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Publix Super Markets is showing support for its hometown of Lakeland, Fla.; the Detroit Tigers; and local minor-league baseball team the Lakeland Flying Tigers by sponsoring the naming rights of Tigertown Field, the Motor City team’s longtime spring-training headquarters.
The $3 million sponsorship is payable over the next 15 years. On Feb. 9, 2017, the first day of the 2017 Major League Baseball spring-training season, the stadium will be redubbed Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. The naming rights will continue through 2036. The grocer's sponsorship will also aid in the redesign of, and improvements to, the complex.
“Lakeland is where our roots are, and we are proud of our long-standing relationship with the City of Lakeland and Tigertown,” noted Brian West, Publix Lakeland media and community relations manager. “We are honored to have an opportunity to help keep America’s pastime alive and well in this great city.”
“Publix Super Markets is synonymous with Lakeland and we can’t wait to see their name in the outfield,” said Lakeland Mayor Howard Wiggs. “We have a dedicated team overseeing construction of the stadium and once the project is complete, we will have one of the finest spring-training facilities in all of Major League Baseball.”
Named for the late Joker Marchant, a former Lakeland parks and recreation director, the stadium has been used by the Detroit Tigers for spring training since 1966. The team, a charter member of the American League in 1901, has won four World Series and 11 American League pennants.
“The history both the Tigers and Publix have in Lakeland is historic and unique,” observed Duane McLean, Tigers’ EVP of business operations. “Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium will symbolize how deeply rooted and invested both the Tigers and Publix are within the Lakeland community for many years to come.”
Privately owned and operated by its more than 184,000 employees, Publix has 1,122 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina.