Opened as Jacobs Field in 1994, the Indians moved from the massive Cleveland Municipal stadium (you might remember it from such movies as Major League and Major League II).
After 13 years of being named Jacobs Field, the stadium officially changed its name to Progressive Field in 2008 (and yes, pretty much everyone hates it). It was an immediate success and until recently, as it held the major league record for sellouts at 455 (the listed capacity for the stadium is 43,345).
Cleveland is a great baseball town and like Camden Yards in Baltimore, Progressive Field was one of the first of the new generations of ballparks that helped change the landscape of the American baseball stadium.
Progressive Field is located right next to Quicken Loans arena and is part of the Gateway Sports and entertainment complex which flanks the southern part of downtown Cleveland.
Drew Carey talks about how "Cleveland Rocks"—this park is what got that ball rolling. There is a multitude of things to do in the neighborhood surrounding the ballpark, making Cleveland one of the best places for a sports road trip.
There is plenty of fan interaction. In 2004, Progressive field installed a new video board to complement their enormous left field score board (second largest in MLB behind the Nationals). Beyond the left field scoreboard is the Cleveland skyline.
In 2007, Progressive Field opened up Heritage Park, the new home of the Indians Hall of Fame. The ballpark also offers plenty of places to let kids runs wild. The best place to sample local fare in the ballpark is the center field Market Pavilion. Here you can grab a burrito, a beer, and listen to a pregame band as the first pitch approaches.
The ballpark also offers alternatives like sushi and salad. The Italian Cuban sandwich (oddly named) is delicious and everything goes well with Cleveland's own brown mustard.
The beer selection is decent, ranging from the standard American brews to Guinness at "ballpark reasonable" prices.
One aspect that many other stadiums "borrowed" from here is the concept of "hanging out" places for people to gather around and have a good time. This is perfect if you are meeting up with people that don't have seats in the same section as you.
The average ticket price for an Indians game will run you about $26. This stadium has three levels of luxury suites and quite a few private restaurants, which we will not delve into.
The upper deck, because of the three levels of suites, is very high and very steep. The left field bleacher seats are home to the Indians best fans. This is also home to the Wahoo Drum.
Getting to the game is hit or miss. Since it is near to the central business district, games often coincide with rush hour.
Progressive Field is right off of I-90. Parking bargains can be found near the park. Cleveland Rail Station drops you off only a short walk to the park (a bonus that you typically see in larger cities—nice!).
Jacobs Field/Progressive Field, after almost 15 years of existence, is still an excellent ballpark. Yes, it has some flaws, but that's what happens when you lead the way; people copy your good ideas and change the things that didn't necessarily work.
The most common complaint is the corporate feel that this park has taken on. This corporate concept is rooted in the beginning of this park's existence. It was constructed on the sole notion that Cleveland needed this park to compete with the Yankees and Red Sox of the world.
Did it work?
Tampa Bay may have proved that theory moot. Our thoughts here are don't let the corporate fat cats get you down, just enjoy the game.