Stadium Review: Progressive Field Home of the Cleveland Indians
- Updated: March 24, 2009
The Indians home ballpark was renamed Progressive Field before the 2008 season after being named Jacobs Field for the length of its existence. This did not make Tribe fans happy, and many still refuse to call the ballpark by its new name. Even though the stadium has only been around for about 15 years, it has still been witness to many historic events in the team’s history. In that short time span, the ballpark has played host to at least one post season series in seven different seasons, a World Series in 1995 and 1997 and an All Star Game in 1997.
The structure of the stadium was built like many from the time period to have the throw back feel with modern amenities. Its open structure is supposed to relate to the hard working families of Cleveland and, since it was funded in large part from public money, to illustrate that the team can relate to its fans.
After opening in 1994, the team saw one of the greatest ballpark factors in league history as a team that had not made the post season in decades, had a run of five straight division titles, during which the Indians had 455 consecutive sellouts (a number that has been retired by the team).
A few years ago, Progressive Field installed the largest screen in North America when they put the new scoreboard above the bleachers in left field. Not that many fans would really notice that it was that much bigger than the old one, but it does provide a clear picture to all in attendance.
Before the 2007 season, the Indians installed a Hall of Fame beyond center field that they dubbed Heritage Park. In the park, Indians fans can relive the careers of some of the greatest players in the franchise’s history while also being reminded of some of the great moments in the ballparks’.
The Indians have made improvements to the stadium nearly every year since it was built. The stadium features a restaurant with glass walls that looks onto the field called the Terrace Club where non-suite owners have a chance to enjoy a classy meal during the game. This same spot is able to be reserved on non-game days for anyone’s personal event. A bar was also added in the outfield in order to draw more from the 21-30 demographic which is first come first serve and has a view of the field. There is also a play place for kids to enjoy themselves during the game if they become restless in their seats. They have also renamed parts of the stadium, such as calling one of the sections Pronkville, in honor of designated hitter Travis Hafner, and creating special items for fans in those seats.
The Indians provide a wide range of team shops throughout the stadium. In addition to their main shop, which does a good job of marketing to the males in attendance; they have separate shops for both women and children, so that they can have just as much merchandise to choose from as the grown males (This year, the Indians introduced a new line for plus sized women, something very few teams have done).
The ballpark seats about 43,000 people and has seen over 40 million walk through its gates since opening a decade and a half ago. Even though attendance has dwindled in recent years, Progressive Field is still a great place to enjoy a baseball game.
Even the seats in the upper 500 level still provide a good view of the action on the field and the activities, such as speed pitch and batting practice, that one can find throughout the stadium shows that the club appreciates fans who sit in all levels.
If fans feel that they do not want to sit down to watch the game, they can head to the Homerun Porch just above the left field wall and take in the action from there no matter what kind of ticket they purchased.
Throughout the season, the Indians have done a great job marketing to their fans by having a fireworks night every Friday, a giveaway on every Saturday and an interactive kids day on ever Sunday during home stands.
Overall, a visit to Progressive Field is a great experience for new and traditional baseball fans alike as there are many facets of the stadium that cater to both types of fans.
Major League Stadium Grade: 4.75/5
Overall Stadium Grade: 4.75/5
Bill Jordan is a contributor to BaseballReflections.com. He can be reached by e-mail at BillJordaniv@yahoo.com.