Photo Gallery: Progressive Field construction updates — new Gate C concourse views, action shots and more
The Indians played host to local media on Tuesday to update the ongoing Progressive Field enhancement project. As you can see from the photos above, work continues at a rapid rate before winter officially arrives (which as we all fear, should be any day). Tribe VP of Ballpark Ops Jim Folk spoke of the project; here’s an excerpt from MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian’s coverage.
At the moment, dirt and rubble is piled up around Gate C behind the stadium’s center field. The ballpark is in the process of what Folk described Tuesday as a “very dramatic facelift,” but he is confident that the construction crews will be able to hit their marks in prepping Progressive Field for the April 10 home opener against the rival Tigers. “I don’t think you’ll ever hear a construction guy say he’s ahead of schedule,” Folk said with a laugh, “but the schedule is moving along. We’ve had a lot of great work and we’ve had good weather. We’re in good shape.”
The current project — one that will overhaul the Gate C entrance, remodel the bullpens, install a variety of social spaces and upgrade the concessions and Kids Club — is part of a multi-phase master plan that could take four or five years to complete, according to Folk. The main objective for this first privately funded phase is to provide fans with a more social experience.
Folk said the Indians did extensive studies through focus groups, surveys and interviews with season-ticket holders and other fans. Cleveland also sent groups to ballparks such as Target Field (Minneapolis), Kauffman Stadium (Kansas City) and Nationals Park (Washington) to study some of the new elements and renovations that have been added elsewhere.
The Indians found that — unlike in the era when Progressive Field was built — fans now are interested in more interactive and social areas. Folk cited the Home Run Porch area in left field (near Gate A) as an example of a place where fans gravitate.