The 2013 Tigers Spring Training schedule is out, and it features a major slate of games against National League contenders, from four games against the surging Nationals to five against the perennial contending Braves and another with the Cardinals.
Add in a return to four Spring Training games with the retooling Phillies and five with the rebuilding Mets, and Detroit will get a good look at the Senior Circuit well before Opening Day for its 77th season training in Lakeland, Fla.
With the World Baseball Classic taking top players out of team camps in March and an early Opening Day on April 1, Detroit will start its Grapefruit League slate earlier than usual, visiting the Braves at Disney World on Feb. 22. The next day, the Tigers will open the home portion of its Spring Training schedule with a 1:05 p.m. ET matchup against the Blue Jays at Joker Marchant Stadium, followed by a home-and-home set with the Phillies that starts in Lakeland on Feb. 24.
The Tigers' traditional spring opener against Florida Southern College has been pushed back to March 13, a mutual date that worked well for both teams' schedules. In addition, the Tigers will hold another college exhibition, with a squad of Minor Leaguers matching up against Western Michigan University on March 5 at Marchant Stadium in a benefit game for the Detroit Tigers Foundation. All tickets for that game are $5.
Detroit and Washington have become frequent Spring Training foes the last couple years as the changing landscape of the Grapefruit League has brought more games with teams on Florida's Atlantic coast. This time, the two clubs meet four times in a 13-day stretch of mid-March, starting in Lakeland on March 10 and 17.
The Tigers will get an early American League Championship Series rematch with the Yankees on March 2 in Tampa before welcoming the Bronx Bombers to Lakeland on March 23. The restocked Blue Jays will make two more trips to Lakeland on March 9 and 15.
Tickets for the home schedule will again be priced at three different levels: navy, orange and white. The bulk of the tickets will be priced at the mid-level, or orange level.
Single-game tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 12 online at tigers.com, by phone at 866-66-TIGER or in person at the Joker Marchant Stadium box office. Full Spring Training ticket packages are on sale now at tigers.com, the Marchant Stadium box office or by phone at 863-686-8075. Partial season ticket packages of five or more games are on sale by phone at 863-686-8075.