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Cleveland Indians reach deal to extend Progressive Field lease to 2036, invest $435 million for renovations

Two guardians rest on the Hope Memorial Bridge within site of Progressive Field, Friday, July...
Two guardians rest on the Hope Memorial Bridge within site of Progressive Field, Friday, July 23, 2021, in Cleveland. Cleveland's new name was inspired by two large landmark stone edifices near the downtown ballpark, referred to as traffic guardians, on the Hope Memorial Bridge over the Cuyahoga River. The team's colors will remain the same, and the new Guardians' new logos will incorporate some of the architectural features of the bridge. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)(AP)
Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 10:24 AM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The owner of the Cleveland Indians, as well as state and regional leaders, gave an update to lease negotiations for Progressive Field during a virtual briefing on Wednesday afternoon.

Paul Dolan, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, and others said a potential lease agreement has been reached that would keep the team in the city until at least 2036, pending legislative approval.

“It’s an investment in Cleveland’s future,” Mayor Jackson said.

Progressive Field opened in 1994. The current lease for the publicly-owned facility is set to expire in 2023.

There is a potential of adding an additional 10 years to the lease, extending it to 2046.

As part of the deal, approximately $435 million would be invested into the stadium over the next 15 years for renovations to assets like the upper deck concourse and other social spaces.

“Building new would cost a fortune,” Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish said. “That’s why we chose renovation.”

In late 2014 and early 2015, major renovations were done to the ballpark to add premium seating, a new bullpen, and improve views.

According to the organization, funding would be supported by the state of Ohio, city of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, and the Cleveland Indians. No new or increase taxes would be introduced to the region’s residents.

“This project ensures that Progressive Field remains competitive in the future and guarantees that baseball remains in Cleveland until at least 2036,” added Mayor Jackson. “We are one of a few cities that have three major sports teams all located in a central business district. This shows that sports are important to the economic vitality of our hospitality industry and baseball specifically is critical to Cleveland’s future.”

Cuyahoga County President Kevin Kelley released a statement regarding the tentative agreement:

“Any legislation tied to the lease extension will go through the council committee process for full review. Council will have a full agenda when we return to regular sessions in September, including American Rescue Act expenditures, and our main focus will be strengthening neighborhoods most affected by COVID.”

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