There’s a long-standing tradition of major sporting teams working on their spring training in Central Florida. With the warm, sunny weather, it’s particularly appealing to northern teams. One such team is the Detroit Tigers, which is spending its 82nd year holding spring training in Lakeland. For residents of the Lake Ashton retirement community in Central Florida, this means getting a head start on enjoying plenty of Major League baseball games in person.

The relationship between the Tigers and Lakeland is the longest bond between a Major League team and a spring training host city. In addition, this season marks the club’s 53rd consecutive year of exhibition play at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. In fact, the ballpark underwent major renovations this past year in order to provide an enhanced and even more enjoyable experience for visitors.

As part of spring training, the team takes part in exhibition games. The opening game takes place Thursday, February 22, when the Tigers host Florida Southern College in the annual game against the Moccasins. Then, on Saturday, February 24, they play the Toronto Blue Jays as part of the home portion of the Grapefruit League schedule.

Other home games will see the Detroit Tigers play the New York Yankees on Tuesday, March 6, Saturday, March 17, and Tuesday, March 20. As well as the February 24 game, the Toronto Blue Jays will also visit on Wednesday, March 7. The New York Mets will take their chances on Friday, March 9, and the Washington Nationals will play the Tigers on Monday, March 12. There are a number of additional games, so check the full schedule at the website. All home games start at 1:05 pm.

If you’d like to cheer on the Tigers — or one of the visiting teams — order your tickets by visiting the ticket office at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium, calling 866-66-TIGER or visiting If you want to ask about handicapped seating or special group rates, call the Lakeland ticket office at (863) 686-8075.

Tickets are already available, so take advantage of living in a retirement community in Central Florida like Lake Ashton, and order your tickets today. Get together with friends and neighbors and enjoy a fantastic day at the ballpark.