Southeastern Signs Three Year Extension with Detroit Tigers
Story contributed by Southeastern (Fla.) Athletics
LAKELAND, Fla.- Southeastern University has signed a three-year contract with the Detroit Tigers to extend their partnership, which includes an exhibition game against the Major League Club during Spring Training.
The 2020 game will be played on Friday, February 21st. Only the Tigers and Red Sox, which plays NCAA Division I Northeastern University, will play collegiate exhibitions during Spring Training this year.
"We are incredibly honored to partner with the Detroit Tigers for the next three years," said Southeastern University President, Dr. Kent Ingle. "Last season's game was truly memorable and we are looking forward to a continued partnership with the Tigers that will enable us to provide first-rate experiences for not only our baseball players but also for our entire community."
A total of 4,965 fans watched the Fire take on the Tigers on February 22, 2019 at Joker Marchant Stadium. An RBI triple by Abdel Guadalupe in the top of the seventh tied the game at two, before the Tigers used a late surge to come away with a 13-2 win. It was the first time in program history that Southeastern has faced a Major League team.
"Southeastern University has proven themselves to be a great partner," said Ron Myers, Director of Florida Operations for the Detroit Tigers. "We were impressed with the performance they put on in 2019, and are excited about continuing our relationship."
In addition to the game against the parent club, Southeastern partners with the Tigers in other ways. Most notably, the donation of a master's degree that was awarded to a deserving teacher picked from over 200 applicants from the Polk County School District in May at a Flying Tigers game. The promotion earned acclaim as one of Minor League baseball's top promotions in 2019.
"Our relationship with the Tigers is important to us," said Director of Athletics, Drew Watson. "I want to thank Ron Myers, Zach Burek and the front office in Detroit for working with us to provide this amazing opportunity. We are very much looking forward to building on the excitement of last year's game over the next three years."
Future game dates will depend on the next collective bargaining agreement between Major League Baseball and its players association.
The Tigers will begin their 84th season at Tiger Town in 2020, which is the third year of their historic 100 year agreement to make Lakeland their winter home. This is the longest-standing relationship between a Major League team and a current Spring Training host city. This will be the 55th consecutive season at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium.