What's New at Progressive Field?
By Jim Berdysz
March 21, 2013
A new season, a new team, and lots of new exciting things are happening at Progressive Field for the upcoming 2013 Major League Baseball season. From the dugout to the stands, many new features and improvements have been made at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario.
On Wednesday, the Indians hosted their annual “What’s New at Progressive Field” exclusive media event. Their biggest unveil of the season? The Collection Auto Club, a luxurious state of the art 5,000 square-foot premium suite sitting above the ballpark’s Club Seats. What were once 10 suites along the first base side of the diamond has transformed into an Indians world like no other.
Housing 120 seats, The Collection Auto Club is available only through a Season Ticket purchase. All the gourmet food and beverages including beer and wine are also included within that purchase. Inside you will still find your traditional stadium hot dogs and bratwursts, but also a high-end, non-traditional unique baseball taste. Some of which include shrimp, pasta, marinated chicken and carving station.
Besides the new Collection Auto Club, Senior Vice President Bob DiBiasio spoke of other improvements that surrounded the organization, stressing the Indians four guiding commitments for 2013: Baseball, fans, ballpark and community.
There’s no question the Indians were certainly busy on the baseball side of things this offseason. Putting the additions of Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn aside, new Tribe manager Terry Francona may just be the biggest catch of the winter.
“Tito is one of us,” DiBiasio said. “He played here, his father played here and now to come back to manage makes it really special.”
On a recent trip to Spring Training in Goodyear, Arizona, DiBiasio noted that he wanted to get a young player’s perspective on how different the atmosphere of the clubhouse was this year.
“I went up to Vinnie Pestano and he told me, ‘I thought I was walking in the wrong clubhouse.”’
Fans may also feel that same sense of surprise when they enter through the turnstiles come Opening Day, as Indians fans both young and old will see improvements especially at the concession stands.
“The fans asked, and we delivered on a number of new promotions and cost saving benefits this season,” DiBiasio said.
The newest cost saving for fans will be the Indians new 4,3,2,1 program. The program will feature a saving on some of Progressive Field’s most popular concessions which include $4 for 12-ounce domestic draft and can beer, $3 hot dogs every game, $2 soda refills and a total of 15 $1 Dog Nights.
When it has come to promotional giveaways over the last few years, the Indians have been one of the best in baseball. This season, the Tribe is offering giveaways at a record 20 games, which is up 11 from 2012. Some of the giveaways this season include four player jerseys (Swisher, Bourn, Jason Kipnis and Michael Brantley), a special Rocky Colavito Replica Hall of Fame Plaque and two bobbleheads (Albert Belle and Omar Vizquel). The Belle bobblehead will feature the former Indians slugger flexing his bicep while the Vizquel giveaway will be a special Gold Glove bobblehead.
Other promotions this season feature 16 fireworks nights (two Rock N’ Blast shows), 17 Rally Alleys will also take place throughout the six month journey as will 12 Kids Fun Days.
As for the ballpark that is Progressive Field, the popular Indians’ Social Suite has moved to the first base side of the field but will return for another season. Another new feature of the park will be in Section 151 where the top six rows of seats have been taken out to create a unique patio deck that can host up to 36 fans behind home plate.
Finally the community of the Indians organization has always been an integral part of the team for many years. With Cleveland Indians Charities celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Tribe has formed a program called “Catch 25.” For $25, you can donate a year of baseball or softball for a local less fortunate youth ballplayer, something that could go a long way for those young kids on the diamond.
Just like all the player additions this offseason, there is a lot to take in when it comes to new features and promotions the Indians have in store for fans in 2013. It’s only another reason to get excited that Indians baseball is just around the corner.
“The buzz that’s been around the city and around this organization and players is real, and we can’t wait to get this season going in just 12 days,” DiBiasio said.
Follow Jim on Twitter @JBirdman27 or he can be reached via email at email@example.com.