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Progressive Field

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Progressive Field is a ballpark located in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, and is the home of the Cleveland Indians of the American League. Along with Quicken Loans Arena, it is part of the Gateway Sports and Entertainment Complex. It was ranked as Major League Baseball's best ballpark in a 2008 Sports Illustrated fan poll.[1]

The ballpark is informally referred to as The Jake, based on its original name, Jacobs Field (after former team owners Richard and David Jacobs). It was known by that name since its inaugural season in 1994, until it was changed to Progressive Field before opening day 2008.

HistoryEdit

1990sEdit

In 1994, the ballpark opened under the name Jacobs Field as the new home of the Cleveland Indians, which had previously shared Cleveland Municipal Stadium with the NFL's Cleveland Browns.

In May 1990, Cuyahoga County voters approved a 15-year sin tax on alcohol and cigarette sales in order to finance the new sports complex. In June 1992, the ceremonial first pitch was thrown at the site of the new Jacobs Field before construction of the building began. On April 4, 1994, the Indians played their first game at the new stadium. President Bill Clinton threw out the ceremonial first pitch, and the Indians defeated the Seattle Mariners 4-3 in 11 innings.

In 1995, it hosted its first World Series, in which the Cleveland Indians lost to the Atlanta Braves. Two years later, it was the site of the 1997 MLB All-Star Game, in which the American League defeated the National League 3-1. In 1997, it hosted the 1997 World Series, which the Cleveland Indians lost to the Florida Marlins.

Prior to the start of the 1997 season, two sections of seating were added onto the ends of the bleacher section, increasing the capacity by about 1,000 to its current 43,345.

2000sEdit

File:JacobsFieldLogo150.PNG

In 2004, South Dakota based Daktronics installed what was at the time the largest video display in the world at a sports venue. The video board measures 36 ft high by 149 ft wide. Also in 2004, a center field dining area located behind the seating, formerly occupied by auxiliary bleachers, was replaced with a bar area called the Batter's Eye Bar.

In 2007, the Cleveland Indians opened Heritage Park, a section honoring the Cleveland Indians Hall of Fame, the 100 greatest Cleveland Indians players,[2] memorable Indians moments, and a memorial plaque for Ray Chapman that was originally installed in League Park. It is located behind the center field wall, shielded by plantings so it doesn't interfere with the batter's eye.[3]

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)[4] enveloped the playing field, distracting relief pitcher Joba Chamberlain. Chamberlain walked Grady Sizemore who later scored the tying run on a wild pitch.[5] The incident became known as the "Bug Game". In 2009, seagulls began to reside in the outfield during games at the stadium, even interrupting a game-winning ground ball play in a game against the Kansas City Royals. Stadium groundskeepers are currently searching for a solution to the problem, most recently shooting off fireworks after each half-inning in an attempt to scare the birds away.

In August 2008, the Indians extended their lease agreement for the stadium from 2013 to 2023. The agreement with the Gateway Economic Development Corp. also gives the team four five-year renewal options after 2023.[6]

RenamingEdit

Named for former team owners the Jacobs brothers, the original naming rights expired at the end of 2006.[7]

On January 11, 2008, it was announced that naming rights to the park had been bought by Progressive Corporation, an insurance company headquartered in nearby Mayfield Village.[7] Removal of the iconic Jacobs Field sign on the front of the building began the morning of January 18, 2008,[8] with the replacement sign installed on March 25, 2008.[9] Progressive agreed to pay $57.6 million for the naming rights for 16 years.[10][11]

Attendance recordEdit

The ballpark set a major league record between June 12, 1995 and April 4, 2001 by selling out 455 straight games.[12] Demand for tickets was so great that all 81 home games were sold out before opening day on three separate occasions. 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.[13]

"Slider" storeEdit

The ballpark features a make-your-own-mascot store. The Indians' mascot, "Slider", is one of only three Major League Baseball team mascots to be inducted into the Mascot Hall of Fame.

Ballpark firstsEdit

Statistic Person(s) Date
First Ceremonial First Pitch President Clinton to Sandy Alomar, Jr. April 4, 1994
First Hit Eric Anthony (Seattle Mariners), home run April 4, 1994
First Indians Hit Sandy Alomar, Jr., single to right field April 4, 1994
First Double Manny Ramirez April 4, 1994
First Triple Ken Griffey, Jr. (Seattle Mariners) April 7, 1994
First Home Run Eric Anthony (Seattle Mariners) April 4, 1994
First Indians Home Run Eddie Murray April 7, 1994
First Indians Run Candy Maldonado, scored on Manny Ramírez 2-run double in the 8th inning April 4, 1994
First Grand Slam Paul Sorrento May 9, 1995
First Inside-the-park home run David Bell April 15, 1998
First Winning Pitcher Eric Plunk April 4, 1994
First Save Hipólito Pichardo (Kansas City Royals) April 15, 1994
First Triple Play Casey Blake-Asdrúbal Cabrera-Víctor Martínez (5-4-3) August 27, 2007
First Unassisted Triple PlayAsdrúbal CabreraMay 12, 2008

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

Template:S-sta
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

Template:Cleveland Indians

Current ballparks in Major League Baseball
National League American League
AT&T Park | Busch Stadium | Chase Field | Citi Field | Citizens Bank Park | Coors Field | Dodger Stadium | Great American Ball Park | Marlins Park | Miller Park | Nationals Park | PETCO Park | PNC Park | Turner Field | Wrigley Field Angel Stadium of Anaheim | Comerica Park | Fenway Park | Kauffman Stadium | O.co Coliseum | Minute Maid Park | Oriole Park at Camden Yards | Progressive Field | Rangers Ballpark | Rogers Centre | Safeco Field | Target Field | Tropicana Field | U.S. Cellular Field | Yankee Stadium

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