Progressive Field to celebrate 20 years in 2014

CLEVELAND -- When the Tribe takes the field April 4, 2014, it will mark the 20th home opener at Progressive Field.

"When the arena opened and Jacobs Field opened at the time, you know it really signified a new birth and a new sense of pride in the city of Cleveland," said Mark Shapiro, Cleveland Indians President.

Looking back at opening day 20 years ago, Indians fans packed into what was called "Jacobs Field" for the first time. They watched as President Bill Clinton threw out the first pitch and they cheered as the Tribe went on to defeat the Seattle Mariners 4-3 in 11 innings.

In an interview with Channel 3's Russ Mitchell, Shapiro talked about Progressive Field's history and its future in the city and with team.

When asked about some of the best moments at Progressive Field, Shapiro rattled off several big plays including Sandy Alomar's home run off Mariano Rivera, two world series and clinching in '07.

But just like any fan, Shapiro said it's not all about the big games.

"Some of the greatest moments are just the average nights in the season when the unsuspecting event happens."

Now, the team is looking at how they can continue to create those memories in the future.

"One of the great challenges, and it's an interesting one, is how do we prepare for the next 20 years? How do we take this incredible building that, although meticulously up-kept, needs to make an adjustment to the next generation of ballparks and the next generation of Indian fans?"

Shapiro said they are doing a lot of research on how to help Progressive Field evolve without violating the things that make the location so special.

The team is planning to celebrate Progressive Field's 20th anniversary throughout the upcoming season.

"We are going to have celebrations of the ballpark," Shapiro said. " Some recognition, bring back some people that we will keep a surprise for now, that played a very special role in the history of this ballpark."

Shapiro added that the team plans to continue to ask their fans how to make the ballpark experience the best it can be.

The Indians host the Minnesota Twins on opening day next year.

Check out the Tribe's 2014 schedule: Regular Season Schedule

Tribe Fest kicks off Jan. 25: Click here for ticket information


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