Exterior photo of Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio. 

Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio was the fifth ballpark on our staff's quest to see all thirty Major League ballparks. The Indians were hosting the Kansas City Royals in a game that had plenty of meaning with the Indians trailing the Royals by only 2 ½ games in the AL Wildcard race.

There was one week left in the regular season. The attendance was a bust with just over 10,000 fans showing up that evening. It reminded me of the Indian crowds depicted on the movie 'Major League' starring Charlie Sheen and Wesley Snipes. The Indians were lifeless considering the Indians were a few wins away from a playoff berth. The bleachers were almost completely empty and it allowed everyone to see just how massive this ballpark is. 

View of the playing field at Progressive Field, Home of the Cleveland Indians.

We stayed at the Hampton Inn on east 9th street which was a ten minute walk to the stadium. The ballpark is massive and has somewhat of a cookie-cutter design from the outside. It's adjacent to Quicken Loans Arena where Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers play. There is shopping on site with the Tower City Mall next door. Also adjacent to the stadium is the Gateway District where you will find plenty of bars and restaurants to dine at either before or after the game. We ate at 'The Butcher and the Brewer' which is not cheap but also not expensive and has an incredible setting. Their beer and food offerings are unlike any other brew-pub you've encountered. For their menu, check out it here.

 

Parking was cheap and plentiful although it would be best advised to take the RTA to the stadium depending on where you're coming from. Cleveland as a city gets a bad reputation but I can assure you, it is nothing like Detroit or St. Louis. Downtown is very clean, safe and we didn't encounter any beggars or homeless.

Our tickets were for section 130, row B and set us back only $36. These were excellent seats. Right next to us was the ball boy that sits down the first base side which you can see the photo. A good number of the seats in this section were protected by the overhang. Although it was a cold September evening, take note of this for the hot day games next season. The seats offered plenty of leg room but at the arm rests, we were very crowded. Still, it was a comfortable row. There are cup holders. This section provided us with a great view of the pitcher's mound and Cleveland Skyline in the distance. The Indians dugout was to our left and the Royals bullpen was to our right. Lorenzo Cain and other Royals players stretched right in front of us before the game so section 130 will provide an intimate game experience.

View of Progressive Field from section 130.

The concourses were concrete and bland and much smaller than other ballparks I've been to. Still, there were no traffic jams but I imagine when the stadium is ¾ full, this becomes a problem. In certain spots, you will find picnic tables set up for fans so that you can eat before returning to your seat. The concessions only offered the stadium basics with a good beer selection. However, the bargains could not be beaten. $4 beers, $3 hot dogs, $4 nachos. I didn't encounter any restaurants in the stadium on the first level but perhaps I missed them.

Cleveland Indians Team Shop at Progressive Field.

The scoreboard is beautiful especially when you stand underneath it in the bleacher area. Keep in mind, the fans in the bleachers can't access the regular parts of the stadium; they're limited to the bleachers.

Scoreboard at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio. 

The famous Indians fan John Adams was in attendance that night as he always is. He sits in the last row of the bleachers and bangs on a drum when the Indians are in scoring position, when they take the field and when they're winning in the 9th. He has been doing this at Cleveland Indians games for more than 40 years. Overall, Progressive Field is a wonderful stadium that set the standard for the new era of ballparks post 1990. Many Indians fans will still refer to it as Jacobs Field or “The Jake”. It's clean, easy to get to, has friendly fans and the prices to attend are very reasonable. The atmosphere was dead that night but the Indians haven't had much to cheer about in recent years. Go Tribe! 

 

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