Progressive Field

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Progressive Field
"The Jake"
"The Pro"
Progressive Field logo 2012.gif
Progressive Field.jpg
Progressive Field
Former names Jacobs Field (1994–2008)
Location 2401 Ontario Street
Cleveland, Ohio, United States 44115
Coordinates 41°29′45″N 81°41′7″W / 41.49583°N 81.68528°W / 41.49583; -81.68528Coordinates: 41°29′45″N 81°41′7″W / 41.49583°N 81.68528°W / 41.49583; -81.68528
Public transit Tower City-Public Square Station
Owner Cuyahoga County
Operator Gateway Economic Development Corporation
Capacity 42,865 (1994–1996)[1]
43,368 (1997–2003)[1]
43,389 (2004)[1]
43,405 (2005)[1]
43,415 (2006–2007)[1]
43,545 (2008)[2]
45,199 (2009)[3]
45,569 (2010)[4]
43,441 (2011)[5]
43,429 (2012)[6]
42,241 (2013)[7]
42,487 (2014–present)[8]
Record attendance 45,274 (October 4, 1997; Division Series Game 5)[9]
Field size Left field – 325 feet (99 m)
Left-center – 370 feet (113 m)
Center field – 405 feet (123 m)
Deep center field – 410 feet (125 m)
Right-center – 375 feet (114 m)
Right field – 325 feet (99 m)
Fence height
Left field – 19 feet (6 m)
Center and right fields – 9 feet (3 m)[10]
Surface Kentucky Bluegrass
Scoreboard Daktronics
Construction
Broke ground January 13, 1992[9]
Opened April 2, 1994[9]
Construction cost $169 million
($269 million in 2014 dollars[11])
Architect HOK Sport
Structural engineer Osborn Engineering[12]
Services engineer Polytech Engineering[13]
General contractor Huber, Hunt & Nichols[12]
Tenants
Cleveland Indians (MLB) (AL) (1994–present)
Website
Official website

Progressive Field is a baseball park located in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. It is the home field of the Cleveland Indians of Major League Baseball, and together with Quicken Loans Arena, is part of the Gateway Sports and Entertainment Complex.[14] It was ranked as Major League Baseball's best ballpark in a 2008 Sports Illustrated fan opinion poll.[15]

The ballpark was named Jacobs Field after team owners Richard and David Jacobs, from its inaugural season in 1994 until 2008, when its name was changed to Progressive Field after its naming rights were purchased by locally-based Progressive Insurance Company. The ballpark is sometimes referred to as "The Jake", based on its original name, and since the renaming, people have infrequently called it "The Pro" or "The Prog".[16]

History[edit]

Planning and construction[edit]

The Cleveland Indians previously played at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, the team's full-time home since the 1947 season, which they shared with the NFL's Cleveland Browns.[17] Plans for a new stadium first began in 1984 when voters in Cuyahoga County defeated a property tax for building a 100% publicly funded domed stadium. Later that year, committee leaders met to re-evaluate these plans and a location was later agreed upon. The future site of the stadium was acquired in December 1985. In April 1986, designs for the new stadium were agreed upon and about a year later, demolition of the site started.[9] In May 1990, Cuyahoga County voters approved a 15-year sin tax on alcohol and cigarette sales to finance the new Gateway Sports and Entertainment Complex.[18] Construction started in January 1992, and by May of that year, the concrete construction had been poured. In June 1992, Mel Harder, who pitched the opening game at Cleveland Municipal Stadium in 1932,[19] and contemporary stars Charles Nagy and Sandy Alomar, Jr., executed the ceremonial first pitch at the site of the new ballpark before construction began. The installation of seating was completed in October 1993.[9]

The ballpark, which was referred to as "Cleveland Indians Baseball Park" on blueprints, cost approximately $175 million to build, of which $91 million was provided by Indians owner Richard Jacobs. The remaining $84 million was raised by the sin tax.[12]

Jacobs Field[edit]

The Jacobs Field logo (1994 - 2007)

The ballpark opened on April 4, 1994, named "Jacobs Field" for former team owner Richard Jacobs, who paid for the naming rights until the end of 2006.[20] President Bill Clinton threw out the ceremonial first pitch, and the Indians defeated the Seattle Mariners 4–3 in 11 innings.[9]

In 1995, the Indians qualified for the World Series for the first time since 1954; it was the first time the World Series was played at Jacobs Field. The Indians lost to the Atlanta Braves in six games. Two years later, Jacobs Field hosted its first All-Star Game and the first All Star Game in Cleveland since 1981. Later that year, the Indians hosted the 1997 World Series, which they lost to the Florida Marlins in seven games. On July 3, 1999, Jim Thome hit the longest home run in Jacobs Field history, with a 511 feet (156 m) hit to center field.[9]

On October 5, 2007, in the eighth inning of a playoff game against the New York Yankees, a swarm of insects believed to be midges from Lake Erie, enveloped the playing field, distracting relief pitcher Joba Chamberlain. Chamberlain walked Grady Sizemore, who later scored the tying run on a wild pitch. The incident became known as the "Bug Game". However, this was not the first time the insects plagued Jacobs Field.[21]

Attendance records[edit]

Progressive Field set a major league record between June 12, 1995 and April 4, 2001 by selling out 455 straight games.[22] Demand for tickets was so great that all 81 home games were sold out before opening day on five separate occasions.[9] The Indians retired the number 455 in honor of the sellout record. The Boston Red Sox later surpassed this record when Fenway Park recorded 456 straight sellouts on September 9, 2008.[23] The record for the largest attendance at Jacobs Field was set on Game 5 of the 1997 Division Series when 45,274 people attended the game.[9] On Saturday, April 2, 2011, the Indians' lowest attendance record was broken by a crowd of 9,853,[16] and again the following day with an attendance figure of 8,726.[24]

Progressive Field[edit]

View from Right Field

On January 11, 2008, it was announced that naming rights to the park had been purchased by Progressive Corporation, an insurance company headquartered in nearby Mayfield Village.[20] Removal of the iconic Jacobs Field sign on the front of the building began the morning of January 18, 2008,[25] and the replacement sign was installed on March 25, 2008.[26] Progressive agreed to pay $57.6 million for the naming rights for 16 years.[27][28] There were discussions about instead naming the ballpark 'Progressive Park", but it was later realized that this name belonged to a picnic facility in Council Bluffs, Iowa, so the name "Progressive Field" was used instead.[28]

In August 2008, the Indians extended their lease agreement with Gateway Economic Development Corp. for the stadium from 2013 to 2023. The agreement gives the team four five-year renewal options after 2023.[29]

In November 2010, Progressive Field debuted an event called "Snow Days"; The first day, called "Snopening Day", was held on November 26 and the event continued until January 2, 2011. An ice skating track called the "Frozen Mile" was installed around the warning track, the "Batterhorn" was a snow tubing hill on the bleachers and other events were staged around the field and home run porch.[30] "Snow Days" returned in November 2011, and closed on January 16. The Batterhorn was moved to the Toyota Home Run porch and the Frozen Mile was rerouted. The park also added the "Frozen Diamond", an ice rink covering the infield. On January 15, 2012, the park hosted its first ice hockey game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Michigan Wolverines, the first outdoor hockey game in Ohio.[31] On June 1, 2012, it was announced that "Snow Days" would not run in 2012 due to low attendance in 2011. In part, this was caused by the warmest winter on record, with temperatures of 60 °F (16 °C) on "Snopening Day."[32]

Design[edit]

Pregame festivities at game one of the 2007 American League Division Series

The ballpark was designed by HOK Sport, now known as Populous, a division of Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum. HOK designed it as the second retro-modern ballpark,[33] with asymmetrical fences of varying heights, a smaller upper deck, and stepped tiers. It is similar to HOK's Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, which was the first retro-modern ballpark. The ballpark was sited to give a favorable view of Cleveland's downtown skyline. The structural engineering was done by a Cleveland company, Osborn Engineering, which helped design Cleveland Municipal Stadium, "Old" Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park.[34] It was designed to blend in with the city of Cleveland with its exposed steel design and the vertical light towers.[35]

Features[edit]

Stadium[edit]

A view from the lower deck, with Quicken Loans Arena and the Terminal Tower in the background. The Terrace Club is behind the windows to the left of the foul pole.

The ballpark has numerous unique structural features. The field is situated on 12-acre (4.9 ha) of Kentucky Bluegrass.[9] It is illuminated by 19 white toothbrush-shaped vertical light towers; three behind the scoreboard, six behind first base, six behind third base and four in right field, which stand 200 feet (61 m) above street level and 218 feet (66 m) above the playing field. The distinctive light towers were incorporated into the original Jacobs Field logo and the 1997 MLB All-Star Game logo.[36] The park features distinctive dimensions; left and right field are both 325 feet (99 m) from homeplate, but left field has a 19-foot (6 m) high wall, known as the "Little Green Monster".[37][38] The center and right field walls are 9 feet (3 m) high. The park features traditional hunter green seats angled at 8-12 degrees on three tiers around the park except for center field which has no seats and left field which features bleachers.[10][39] The bullpens are raised above the playing field, which allows fans to see players warming up. The Indians' bullpen is located in center field next to section 101, while the visitors' bullpen is in right field next to section 113.[9][40] Unlike most ballparks, the Indians' dugout is along the third base line and the visitors' dugout is located along the first base line.[10] When the ballpark was built it contained 121 luxury boxes, but currently contains 115 luxury boxes after renovations, the second most in Major League Baseball.[41]

The corkscrew shaped wind turbine at Progressive Field was located in right field

Prior to the start of the 1997 season, two sections with 480 seats were added onto the ends of the bleacher section.[42] In 2004, South Dakota-based company Daktronics installed the then-largest video display at a sports venue in the world, measuring 36 feet (11 m) high by 149 feet (45 m) wide. A new "out of town" scoreboard was also added along the left field wall to give spectators an update on games around the league.[43] In 2007, the Indians became the first American League team to install solar panels on their stadium.[44] They also spent $1.1 million to convert a picnic area behind the center field fence into "Heritage Park", which features 27 plaques honoring the Cleveland Indians Hall of Fame and 38 bricks, representing the team's most memorable moments. There is also a memorial plaque commemorating Ray Chapman that was originally installed at League Park. The area is shielded by plantings so it does not interfere with the batter's eye.[45] Prior to Opening Day 2012, the Indians installed a corkscrew-shaped wind turbine atop Progressive Field, the first major league team to do so [44] (the corkscrew–shaped wind turbine was subsequently removed prior to Opening Day 2013).

Amenities[edit]

Pabst Blue Ribbon concession stand at Progressive Field.

The ballpark features several eateries from which spectators can watch the game. A glass-enclosed multilevel restaurant named the "Terrace Club" is located along the left field foul line on the suite level. Spectators need a valid game ticket and a pass to enter to the Terrace Club. On non-game days it is used for private and corporate events, such as business meetings, parties and weddings.[46][47] The "Budweiser Patio" is a buffet eatery, that is mostly used for corporate or private parties, located just behind the right field foul pole between the visitors bullpen and section 117.[48] A new children's play area named "Kids Clubhouse", located on the mezzanine level, opened in May 2012. It includes arts and craft areas, a climbing wall, a mini field where children can practice sliding and fielding, and a batting cage. There are large windows where adults can watch the game from the Kids Clubhouse.[49]

Awards/Honors[edit]

Ballpark firsts[edit]

All firsts are by the Cleveland Indians unless otherwise stated

Statistic Person(s) Date
First game vs. Seattle Mariners April 4, 1994
First ceremonial first pitch President Bill Clinton to Sandy Alomar, Jr. April 4, 1994
First batter Rich Amaral (Seattle Mariners) April 4. 1994
First hit Eric Anthony (Seattle Mariners), home run April 4, 1994
First Indians hit Sandy Alomar, Jr. April 4, 1994
First double Manny Ramirez April 4, 1994
First home run Eric Anthony (Seattle Mariners) April 4, 1994
First Indians run Candy Maldonado, scored on a Manny Ramírez two-run double April 4, 1994
First winning pitcher Eric Plunk April 4, 1994
First night game vs. Seattle Mariners April 7, 1994
First triple Ken Griffey, Jr. (Seattle Mariners) April 7, 1994
First Indians home run Eddie Murray April 7, 1994
First stolen base Omar Vizquel April 7, 1994
First save Hipólito Pichardo (Kansas City Royals) April 15, 1994
First grand slam Paul Sorrento May 9, 1995
First inside-the-park home run David Bell April 15, 1998
First triple play Casey Blake-Asdrúbal Cabrera-Víctor Martínez (5-4-3) August 27, 2007
First unassisted triple play Asdrúbal Cabrera May 12, 2008
First no-hitter Ervin Santana (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) July 27, 2011

[9][50][51][52]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ Musselman, Ron (June 15, 2008). "Pirates, Indians Struggle With Lack of Attendance". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved April 3, 2012. 
  3. ^ Peticca, Mike (October 13, 2009). "Ticket Prices Keep Strong Majority of American Sports Fans from Attending Pro Games, Survey Shows". The Plain Dealer (Cleveland). Retrieved April 3, 2012. 
  4. ^ Brown, Tony (May 6, 2010). "Unwary Ticket Buyers Pay Extreme Prices as Online Brokers, Bogus Outfits Muddy the Internet". The Plain Dealer (Cleveland). Retrieved April 3, 2012. 
  5. ^ Manoloff, Dennis (January 15, 2012). "Michigan defeats Ohio State, 4-1, in Frozen Diamond Faceoff at Progressive Field". The Plain Dealer (Cleveland). Retrieved April 3, 2012. 
  6. ^ "2012 Cleveland Indians Preview". The Columbus Dispatch. April 1, 2012. Retrieved July 11, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Cleveland Indians on the Forbes MLB Team Valuations List". Forbes. March 1, 2013. Archived from the original on April 14, 2013. Retrieved April 14, 2013. 
  8. ^ "2014 Cleveland Indians Media Guide". Major League Baseball Advanced Media. February 18, 2014. 
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  10. ^ a b c "Progressive Field". Progressive Insurance. Retrieved July 12, 2012. 
  11. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
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  34. ^ "Portfolio". Osborn Engineering. Retrieved July 11, 2012. 
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  45. ^ Briggs, David (March 29, 2007). "Tribe Cuts Ribbon on Heritage Park". Major League Baseball Advanced Media. Retrieved July 12, 2012. 
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  52. ^ Associated Press (July 27, 2011). "Ervin Santana Throws No Hitter". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved July 12, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Events and tenants
Preceded by
Cleveland Stadium
Home of the Cleveland Indians
1994–present
Succeeded by
Current
Preceded by
Veterans Stadium
Host of the All-Star Game
1997
Succeeded by
Coors Field