SBD/July 29, 2011/Facilities

Progressive Field Model Suite Could Be Precursor To Further Renovations

Renovations at Progressive Field “may have begun with construction of a model loge completed last week,” according to Andrew John of the Cleveland PLAIN DEALER. Indians President Mark Shapiro said that the organization “is treating the suite much like a concept car.” He said that it “will showcase the latest in state-of-the-art technology and luxury, a gauge for feedback before going forward with full-scale loge reconstruction.” Changes include the “addition of a 42-inch flat screen TV, a smaller version of the flat screen for the private restroom, a built-in team memorabilia display, updated decor and a floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door.” Team officials are “letting prospective renters tour the new model, but believe the most valuable feedback will come from those who rent the suite for a game.” Some believe the 17-year-old Progressive Field “is at the age where improvements are needed.” Of the 30 ballparks in the league, only 11 are “older than Cleveland's -- and six of those have either undergone a major renovation or their cities are building new” facilities. Indians officials “talked last year of the need for looking at upgrading heating, lighting and other internal systems, as well as possibly changes to the park's exterior.” Shapiro said that loge improvements “may or may not play into the larger picture.” He added that the Indians “aren't competing against the newer or updated stadiums” in MLB, but are “battling for the corporate and entertainment dollars in Northeast Ohio” (CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER, 7/28). 

UP ON THE ROOF: In Ohio, Sheldon Ocker wondered if it is "too late to consider building a retractable roof over" Progressive Field. Indians Exec VP/Business Dennis Lehman said, “We talked to Populous (the successor to HOK architectural firm that designed the stadium) a couple of years ago. We would have to build something like huge railroad tracks over the park for the roof to slide on and off. I don’t think we have enough land here. It’s a pretty tight fit on the site now. They didn’t think it was practical.” He added that he has "no idea what a roof would cost" (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 7/28).
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