CLEVELAND -- For the third straight offseason, the Cleveland Indians have made improvements to Progressive Field, and they unveiled those upgrades and improvements to the media Wednesday.
From new additions to the various restaurants featured around the concourses to better WI-FI connectivity and more energy-efficient lighting systems, the Indians have made plenty of changes designed to enhance the fan experience and reduce the impact the ballpark has on the environment.
“We’re very excited about having the community come back to Progressive Field,” Indians owner Paul Dolan told WKYC. “It looks great. We’ve made smaller changes compared to other years, but changes that will continue to make coming to the ballpark great. We look forward to seeing everybody in the few days.”
During the abbreviated offseason following the World Series appearance last fall, the Indians had 456 1,000-watt LED fixtures installed atop the stanchions on Progressive Field.
The energy-efficient lights will be 20 to 30 percent brighter and last between 20 and 30 years. The new lighting system, which will be utilized by 10 other teams this season, will significantly reduce glare and shadows on the field and offer quick power-up options.
Additionally, the new system will help the Indians achieve a 70 percent reduction in electrical usage. In 2016, the Indians saved 407,000 kWh of energy, and diverted more than 46 percent of total waste from area landfills. Also, the organization saved 679,159 gallons of water, while turning 66 tons of food waste into renewable energy.
Now, the Indians offer free wireless internet to all fans at Progressive Field, which will allow fans to better enjoy the MLB Ballpark app.
The app encourages fans to manage tickets and skip lines by using mobile-only gates. The digital ticket scans will unlock exclusive giveaways for select fans, and the app allows for direct access to fan services, concession stand menus, concourse maps and virtual-reality videos.
The concession stand menus will come in handy, especially early in the season, when fans decide to sample the new offerings.
The Indians have partnered with their 13th local restaurant, the Market Garden Brewery, to offer its beer and food selections in Section 133. The Nano Slider Trio will be the Market Garden Brewery’s feature selection.
Also, the Indians announced new food options for Slider Dogs and the Terrace Club. Veal parmesan sliders will be available in both locations, while the Po’ Man sandwich (kielbasa, pierogi and sauerkraut topped with beer mustard) will be a new option at the Great Lakes Brewery stand in Section 107.
The Terrace Club will offer fans grilled Asian salmon, and is open for all fans.
To go along with the additions along the concourses, the Indians replaced the turf and upgraded both the suites and press box.
“Having a good baseball team helps in the process, but we want to make the fan experience as good as possible, and we think we’re taking some large steps toward that,” Dolan said.
“In the summer, we become an entertainment district in and of itself apart from the baseball that is played here. Opening Day is the opener for The Corner Bar and other great food and entertainment venues for the fans.”
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