April 19, 2014

Cleveland Indians Announce Fan-Focused Initiative for Second Half

After months of hearing fans use parking costs and concession prices as an excuse for not attending Progressive Field to watch a team on the cusp of a playoff spot in the AL Central, the Cleveland Indians unveiled their initiative to provide a more cost-friendly approach to the second half of the season.

In a press conference held at Great Lakes Brewery, Cleveland Indians team president Mark Shapiro repeatedly mentioned a more “accessible and affordable” experience for fans of the team.

“One of our commitments is to make the fans the focus of our actions,” said Shapiro. “Transportation and food have been recurring themes in our conversations with fans. In response to these conversations, our main goal is to provide convenience and value so that these concerns to not interfere with the ability for our fans to have memorable experiences at Progressive Field.”

While Shapiro would backtrack a bit and say that the main goal is actually working towards the 2012 World Series, the in-game experience is solely focused on the fans. Thus, the team has lowered concession prices at various stands throughout the Progressive Field concourse, including but not limited to packages that help fans save even more money when purchased together.

Among the value menu are an $8 “Beer and Brat” combo, kids meals which will be priced at $5.25 (sandwich, popcorn and juice box), 32-ounce Pepsi products that will now include one free refill, and “Triple Play Pizza” will be sold for $3.75 per slice — three slices can be purchased for $9.75, saving fans an additional $1.50.

Travel accommodations will include a “Free Transportation Weekend” during the July 20, 21 and 22 games which will include free parking at the Gateway East Garage with an advance ticket purchase and the password “parking,” free RTA Rail Service when showing a valid Indians game ticket and free shuttle service from Ohio City near Great Lakes Brewing Company. Following this promotional weekend, special family fares and shuttle services will be provided.

Despite being one game out of the Wild Card in the American League, the Cleveland Indians remain dead last in attendance, averaging just over 18,800 fans per home game.

“In all of our market research, one of the significant barriers to entry into Downtown Cleveland and Progressive Field has been transportation,” said Shapiro. “[This initiative] ensures that there are many safe, reliable, and cost-effective means to get to our ballpark.”

[Related: Indians All-Star Break Review: DH and Outfielders]

  • JNeids

    I have a bad feeling of where the comments to this article are going to head…

  • http://twitter.com/GHClevelandSprt Mike Stein

    Did he actually say that entire quote out loud?

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Chris Perez will be driving the Wahoo Wagon – all aboard! I love the smell of desperation in the morning. Hey Mark love the imagination and initiatives and programs but how’s about getting better players? I’d trade WinterFest and all the rest for an actual proven, producing player!

  • ClemJax

    In all of our market research, one of the significant barriers to entry
    into Downtown Cleveland and Progressive Field has been transportation
    OK, I know I haven’t lived in Cleveland for a while, but how is this possibly true? You have 3 Rapid lines coming in from the suburbs that should handle a huge chunk of gameday traffic. If you live within 15 minutes of a station, you drive there, shoot down and have a simple walk to the park. What’s the transportation barrier…there’s not a service to take them directly to their seat? Are people truly that terrified of RTA anymore, or just that lazy? Seriously, The Jake has to be about one of the THE most accessible stadiums around. I’m pretty shocked this is even used as a complaint.

  • Steve

    Ah yes, the classic mistaken argument that all the promotions are created in place of adding a great player. Because all the promotions are about a negative $10 million on the bottom line.

  • MoreGolfLessWork

    I’m all for Shapiro making these comments.. but if all that changes is a few “combo deals” are added to the menu but the majority of concession prices generally stay the same, well then that’s pretty crappy. Who cares about a deal on pizza. Who eats 3 slices of pizza at a baseball game?

  • Steve

    It’s just another in the litany of excuses people give instead of just saying they aren’t really baseball fans. Yes, its still incredibly easy to get downtown,

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Once you got to this line, “While Shapiro would backtrack a bit and say that the main goal is actually working towards the 2012 World Series,” you knew Shapiro was clearly dreaming.

  • Steve

    A family of 3 or more? I’m guessing here, but I would think they’re trying to appeal to families more than individuals here. I don’t think price is going to be too much of a factor for a 20 or 30 something guy and a couple buddies, but it definitely is for the breadwinner of a family taking the whole crew downtown.

  • ClemJax

    This is exactly right…this is aimed square at the “family of 4″ calculation. 4 bleacher seats – $48, 2 adult combos – $16, 2 kid combos – $10.50. You can now take the entire family to a game for less than $75. That’s not an insignificant amount of money (esp in this economy to be sure), but that’s the best family deal you’re going to get at any major sporting event.

    At that point, about the only thing left to do is to say “Every seat that hasn’t sold been sold for at least 50% of games this season is 50% off for the rest of the season.”

  • http://twitter.com/oribiasi oribiasi

    …and people said that lack of attendance wouldn’t cause major pricing changes!

  • DrewskiC

    Welcome to Cleveland, where suburbanites refuse to recognize downtown as the urban center that it is. Having grown terrifyingly accustomed to existing in a land of strip malls and surface lots, anything that doesn’t provide them with free and immediately close parking for their SUVs is an outrage.

  • http://twitter.com/oribiasi oribiasi

    Ah yes the classic internetz smug-man. We really “missed” you in the other article some days back where Shamrock called you out and you were a no-show. I’m sure you were busy saving cats from trees or whatever, so I’ll let it slide…this time.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Stevarino how’s it hangin’ buddy? Glad to see you made it today. Let me elaborate on my comment for you: I was saying instead of spending time devising, hatching, dreaming of ways to entice fans to attend Cleveland Indians games perphaps more time could be spent on devising, hatching, dreaming of ways to get better players. Better? Have a nice day!

  • wendigo

    maybe make ticket prices cheaper? i went to a game earlier expecting to pay 10 at the most for an upper right field seat and was forced to pay at least 15 because they shut out that section. thats total crap. if youre going to shut down the cheap section, you adjust the other seats to reflect that. i also had to buy 6 of them because my friends and i arrived at different times and i wanted to ensure we would be able to sit together so that was an extra 30 i had to spend that i wasnt anticipating because they shut down the cheap section.
    and before anyone starts berating me about a 5 dollar difference, not all of us are rich and can afford to buy awesome seats all the time. i understand the value of a dollar and would enjoy a game jsut as much in the ten dollar seats. the price gouging really turned me off. you would get me to more games if the ticket prices went back to how they were before they shut down entire sections or the stadium.

  • Deesh

    Man, if I was in Cleveland I’d totally take advantage. I’ve been dying to go to an Indians game, but they never seem to be in town when I am.

  • mgbode

    2007 Rockies made the WS with a much worse team than we have now. Yeah, it’s a stretch (especially if the Angels get Greinke or Hamels), but it’s a possibility.

  • mgbode

    that’s why Shapiro has Antonetti

  • mgbode

    Does GL still have their Thursday $1 pint special? Good memories of going there on Thursdays and shuttling over to the Jake for a game afterwards.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com/ Scott @ WFNY

    Don’t forget any sort of relative comparison to other market experiences where the vast majority of per-game costs are higher across the board.

  • mgbode

    checkout stubhub or wfny-approved tiqiq next time. you can often find good deals w/ better seats than that there ($5bleacher games are common on weekdays for instance)

  • Jim

    I’ve had this same experience, and like you, I don’t have extra money to buy more expensive seats. With that said though, good luck finding another ballpark in the country with halfway decent seats for $25 bucks, let alone the $10-$15 it costs to sit in the bleachers/upper reserved with decent views in Cleveland. Yeah its a little more, but its still a great deal in comparison to other places. I’ve lived in Chicago (Cubs tickets are crazy unless you scalp late in the season when they are out of it; White Sox tickets are at least $30 for bleachers in a game with 15,000 people at it and an experience far worse than the Jake/Progressive Field), and in Washington, DC (recently paid $60 for two bleacher seats), and in either of those places, you cannot just decide to go to a game and pay between $10 and $15 to see a game like you can here. This has held true even in years when those teams are terrible (unlike this year where the Nats and Sox are good.) So I guess what I’m saying its, at the very least, I would not call this “gouging.”

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com/ Scott @ WFNY

    Would be better if it wasn’t completely based on inaccuracies.do you honestly believe that the front office isn’t spending time on improving the roster?

  • Steve

    Well I do sincerely apologize for not having seen whatever comment you are referring to. But since you so gladly want to hear my opinion on something, if it is reposted here, I can probably appease you.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    The extra wild card spot wasn’t intended for the Indians but hey we all gotta have dreams. I hope the Angels don’t get either they don’t need them that’d be gratuitious piling on!

  • matt underwood

    and we would have beat that team if not for wedge

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    You are my Paul DePodesta – live long and prosper!

  • Steve

    Do you notice a pattern here? You make some incoherent rant, I call out the inaccuracies, and you have to rewrite it to make yourself more clear, though it’s usually still as inaccurate as the first time.

    I’m sorry that you’re not interested in a discussion, but it’s kind of how message boards/forums work. People to get to respond to your opinion.

  • mgbode

    gotta say that comment made me laugh.

  • mgbode

    well, with Santana not pitching well and Haren hurt, they actually sort of do “need” another SP (to compete with NYY and Texas)

    but, I would contend we have a better shot at the AL Central than the WC2 slot (I think the ALW and ALE get those 2 slots as teams separate from each other in the 2nd half)

  • mgbode

    or if Lofton just ignored that stop sign

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Steve you complete me!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I don’t know what they do but soon enough those 9,000 ticket holders will and they’ll be the judge. But you gotta admit Chris Perez driving the Wahoo Wagon was good right?

  • fmayse

    Am I the only one who noticed this?

    ‘”Triple Play Pizza” will be sold for $3.25 per slice — three slices can be purchased for $9.75, saving fans an additional $1.50.’

    3 x $3.25 = $9.75. There is no saving $1.50 in that equation.

  • Steve

    One slice costs $3.75

  • http://twitter.com/DavetheFlash Dave Sholtis

    It is crazy how easy it is and how enexpensive it is to get downtown. I just moved back from Chicago and travel times and prices are absurd. My last weekend there we drove into the city from our suburban home that took close to an hour with traffic, then proceeded to pay close to $40 to park for the afternoon. The fact that the Indians will work with public transportation and parking lots to lower prices prices at times would be absolutly impossible in a larger city. We need to pat Shapiro on the back for making a decent effort to in making an accessible city even more accesible. I love the fact I’m back in a town where I can be just about anywhere in 20 minutes

  • Steve

    I will admit that was a solid deflection and non-response.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Santana has been bad almost from jump I never thought he was more then their 5th starter. Haren being hurt might be a blessing in disguise. By this I mean it might allow him to rediscover himself. It seems like Haren always struggles during the season then flips the switch and becomes lights out. But I like Garrett Richards and that young lefty had a nice start before the ASB.

    As for the wildcard I absolutely agree the Indians road to the post–season lies in the Central and not the WC. And those prospects will decrease as Detroit steadily improves. Hence my desire, requirement of additional moves. I almost think the Indians need a Ubaldo part 2 kind of deal only this time on offense. Time will tell.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Float like a butterfly sting like a bee baby! It’s all good tho Steve what time you want me to pick you up we can go mac some honeys talk some sports and get down with our bad selves?

  • mgbode

    ah, so you mean Hunter Pence

  • Garry_Owen

    Not Wedge; Skinner.

  • Garry_Owen

    Definitely.
    Someone (but only I know who) is free to correct me, but the biggest shock I experienced last week at my annual Tribe game (other than watching the boys NOT score with one out and the bases loaded) was the absence of Great Lakes being sold from concessions. This is a travesty bordering on criminal activity. I saw plenty of Leinenkugel’s, and even a Guinness, but not a glass [plastic cup] of Dortmunder Gold, Elliot Ness, Edmund Fitzgerald, Blackout Stout (mmmmmm), Lake Erie Monster, etc., anywhere to be found. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of Leinenkugel beer (but you have to watch out for the “Leinies Heinie” if you drink too much – and avoid at all costs the Summer Shandy), but it is just mind-bottling [yes, Mr. Cleaveland, that was on purpose] that Cleveland sports don’t prominently sell the greatest beer in the region, if not the US, at their venues. Why ship in from Chippewa Falls, WI, when you have the best stuff in the world right down the road??
    I’m convinced this is the problem with the Tribe’s attendance this year.
    /rant ended – sorry to have hijacked your thread, mgbode. That didn’t go as I expected.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Underwear why must you scream so loudly during broadcasts on certain plays? After the seventh or eighth time it’s kind of annoying. CHOO WITH A SHOT UP THE MIDDLE…FOR A ROUTINE SINGLE!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I heard he might be on the trading block but seriously I never would even entertain the possibility of him. Although the Phillies do owe us something for Cliff Lee even after all these years. Anyways Philly would be crazy to trade him. Hamels on the other hand would make more sense, to be traded.

  • Steve_Not_Chad

    In the 90′s the Indians benefitted from fans coming to the games that live 30+ miles away. With families having far more economic problems today than in the 90′s the Indians are losing out on this group of fans due to cost. Using over a 1/4 tank of gas to go to a game becomes expensive.

  • KurtDman24

    I’m more mystified than anything that Cleveland is last in MLB attendance, behind even the Rays who never draw squat no matter how good they are. It’s a fairly competitive team, they play in a beautiful ballpark and the place is a lot more value-friendly than some ballparks…take it from someone who lives in the northeast.
    I don’t live in the Cleveland area so I don’t know, but I don’t get the idea that the place is hard to get to either. In my experience it’s been pretty easy to drive or use the RTA, and it’s great to have both options.
    But that’s just my opinion.