Tribe an economic engine for Cleveland

Tribe an economic engine for Cleveland
Indians are an economic engine for Cleveland (Source: WOIO)

fans, as usual, are fired up and showing up in big numbers for Opening Day. But getting people into the ballpark has been a struggle for the franchise over the last five years.

Progressive Field renovations, the Indians hope, along with a team that should contend will put more people in the seats.

Despite the falling attendance numbers, the Indians, according to Jen Kramer of Destination Cleveland, are a major economic engine for the city of Cleveland.

"The Indians are able to create 2,500 jobs which equates to about $92 million in earnings," said Kramer.

The Indians also generate $220 million in taxable revenue inside the ballpark. Outside the park the numbers are just as critical. Restaurants, bars and hotels count on the Indians' 81 home games to add to their bottom lines.

The Radisson Hotel Gateway is packed for the weekend with baseball fans.

"Absolutely, we do fill up easily, especially weekend games, your Friday, Saturday and Sunday games," said Radisson Manager Ryan Phelps. "If they're playing a team like Boston or Detroit it does fill up the hotel and restaurant."

Pure economics are a key piece of the Indians puzzle, but the image benefits and branding they provide pull it all together.

There are only 30 Major League Baseball teams and Cleveland has one of them, which generates constant media attention and the chance to show off how far the city has come.

"People are coming in and want to experience the game then also the city and that's a great chance to showcase all that we have," said Kramer.

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