Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium, home of the Lakeland Flying Tigers, was the winner in the third-annual MiLB Best of the Ballparks 2017 fan vote from Ballpark Digest.
Fans selected Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium over LECOM Park, home of the Bradenton Marauders, in the finals of a bracketed online competition at ballparkdigest.com. All in all, over 178,000 voters weighed in on the top Minor League Baseball ballparks.
“Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium is one of the great spring-training facilities, and it’s great to see it recognized as an outstanding regular-season facility as well,” said Ballpark Digest publisher Kevin Reichard. “This year’s upgrades truly catapulted Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium, and fans certainly responded to all the hard work put into a classic facility.”
“We at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium are very proud, excited and humbled to be the winner of this year’s Best of the Ballpark High-A award,” said Detroit Tigers Director of Florida Operations Ron Myers. “With our renovation plan now complete we can offer our fans a first-class family entertainment facility. We would like to thank all the fans who voted for us—this is a great award for the Lakeland Flying Tigers fans, City of Lakeland, Polk County and the Florida State League.”
Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium opened in 1966 as the spring-training home of the Detroit Tigers and has been renovated several times since, mostly recently in 2017. Part of the historic Tiger Town training complex, Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium is now a state-of-the-art facility with the addition of outfield seating areas, new group spaces and a new administrative and training building.
Voters were asked to choose amongst California, Carolina and Florida State League ballparks in five rounds of voting. Since the voting began in 2015, three different ballparks have snared the High-A honors: Wilmington’s Frawley Stadium (2015), Winston-Salem’s BB&T Ballpark (2016) and now Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium.