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City council gives final approval on Cleveland’s funding of Progressive Field improvements

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: Nov. 29, 2021 at 9:23 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Cleveland City Council authorized the execution of a cooperative agreement between Cuyahoga County, the city of Cleveland, Gateway Development Corp., and the Cleveland Guardians for repairs, upkeep, and modernization of Progressive Field on Nov. 29.

This agreement extends the lease to keep the team in downtown Cleveland through at least 2036.

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

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

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 previously 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.

Cleveland City Council said, “the city, county, and state of Ohio will provide two-thirds of contributions to the fund with the city’s portion $8 million a year - and the baseball team will contribute one-third.”

No new or increase in 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,” Mayor Jackson previously said. “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.”

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