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Thursday, August 07, 2014

Indians announce major changes for Progressive Field in 2015

I wonder if they will keep the statue of Ryan Raburn out in left-field.

There will be a statue of Indians legend Larry Doby, who was the first African-American player in the American League, and starred for the Tribe form 1947-1955, and again in 1958. I was on board with the Jim Thome statue all along, but have also said repeatedly that Doby was the other player who really deserved to be honored in this way. Of all the announcements made today, this is the one I find most exciting. His statue, along with Thome’s and Bob Feller’s, will all be moved to the same part of the stadium.

Gate C, which is beyond right-center field, will be revamped to create a more open space with a view of the field.

The bullpens will be rebuilt so that they are right next to one another, and there will be seating on all sides of them, giving fans an “enhanced connection.” (This should also cut down on the number of balls thrown onto the field by Cincinnati relievers!)

The Kids Clubhouse will be expanded to two levels.

A number of luxury suites will be removed. Progressive Field currently has the second most suites in MLB, so this move makes sense.

There will be a new two-story bar down the right-field line, with decks that look out onto the field and city skyline beyond the stadium, There will be both indoor and outdoor seating at the bar.

The upper deck in right field will be rebuilt so that it can host large-group gatherings during the season (perhaps an LGT meetup???). It will also be structured in a way that allows for the section to be used as a standing-room only area for the postseason and other high-demand games.

Progressive Field currently has a seating capacity of 42,487. These renovations will lower that capacity to somewhere between 37-38,000.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 07, 2014 at 12:06 PM | 20 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: indians, progressive field, stadium renovations

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   1. AROM Posted: August 07, 2014 at 01:44 PM (#4766406)
Do they have statues there for Speaker and Lajoie?

I would also consider statues for Kenny Lofton (more WAR in a Cleveland uniform than Thome), Willie Mays Hayes, and Rick Vaughn.
   2. bobm Posted: August 07, 2014 at 01:47 PM (#4766411)
What, no Omar Vizquel statue?
   3. AROM Posted: August 07, 2014 at 01:53 PM (#4766422)
He's second on the Indian's shortstop waiting list to Lou Boudreau. Lou's statue will include a spray chart with Ted Williams hits on it, and he'll be pointing towards right field.
   4. Jeltzandini Posted: August 07, 2014 at 02:12 PM (#4766437)
Once you get past the statues, this mainly reads as "luxury suites aren't selling."
   5. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: August 07, 2014 at 02:18 PM (#4766440)
Statues don't seem much like major changes, but then statues (and really, most sculptures in general) have never done that much for me. I get that they're nice tributes and are impressive in their permanence and solidity, but I don't think I've ever had a real connection with a statue or sculpture the way I have with most other kinds of art.
   6. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: August 07, 2014 at 02:23 PM (#4766444)
That's a pretty significant cut in seating capacity. You tend to see that sort of thing when a team switches parks and add lux suites/boxes (the Yankees went from around 57K to about 50-51K), but fewer seats AND fewer suites?
   7. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 07, 2014 at 02:23 PM (#4766446)

Statues don't seem much like major changes, but then statues (and really, most sculptures in general) have never done that much for me. I get that they're nice tributes and are impressive in their permanence and solidity, but I don't think I've ever had a real connection with a statue or sculpture the way I have with most other kinds of art.


At least they make for funny pictures.
   8. TDF, situational idiot Posted: August 07, 2014 at 02:53 PM (#4766484)
That's a pretty significant cut in seating capacity. You tend to see that sort of thing when a team switches parks and add lux suites/boxes (the Yankees went from around 57K to about 50-51K), but fewer seats AND fewer suites?
As far as I can tell from ballparks.com, this would make Progressive the smallest park in the AL, and one of only 3 under 40K.

Of course, they're drawing 18,327 this year (29th in MLB) and have averaged over 25K/gm twice since '02, so fewer seats probably doesn't hurt them much.
   9. Moeball Posted: August 07, 2014 at 04:08 PM (#4766597)
That's a pretty significant cut in seating capacity. You tend to see that sort of thing when a team switches parks and add lux suites/boxes (the Yankees went from around 57K to about 50-51K), but fewer seats AND fewer suites?


As a fan, I prefer to see fewer suite seats but more sweet seats.
   10. BDC Posted: August 07, 2014 at 04:37 PM (#4766609)
I was in Cleveland for a Ranger game last week, and will post more about that in a Dugout soon – basically, it's a very pleasant place to watch a game in 2014, and it doesn't seem that any of these changes will alter that fact.

Bars and restaurants seem to be replacing luxury boxes as the big income generators. You can get way more people moving through them, spending money continuously. It just took a while to catch on as a business model. When the Ballpark in Arlington opened in the mid-90s, there was a restaurant up on the top deck in right field that was open year-round, whether the Rangers were home or not. But it was out of the way and hard to get to, and didn't do enough business during games or not. On the face of it, a restaurant open <5 hours per day 81 days a year is an even worse bet, but if it's constantly packed for those 400 hours, it probably makes great sense. You do have to change people's behavior so that they prefer a sit-down air-conditioned dining experience with craft beers to sitting out in the rain or the 90-degree heat eating a soggy hotdog, but how hard can that be.
   11. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 07, 2014 at 04:41 PM (#4766610)
   12. Flynn Posted: August 07, 2014 at 06:34 PM (#4766678)
That's a pretty significant cut in seating capacity. You tend to see that sort of thing when a team switches parks and add lux suites/boxes (the Yankees went from around 57K to about 50-51K), but fewer seats AND fewer suites?


To be fair, they're basically getting rid of the third-deck outfield seats, which are terrible seats a lot of the older mallparks have, and seats the newer mallparks have tried to avoid including. The Rockies got rid of most of their third-deck outfield seats with their new party deck this year. Even in a place like AT&T, the seats down the left field line are basically empty most of the time.

   13. BDC Posted: August 07, 2014 at 06:51 PM (#4766686)
third-deck outfield seats

In Arlington, the third deck in left field is also the sun field, a brutal experience for day games and the field is somewhat invisible. I don't know why you'd go out there unless you were a masochist, and indeed it's always empty.
   14. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: August 07, 2014 at 07:50 PM (#4766716)
So they plan to make Progressive changes?
   15. Walt Davis Posted: August 07, 2014 at 09:25 PM (#4766766)
You do have to change people's behavior so that they prefer a sit-down air-conditioned dining experience with craft beers to sitting out in the rain or the 90-degree heat eating a soggy hotdog, but how hard can that be.

Heck, way back when (the night of Bonds's 600th HR), we got decent burgers, garlic fries and a couple of Anchor Steams delivered to our seats in Pac Bell.

There were a few moments of "Ain't modern life amazing" vertigo but we had little difficulty adjusting to this new reality.
   16. DL from MN Posted: August 07, 2014 at 10:58 PM (#4766814)
The plaza looks like it was lifted from Target Field. I think the new Braves ballpark is doing the same thing.
   17. McCoy Posted: August 07, 2014 at 11:09 PM (#4766822)
Bars and restaurants seem to be replacing luxury boxes as the big income generators. . . .

The thing is they aren't really restaurants. They are "upscale" concession stands.
   18. What's the realistic upside, RMc? Posted: August 08, 2014 at 07:28 AM (#4766903)
Remember when they used to add seats when they renovated stadiums...?
   19. Lassus Posted: August 08, 2014 at 08:33 AM (#4766920)
Unless I missed it, I'm stunned I'm reading about a stadium re-design that doesn't include moving in the outfield walls.
   20. Nasty Nate Posted: August 08, 2014 at 09:52 AM (#4766984)
The Kids Clubhouse will be expanded to two levels.


They should re-name it the Kids Kluber-house after their ace.

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