by Margaritaville Run & Tequila - Directly down the right field line, the Florida themed Margaritaville Deck mixes a Florida theme with views of the bullpens and clubhouse. Featuring two tiers of seating, Margaritaville is available during Spring Training to groups of 44-120 and will double as a group/public place during the Flying Tigers season.

Suites - Two additional suites are being built at the top of section 205, with the two existing suites to receive a complete makeover. A portion of the On Deck Suite can be sectioned off to create a fifth suite. Each suite is furnished with new flat screen TVs (includes the MLB package), wifi, wet bar, indoor seating and 12 outdoor seats.

We're also committed to LESS - less of the things you don't enjoy, like lines.

Less Congestion - The concession stands located behind home plate have been removed, along with the free standing hamburger stand and merchandise store (replaced by a new air conditioned store) to "widen" the concourse and reduce bottlenecks.

Shorter Lines - In addition to expanded restrooms, we've doubled the number of box office windows from 6 to 12, including an advanced sales window (behind the box office and inside the concourse) and separate Will Call box office (adjacent to the 1st base gate), to reduce wait times.

Restrooms have been rebuilt and expanded with the number of women's toilets increasing by 50% and the men's toilets increasing by 25%.

Fewer Rainouts - Okay, so we can't promise we'll never have another rainout, but field drainage has been dramatically improved. To create the best drainage system possible, 18 inches of earth was removed from the entire field and replaced by 6,000 feet of drain pipe (yes, that's more than a mile), then covered with layers of granite, a new irrigation system and sand before being re-sod. If a game is postponed, it'll be because the forecast is calling for continued rain and not because the field looks like Lake Parker.

In addition, we've added a lot of NEW FEATURES - improved technology and public spaces to enhance your game day experience.

LED HD Video Displays and Scoreboard - A new state-of-the-art HD video board and scoreboard, measuring 46 feet wide by 26 feet tall (1196 square feet), will sit atop the berm in left field, one of the largest boards in all of Spring Training, along with a ribbon board in right field. These boards will transform our game day experience, from more player information and stats to new and exciting in game promotions.

Sound System - A new sound system will allow us to control each individual speaker, reducing and increasing the volume where needed.

Berm Bar - Sitting under the new scoreboard in left field, the berm bar will feature 360 degree bar seating, picnic tables, and a ticketed 120 foot drink rail with waitress service during Spring Training.

The Runway - Built on top of the former Lodwick Field airstrip, The Runway will connect the 1st base concourse and the berm, providing fans a 360 degree view of the field. Fans will be able to watch the game from drink rails or beach chair seating, get a unique look into the bullpens, check out the history of TigerTown, and enjoy unique food and drink offerings.

Kids Playground - Adjacent to the berm, our new playground will be the go to spot for kids of all ages. Centered around a 27 foot inflatable Tiger bounce house, the playground will also feature a wiffle ball field and other interactive games for your kids to enjoy.

Finally, new player amenities - allowing us to continue as a year around facility and rehab hub for both our major and minor league players.

Clubhouse and Weight Room - New clubhouses have been constructed for the Detroit Tigers and Flying Tigers, along with a brand new 7,068 square-foot weight room and agility area.

Minor League and Practice Fields - A new observation tower has been constructed, allowing the player development staff to get a 360 degree view of the 4 practice fields. One field has been replaced with artificial turf, making it suitable for play shortly after rain storms and allowing year around activity while the other fields undergo maintenance in the offseason. New practice mounds and a 9,000 square-foot air-conditioned batting cage have also been erected.

Rehab Facilities - The new athletic training facility is outfitted with some of today's most advanced treatment and rehabilitative modalities offered, allowing Lakeland to become the year around rehab and training facility for all major and minor league players. From class IV laser technology to neuromuscular stimulation, the facilities will allow the Tigers sports medicine staff to promote a more efficient environment for the healing process to take place, allowing our athletes to get back on the field as quickly as possible.

Additional detailed articles on each specific renovation space will be posted periodically, so be sure to check back. For more information regarding Detroit Tigers Spring Training and Flying Tigers tickets, contact the Tigers Box Office at (863) 413-4140 or email ryan.eason@tigers.com. For more information regarding hospitality areas, contact Dan Lauer at (863) 413-4115 or email dan.lauer@tigers.com. For all other inquiries, contact the Tigers Lakeland headquarters at (863) 686-8075.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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