What a difference winning makes. Cleveland is that sports town that everyone knows, rarely wins titles, and is often the subject of various jokes. However, a trip to the newly spruced-up Progressive Field reveals that the magic is alive and well in the city once considered a "mistake by the lake."
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If you cannot find something you like to eat or drink at Progressive Field, you're way too picky of an eater. No matter whether you're sitting in the lower bowl or in the upper levels, the stadium has food vendors for pretty much every taste bud you may have. In addition, craft beers from local breweries are mixed in with national brands to satisfy almost every beer lover's preferences.
Something to eat can be as cheap as a buck during dollar hot dog nights. Other stands can run you as much as $15 for a main course item; however, the ingredients are fresh and often from locally grown and sourced places, and the portions are often very large and filling.
A bratwurst or Italian sausage runs just $5, caramel sundaes are $7, and a Fat Head Brewery sandwich runs $13 (no, really -- they're the size of your head).
The Indians were known for being one of the best teams in terms of fan atmosphere for decades, but that had gone away in recent years. However, a revitalization of the city in recent years, as well as continued success, has meant that "The Jake" is rocking like it once was. Fans pack the stands on any given night, the team puts on exciting performances almost every game, and the team keeps the night rolling with fan interaction throughout the evening.
The giant scoreboard in the outfield is now one state-of-the-art HD LED screen that shows stats, up-to-the-minute info on other players and plays, video replays, and the team's between-innings entertainment. In-game hosts interact with fans, give away prizes, and keep the energy going in a sport that is known for at times being boring for those fans who aren't die-hards. An energy team pumps up the crowd and throws t-shirts into the stands, both in the lower bowl and the upper deck, and every moment seems like something is going on.
The City of Cleveland gets a terribly undeserved rap for being dirty, smelly, run down, and downright ugly. That is so far from the truth. In reality, the city has grown tremendously in the last five years, revitalizing what was once the sketchiest parts of downtown into thriving centers for youngsters and families to gather, go shopping, and get great food. The city is now a food haven, home to countless breweries, local restaurants, and shops for everyone. The visiting fan has no shortage of places to stop and see. The old architecture that once graced the city in its heyday has been revamped to its halcyon days, shining once again in all its glory. And to top it off, Cleveland is now a center for Hollywood's biggest movies to be filmed.
The fans in Cleveland are loyal. No matter the record, they always turn out for big games. To top it all off, the recent winning has made those days of 400-plus sellouts in a row look like a possibility again. The stands are packed from the upper rows to the left field bleachers. Even the Home Run Porch is packed with standing-room-only fans. They all know the players on the field, they know their team's history, and they know the current standings and what is happening in the game. Nobody can claim the Indians games are packed with bandwagon fans, as that is not the case.
The trouble with Progressive Field is parking. The team sells per-game parking passes for the parking lots and garages next to the stadium. However, they fill up fast, meaning fans will have to find parking elsewhere in open lots around the area. Thankfully, those are plentiful as well, and with the majority of them being closed-entrance and patrolled by attendants, safety is a bit better than most. In addition, the stadium is right off the major highways that lead into Cleveland's downtown, so finding your way to Progressive Field is not a chore. If you're willing to walk a bit, parking can cost you as little as $10, with lots right next door as high as $45. Once you're there, there are numerous entrance gates to Progressive Field, all of which are well staffed and have tons of signs once you're inside that help guide you to where your seats are. The fact that a fan can walk the entire circumference of the stadium at the lower level is a testament to how easy it is to navigate the stadium on game day, something that other teams cannot say about their homes.
There is little question that an Indians game is always exciting. From the sound of the drum in the bleachers, to the fireworks after a home run, the Tribe puts on a show every night. While other teams would turn their success into a cash grab from their fans, the Indians have kept their cheap ticket options, with deals including a ticket and a beer for $13 and low prices for kids on various game days remaining in place. Even on an average night, there are tickets available on secondary markets that are fairly priced, as well. Add to that the quality of the facility, with its modern upgrades, its clean restrooms, and top notch food options, it is hard to argue against a night out to see the Indians, whether you're taking the whole family or going on a date.
The Indians are home to one of the coolest instrument players in sports, with mega fan John Adams manning the Indians drum in the top row of the outfield bleachers every game. He is very welcoming to visitors and photos during games, and even has a plaque dedicated to him where his seat is located.
Another neat aspect is the Indians' mascot, Slider. Much like the Philly Fanatic, it is hard to tell exactly what Slider is, but he is a hit with the kids, always dancing away between innings and stopping for photos with the younger fans.
History buffs can come and see the past come alive, as all throughout the stadium's concourses, the Indians' past is celebrated with pride. From artwork from local artists or pieces of memorabilia, the Indians know how to embrace their long heritage in the Major Leagues and combine it with the present.
In addition, Heritage Park, located in the outfield, shows off the team's various historic players and record-holders in a beautiful setting, complete with plaques for Cleveland's Negro League history as well as modern heroes.
Statues of Tribe greats also adorn the entrances to Progressive Field. Fans often gather around Jim Thome and others' likenesses for a quick photo.
Finally, what could be neater than an up-close look at the bullpen for both teams? Located on the outfield fan level, anyone can get up close to the bullpen during games and warmups and feel like they're part of the action, instead of looking down from above like a museum.
The Indians -- and the City of Cleveland, for that matter -- are often overlooked. Their histories are great, while also filled with darkness and down times, but the momentum is undoubtedly trending upwards. With a new facelift for the stadium, fans can get an up-close look at the game no matter where they're sitting, thanks to various bars and food vendors that also offer field-view seating to those who are willing to explore a bit. Add in the history of the team that is on display every night, the entertainment value, and a team with success in its future destined to return to glory, and it may be time for you to give Progressive Field a visit.
In 1901, the American League was founded with 8 charter members. The team in Cleveland was originally called the Bluebirds, which was later shortened to the "Blues" and finally they became the Indians in 1914.
The team's original stadium, League Park was located only 4 miles from their current home, Progressive Field. The remains of the original ticket office and a portion of the right field wall still stand today, and are a must-see for any ballpark chaser making the trip to Cleveland.
Progressive Field was built in 1994. Amazingly, when the Marlins move into their new ballpark in 2012, Progressive Field will be older than 18 stadiums in Major League Baseball. It was a crown jewel when it first opened as Jacobs Field. The place sold out 455 consecutive games from 1995-2001, causing the team to list 455 among their retired numbers, in honor of their great fans.
Today, the park has a fantastic downtown location, but there are many elements that seem outdated when compared to the many newer and more modern facilities.
Progressive Field was built in 1994 and was known as Jacobs Field until 2008, when the naming rights were purchased by Progressive Insurance.
Entering at the "C" gate (located just behind centerfield) the first stop is Heritage Park, located beyond center field. This is a small, outdoor Indians Hall of Fame where monuments have been erected to great Indians players of the past. Immediately next door is Batter's Eye Bar, a full bar within the confines of the stadium where one can enjoy the bar's thriving singles' scene while sitting on bar stools that overlook the field.
Continuing down the concourse, there are a myriad of concession stands to choose from as you make your way around the base of the stadium. General concessions are available nearly every step of the way, with stands hawking specialty items peppered throughout. Several team shops are available for souvenirs, the largest being located in the center of the concourse.
Progressive Field is really a great park for so many reasons. It is right in the downtown of Cleveland, with plenty to do before and after games. They also do a great job with the "Heritage Park" in right field, with tributes to past Indians greats.
If you get a chance, plan to go by League Park, or at least what's left, about 15 minutes or so from Progressive. Great sense of history there.
I know that many say that Baltimore's ballpark is the best in the majors, but until I actually go there and see for myself, Progressive Field is everything a baseball fan could ever want out of a ballpark and more.
Located in Downtown Cleveland, Progressive Field is a site to behold both structurally from the outside and from the inside.
A true masterpiece of MLB!
within walking distance, but all the other attractions of Cleveland are not even close to Jacobs/Progressive. Parking is difficult, I parked at the mall with the Hard Rock (cheaper and easier to get to both with) and it's "underground"-ish. You'll know what I mean if you park there.
Went to a game yesterday and enjoyed having a very good meal at Greenhouse Tavern before the game. There are many nice restaurants and bars close by the park which is nice. The stadium is nice (women's bathrooms were very clean) but nothing special jumped out to me. The concourse for the most part is very separate from the field which I did not like.
I've attended two games at Progressive Field and have to say that this is definitely a nice ballpark. It might get an upgraded acore since I saw my first no hitter here pitched by Ervin Santana earlier this year. Overll though a beautiful stadium with a variety of good food selections and great views from no matter where you sit.
The Jake (okay, Progressive) - is a great ballpark. Too bad the Indians haven't been competitive in several years - during the late 90's when the team was winning, this place was sold out consistently - had the longest streak in MLB for a while. It's a modern, clean park, built right after and taking inspiration from Camden Yards. No bad seats. Highly recommended.
The now famous 1989, Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen movie 'Major League' depicted an inept baseball team as they fought against all odds to battle in the American League. The subject of the film was of course the Cleveland Indians. The Indians were the perfect fodder for such a film. They had been inept for decades. They played in arguably the worst stadium in baseball. They lived up to the moniker of the Mistake by the Lake. When Cuyahoga County built what was then known as Jacobs Field, the fortunes of the Indians made a 180 degree turn. They were no longer the hapless losers playing in front of no fans, in the dumpiest stadium ever conceived. They were a power in the American League.
Major League is over two decades old. The Jake is also almost two decades old, and has since been renamed Progressive Field, and Indians baseball remains as great a baseball experience as any in the league.
I recently attended a game at Progressive Field with my four year-old son, and one improvement that the Indians have made is the Kids Play Area on the 3rd level. They have a small whiffle ball field, sliding game, pitching machine, and a place to throw your own pitches. I ended up making 3 trips to this area. It's free, and run by energetic and friendly young staff who do a fantastic job given the volume.
Actually, I kind of hate the play area, as my son wanted to spend the whole game there, so I didn't get to watch as much of the game as I would have wanted.
Progressive Field is becoming one of my favorite ballparks. They have great food, it's easy to get to/leave, and downtown Cleveland is a nice place to spend some time before or after the game.
Given the attendance issues at Progressive Field is 2012, combined with a winning team, this is a great time to go see an Indians game as tickets are inexpensive. We sat (the little bit that we did) in the second row of the upper deck behind home plate, and the cost of the tickets was below face value (using ScoreBig as the ticket provider).
Be sure to go and visit old League Park as part of a trip to Progressive Field, and if you're feeling sociable, go say hi to John Adams in the bleacher as he beats his bass drum, a tradition at Indians games for nearly 40 years.
I love going to the Rock N Roll City of Cleveland to see sporting events. I know great people there. In matter of fact, I went to a game last month and I met up with a guy who's taking his one year old daughter to all 81 games this year with him. He invited me back anytime. That makes my future games there even more enjoyable. As usual, I heard John Adams who beats his drum throughout the game in the bleachers. I always here him when I go to see the Tribe. I need to meet him someday. The location is ideal right downtown and off the highway. Overall it's a wonderful experience at Progressive Field. If you haven't been there, make the time to get there. They recently opened a Casino nearby too. There's plenty of entertainment to enjoy.
Even though it was 100 degrees when the game started we were able to get decent seats and in shade. The stadium is neither great nor terrible, but a decent average stadium. If you're looking for a wide variety of food and/or adult beverages this is the ball park for you. Just walking around the concourse I was able to see a plethora of beers.
There are a ton of bars/restaurants to go to after the game that are just a block away.
Over all a good stadium, but nothing that really made it stand out.
I am a baseball fan who has had the pleasure of attending games in many cities, and I was prepared to hate Progressive Field. It is Cleveland, after all, so how good could it be? While the ballpark is nice enough, it did enough to impress me on a few levels. They definitely do their part to teach you the history of this great franchise, and these days, that's all you have with this team. Getting tickets is easy, but the scampers and brokers along the sidewalks outside the ballpark will tell you anything to get you to buy from them, including lie about where your seats are. Once you are in, it's free reign, and no ushers were even around to question whether or not we were supposed to be sitting in the sweet seats we were in. (I would imagine if attendance was better, this would not be the case. The food was great...the gourmet hot dog I got from the Food Network stand was amongst the best food I hav ever had at a ballpark. Skip the buffalo Mac and cheese...seemed like a good idea (I am a red blooded American male), but it was dense and gave me a tummy ache. The beer selection is phenomenal...for ballpark prices, craft beer was not overpriced. It did advertise itself as having the best beer selection in the majors, though Mikwaukee gives it a run for its money. Neighborhood is underrated, with lots of bars within walking distance and great, craft beers available at most of them. There is a nice hotel we stayed at literally across the street from the park, which is nice if you are just coming for the weekend...you don't even need a car with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and so much stuff so close. All in all, very enjoyable experience!
I went back in 2010 and I thought Progressive Field was a gem. It was neat, clean, and a great place to watch a game. Food was magnificent and you got a lot of bang for the buck.
My only complaint was that the game I went to (Mets/Indians), about 3/4ths of the fans that were there were Mets fans. The Indians fans did not show up and it felt like what it would have been if I had gone to old Cleveland Stadium. I don't see how a city can go from 10 years previous where any ticket was a hard ticket to get to a hard draw and you could possibly get tickets for free. Sad too because the stadium is a real gem.
This ballpark is decent but a little overpriced. We payed $45 to sit high up in the nosebleed section. I liked the scoreboard; it was huge and informative. The "Little Green Monster" in left field and the Toyota Home Run Porch are nice.
Built in 1994, the then-Jacob’s Field rang in a new era for the Cleveland Indians. After struggling for years in the cavernous 74,000 seat Cleveland Municipal Stadium, the Indians would start off life in their new home by winning their first of 5 straight Central Division titles, 1995-1999 (and added two more in ‘01 and ‘07). The team would go on to win the A.L. pennant in 1995 and 1997.
During this time fans made “The Jake” a raucous home for the Indians. From June 1995 to April 2001, Indians fans would go on a 445 consecutive game sellout streak. It seemed like all the jokes made about the Indians were finally behind them.
But that was then. Now the Indians are in a “rebuild” phase. The team has started the 2013 season with a number of new names, including two-time World Series winner, Terry Francona becoming the Indians’ manager. Their Opening Day payroll of $82.5 million is a slight increase over 2012 but puts them at 21st in MLB. Still, they’re fighting to get some of those glory days back in Cleveland.
Saw the AL Wild Card game and was impressed with three things: fans were into the game and stood quite a bit (until it was clear the Indians were in trouble); there were $4 cans of beer including Rolling Rock; and you can stand along the concourse for the entire game.
This ballpark was one of the forerunners of the "retro stadium" movement, but seems to be left out when conversation turns to the trend. I have been here twice, and while the fans and atmosphere is lacking, I can see how great this place must have been when the Indians packed the house every night in the '90's. Great surrounding neighborhood.
Many good food selections.
Low attendance = quiet crowds.
Many bars and restaurants in walking distance.
$10 parking 2 blocks away. $25 near ballpark,
Biggest issue is seat cost, at least for a good seat. Indians are competitive, and a small market team, and near last in attendance. They may need to review their NY Yankee level seat prices. For a recent Reds game paid $68 for a left field box seat. That same seat in Cincinnati is $36 and similar in Pittsburgh. In Miami a lower box behind home plate was $42. If the Indians stop fan gouging, maybe the crowds will return.
Overall, this is a beautiful ball park. They recently announced some remodeling that will downsize their capacity by 5000.
It seems like yesterday when Kenny Lofton, Albert Belle, and Carlos Baerga were playing in front of 455 consecutive sellouts at Jacobs Field. The Progressive Field name was christened in 2008 when the Mayfield Heights, Ohio based insurance company bought naming rights for $58 million over 16 years. Now, 20 years after opening its doors in 1994, the 11th oldest park in the big leagues hosts one of the worst attendance drawing teams and recently unveiled a privately funded renovation to significantly overhaul the appearance of the stadium.
Scheduled to be completed by Opening Day 2015, the focus of this renovation is on adding more group areas and family-friendly spaces, eliminating approximately 5,000 seats from the stadium’s current capacity of 42,487. Taking a page out of Coors Field, the Indians are removing the seats from upper right field and adding terrace decks with views of the playing field and city. Progressive Field is also expanding the Kids Clubhouse to two levels and are constructing a climate controlled two-story bar in right field. Further, a redesigned main gate in right center field, a shift of both bullpens to center field, and an even greater focus on connecting Cleveland’s neighborhoods through food and beverage is in the works.
Before bulldozers could be lined up to raze parts of the ‘Jake,’ it is time to take one last look at the modern classic that helped rejuvenate a once downtrodden Indians franchise into one that seems to be on the cusp of again participating in postseason play.
Progressive Field opened in 1994 as one of the first of the modern era of MLB stadiums. Progressive Field features views of the Cleveland skyline and modern amenities that were missing at the old Cleveland Municipal Stadium. The new stadium was such a hit that the Indians enjoyed playing in front of 455 consecutive sellouts in Cleveland. The stadium and team were such big hits that five seasons had all 81 games sold out before the season started. That seems hard to fathom now.
This decade, Progressive Field has been one of the lowest attended MLB parks due to lack of team performance and fan interest. The Indians are starting to bring some fans back due to a promising roster as well as a fully stocked farm system. They also did some major renovations to the park in order to enhance the game day experience for fans.
Completed in 2015, the Indians eliminated nearly 5,000 seats from the park. Added enhancements such as an expanded Kids Clubhouse, a two story climate controlled bar, a Bob Feller museum, and group seating areas give fans new things to see at the park. They moved the bullpens to center field in 2015 and fans have the ability to walk up to the bullpens and watch the players warm up. Also, a reconfigured center field gate area gives an inviting feel to the park when fans first walk in. Perhaps the best part of the renovations is the new “right field experience.” This area takes a page from Coors Field in the sense that specialty foods and drinks are offered in one area. It is set up like a main street area of a town. Two walkways give fans plenty of room to browse the booths and pick out what they want.
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