On Wednesday (April 20, 2016) my family and I headed to Lakeland, Florida, to watch a minor league baseball game. The Lakeland Flying Tigers, which is the Class A Advanced Team for the Detroit Tigers were playing the Brevard County Manatees, and they are the Class A Advanced affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers.
The game started at 6:00 p.m., and on Wednesdays they have an all-you-can-eat promotion, including samples from Abuelo’s. So, for $11.00, guests receive a ticket, plus all the hot dogs, popcorn, peanuts, small pretzels and chips as you please from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. We arrived in Lakeland at about 5:30 p.m., and found the stadium was empty. Well, we realized that the team’s stadium – Joker Marchant Stadium – was being refurbished. After checking online, we noticed that the team was using Henley Field, and that is just about 5 minutes from Joker Marchant Stadium. We were all happy that since we had come all the way to Lakeland in anticipation of seeing a baseball game, we found the right spot to watch it! We made our way there rather easily.
The Lakeland Flying Tigers will play out their 2016 season at Henley Field while their home stadium is being renovated. Joker Marchant Stadium is expected to complete its $40 million overhaul by the time spring training begins next year, which will allow the Flying Tigers to return in time for their 2017 regular season.
A little bit of details on Henley Field. On May 23, 1997, it was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. It was named after Clare Henley in 1942 who encouraged its construction in an effort to persuade a professional baseball team to train there. In fact, Major League Baseball team the Cleveland Indians had used the facility for spring training purposes in the 1920s and then the Detroit Tigers thereafter until the mid 1960s. The Detroit Tigers moved to Joker Marchant Stadium (that holds 8,500 people) after that, and have been using it ever since.
There were not many people at the stadium on Wednesday. I would guess about 150. A nice amount of grandstand seating behind home plate, and some tables and stands behind the dug outs. The stadium seats about 1,000 people. We sat at one of the tables between the dug out and bullpen for the visiting team. My guys and I enjoyed their hot dogs, popcorn and chips. Plus, my son and I had some tacos from Abuelo’s – so YUMMY! Another thing to mention, drinks are not included in the deal.
Lakeland won the game 5-2, and we headed out to the small parking lot on the other side of the street to grab our vehicle and make our way home. We had a blast and are so looking forward to seeing more games this spring and summer. It was a beautiful night getting down in the mid 70s with some clouds. I LOVE watching baseball games on warm, summer nights! So fun! 🙂 I hope that you have a chance to sometime check out this stadium or a minor league game near you. It is a great time for the whole family to enjoy.