CLEVELAND — On Monday night, the future of baseball in Cleveland for at least the next 15 years was decided.
Cleveland City Council approved a $117 million contribution toward the $435 million deal to update Progressive Field. The renovation package for Progressive Field is tied to a lease extension that will keep the Guardians playing here through 2036. The council passed the legislation by a 13-3 vote.
About $200 million of the price is for new and upgraded amenities as opposed to repairs and upkeep.
Shortly after the vote by council, the Guardians released the following statement:
"We are excited that Cleveland City Council approved our lease extension this evening. We are very appreciative of the partnership from the entire public sector (City, County, State) throughout the process to achieve a finalized, long-term agreement. We also want to thank the many champions from the business community, Greater Cleveland Partnership, Destination Cleveland, hospitality industry, labor/trades and many others for supporting and believing in this as a wise investment that maintains Cleveland’s reputation as a Major League community. The approval of this agreement, spanning at least 15 years, will allow us to create a more compelling fan experience at Progressive Field, provide funding for capital repairs to preserve this public asset, and address needed upgrades to significantly enhance our team's ability to perform on the field in our quest to win a World Series. We will now focus on advancing our planning for the proposed ballpark enhancement projects and needed capital repairs."
Cleveland’s finance package includes $8 million in annual funding – coming from revenue from a city-owned parking garage near Progressive Field, proceeds from admission taxes on ballgames and from selling the naming rights to the parking garage. But if revenues fall short, Cleveland will have to find other sources to cover its share of the price tag.
Cuyahoga County Council already approved its portion – about $138 million, which comes largely from a tax on hotel stays and from a county-wide tax on alcohol and cigarette sales.
Gov. Mike DeWine has pledged to rally lawmaker support for a state contribution of $30 million.
During a final hearing before Cleveland City Council last week, a Guardians representative argued the team’s 81 home games drive economic development downtown. The team is kicking in $150 million toward the price tag -- and argues the renovation is cheaper than building new stadium.
- Cleveland City Council to hold final vote next week on its portion of $435 million Progressive Field renovation
- Cleveland Indians to officially become Cleveland Guardians on Friday, Nov. 19; Team store to open with new gear
- Cuyahoga County Council approves $202.5 million Progressive Field lease extension plan