George Jackson, president of the Detroit Economic Growth Corp., which controls the property, said there's no money for the project, The Detroit News reported Tuesday.
The proposed facility, known as the Major League Baseball Urban Youth Academy, has been discussed around town by Darrell Miller, MLB vice president of youth and facility development.
Tiger Stadium is one of the sites being considered by MLB for the facility, Miller said.
Academies in California, Texas, and Louisiana operate year-round, offering free baseball and softball instruction for boys and girls 7 to 17, as well as classes on umpiring and coaching.
Jackson says he has met with Miller and considers the plan a non-starter.
"Show me the money and I would be more than happy to do the deal," Jackson said. "But there is no money."
The Tigers already rejected the deal, he said.
Miller says construction of the academy in Detroit would cost $4 million to $6 million. An agreement for the academy is "really, really close," he said.
The Tigers played their last game in the stadium in 1999, and it was scheduled to be demolished in 2008.