Progressive Field
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. 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. The ballpark contains 2,064 club seats and 126 luxury suites.

The Cleveland Indians previously played at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, which was their full-time home since the 1947 season and they shared with the NFL's Cleveland Browns. However, by the mid-1980s, Cleveland Municipal Stadium was showing its age. Players and fans complained that the aging stadium was "too big and too old." The 75,000-seat stadium had seen the Indians set numerous attendance records, but during the Indians' dark years even crowds of 40,000 looked sparse. Additionally, it lacked the amenities of other ballparks, such as luxury boxes. In May 1990, Cuyahoga County voters approved a 15-year sin tax on alcohol and cigarette sales in order to finance the new Gateway Sports and Entertainment Complex. In June 1992, Indians legend Mel Harder, who pitched the Opening Game at Cleveland Municipal Stadium in 1932, along with current-era stars Charles Nagy and Sandy Alomar, Jr., executed the ceremonial first pitch at the site of the new ballpark before construction began. The ballpark opened as Jacobs Field, named for former team owner Richard Jacobs, who paid for the naming rights through the end of 2006. On April 4, 1994, the Indians played their first game at the new stadium. By only a few months, it became the first new major-league facility to be built in Cleveland itself since Municipal Stadium's opening in 1932. 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, thanks to a two-run home run by Indians catcher Sandy Alomar, Jr., the game's MVP. Also in 1997, it hosted the 1997 World Series, which the Cleveland Indians lost to the Florida Marlins. 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". 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.

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. Removal of the iconic Jacobs Field sign on the front of the building began the morning of January 18, 2008, and the replacement sign was installed on March 25, 2008. Progressive agreed to pay $57.6 million for the naming rights for 16 years. The ballpark was originally slated to be renamed the alliterative name Progressive Park. However, it was later realized that this name belonged to a picnic facility in Council Bluffs, Iowa. So the stadium thus is now called Progressive Field.

Attendance record
The ballpark set a major league record between June 12, 1995 and April 4, 2001 by selling out 455 straight games. 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.


Construction and design
The ballpark, which was referred to simply as "Cleveland Indians Baseball Park" on blueprints, cost approximately $175 million to build, of which $91 million, or 52 percent, came from Indians owner Richard Jacobs. The remaining $84 million, or 48 percent, was from the sin tax. The Gateway ballpark and arena were the first sports facilities in the United States to be constructed simultaneously at the same location. The ballpark was designed by HOK Sport (now known as Populous), a division of Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum. HOK designed it as a retro-modern ballpark, similar to their just-completed Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, with asymmetrical fences of varying heights, a smaller upper deck, and stepped tiers. The ballpark was situated in a way that would showcase Cleveland's downtown skyline. Structural engineering was performed by local firm Osborn Engineering, which helped designed Cleveland Municipal Stadium along with "old" Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park. Griffith, IN-based Triad Design Associates performed the interior architecture, while local minority firm Whitley/Whitley Inc. did the interior architectural design. Dallas-based Wrightson, Johnson, Haddon & Williams, Inc. performed the acoustic and video engineering. The installation of seating was completed in October 1993.


The ballpark has numerous unique structural features. It is illuminated by 19 toothbrush-shaped vertical light towers, which stand 200 feet (61 m) above street level (218 feet (66 m) above the playing field). The distinctive light towers were incorporated into the original Jacobs Field logo as well as the 1997 All-Star Game logo. The playing field has also several unique features, including asymmetrical fences of varying heights. There is a wall 19-feet high in left field, but drops to nine-foot in center field and maintains that height around to right field. The bullpens are raised above the playing field, which allows fans to see who is warming up. Indians' bullpen is located in center field (next to section 101), while the visitors bullpen is in right field (next to section 113). The ballpark also has a glass-enclosed multi-level restaurant named the Terrace Club located along the left field foul line on the suite level. In addition to a valid game ticket, fans need a pass to enter to the Terrace Club. It is also available on non-gamedays for special events, such as business meetings, weddings, and anniversaries. The Bud Light Party Deck is located just into right field foul territory (between the visitors bullpen and section 117). There is a child-oriented playarea named KidsLand, which is located on the Mezzanine Level. A Indians team shop is located behind Section 165, which sells hats, clothes, and other assorted merchandise. It has 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. 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. 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 feet (11 m) high by 149 feet (45 m) 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. Originally, there was a picnic area is located behind the center field fence. However, in 2007, the Cleveland Indians converted the space into Heritage Park. It honors the Cleveland Indians Hall of Fame, the 100 greatest Cleveland Indians players, memorable Indians moments, and a memorial plaque for Ray Chapman that was originally installed at League Park. It is shielded by plantings so it does not interfere with the batter's eye.

Ballpark firsts

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 Play Asdrúbal Cabrera May 12, 2008


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