No Place Like Home

I have been waiting to write this blog. The blog on Progressive Field, the Cleveland Indians home since 1994.

Progressive Field has been the home of the Cleveland Indians since 1994.

I use the MLB Ballpark App to keep a tab on my ballpark travels and according to it there are five ballparks I have been to multiple times at the time of writing this. They are as follows:

Great American Ballpark (Cincinnati Reds): 9

PNC Park (Pittsburgh Pirates): 5

Comerica Park (Detroit Tigers): 2

Nationals Park (Washington Nationals): 2

Then there is Progressive Field. Which I have been to 40 times through April 2018 and that number has a good chance to go over 50 by the end of the 2018 season.

I want to set one thing clear. Progressive Field is not the best ballpark I have been to. It’s also not the most intimate ballpark. In fact, if not for some renovations, it would probably be lower on my list.

That’s just me spitting out my opinions. But it is still a phenomenal ballpark in my humble opinion and my “home” ballpark.

The renovations were necessary though. They got rid of about 7,000 seats so it would not seem as empty. The Indians were never drawing close to the old capacity anyway.

Progressive Field in its early days.

When the Indians renovated Progressive Field, they wanted to add more of a Cleveland feel to the ballpark.

They did this by adding concession stands throughout the lower level that served food from some of Cleveland’s most well known restaurants.

Some of these restaurants include Melt Bar and Grilled, Barrio, Dante’s Inferno, and many others. Of course, if you just want hot dogs, peanuts, and Cracker Jack, you can get the traditional ballpark food as well.

Perhaps the most popular place amongst some die hard Indians fans at Progressive Field is The Corner. Located in the right field corner (shocker), The Corner is two stories and serves as a popular place for fans to hang out and socialize before and during games. I know some fans who even prefer to stand at the railings during games and cheer on The Tribe.

The Corner is a popular hangout place for many Indians fans during a game.

I have spent plenty of time at The Corner before a game, usually on the second level. I’ve only stood at the railings once for a game. I prefer my seats in right field, section 111. Right field is easily my favorite area of Progressive Field. Not only are my season ticket holder seats out there, but most of my favorite food locations in the ballpark are near right field.  Then you also get a view of the giant HD videoboard in left view.

The left field scoreboard in all its glory.

When I say it’s giant, I’m not exaggerating (Picture above should prove me right).  The giant HD videoboard runs all the way behind the left field bleachers. Indians fans are spoiled. Go to other ballparks and see there scoreboards after seeing the one at Progressive Field, and you will probably be disappointed.

Progressive Field is located in what is called the Gateway Sports and Entertainment Complex. When it opened as Jacobs Field in 1994, it was part of a massive construction project that included what is now called Quicken Loans Arena, the home of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers.

Any true Cleveland fan will tell you the mid to late 90s were the baseball glory days in Cleveland and that the Indians were the hottest ticket in baseball. From June 12, 1995 to April 4, 2001, the Indians sold out every single home game. 455 consecutive games in fact. Demand for tickets was so high that in five separate seasons that all 81 home games were sold out before the season started.

Progressive Field during game 2 of the 2016 ALCS.

From 1995-2001, the Indians won 6 AL Central titles and 2 AL pennants. However, they fell short in their two trips to the Fall Classic.

Progressive Field is considered by many the second “retro” ballpark built. The first one being Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore. When it opened, many teams were still playing in stadiums that were not primarily used for baseball. While it’s become one of the older stadiums in baseball today, then Jacobs Field was a breath of fresh air. The future of ballparks at the time. Along with Oriole Park, it sparked the retro ballpark age.

I am too young to remember the 90s Indians, but I have been making as many memories as I can with the Indians of today. In 2016 I attended my first ever DS, LCS, and World Series games. All of the games at Progressive Field.

The Indians celebrate after winning game 2 of the 2016 ALDS.

Once again, Progressive Field is not the best ballpark you will attend. I am still telling you to go there and check it out. You will enjoy the family friendly atmosphere.

As I said before Progressive Field is my ballpark home. If I am ever offered a good job in Cleveland, I am taking it. I am that big of a Tribe fan. Progressive Field definitely has a lot do with that.

Just avoid the factory of sadness off Lake Erie.

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