The Tigertown complex in Lakeland is being used as a shelter during Hurricane Irma, with much of the facility utilized for needed resources.
As Hurricane Irma continues to unfold, Tigertown’s facilities are coming into play for those affected by the storm. Clubhouses are being used as shelters, refrigerated trucks are on site, and many of the other structures around the complex are providing space for emergency service officials in both Lakeland and Polk County.
Many of the players that use the complex during the regular season–including those in the Gulf Coast League and on the Lakeland Flying Tigers (High A; Florida State League–have already departed Tigertown. Though some players reportedly remain in Lakeland, officials have been able to find the space at Tigertown to use for essential resources during the storm. More from The Detroit News:
“We’re on the front lines, and we’re prepared,” said Ron Myers, director of Florida operations for the Tigers, speaking by phone Sunday morning from his office in a building that was completed only last winter as part of a $40-million-plus Tigertown renovation.
“We’ve got about 60 families and staff members, all taken care of, living in the first-floor locker rooms. The dorms we’ve cleared of players and have moved them to the clubhouses.
“We’ve made this ground zero,” Myers said, explaining that Tigertown’s housing and services will be made available for staffers from FEMA, the Red Cross, and other emergency groups.
The Tigers received one break by way of pure timing. The team’s Single A Lakeland Flying Tigers team, as well as to prospects who play on two Gulf Coast League squads, completed their regular seasons last week and players have returned home for short breaks or for the offseason.
“Two weeks ago,” Myers said, “we could have had more than a hundred players here.