July 26, 2014

Cleveland Indians to roll out “Premium Club” at Progressive Field

On Sunday, it was the Cleveland Browns who borrowed a page from Dan Gilbert and the Cavaliers. Come this April, the Cleveland Indians will be doing the same as they will raise the curtain on what will be called the “Premium Club,” a 120-seat area of the stadium located along the first base line that will feature the most exclusive of ballpark amenities.

A step up from the current club area located along the mezzanine, the Progressive Field Premium Club will feature 5,000 square feet of gourmet food, top shelf alcohol, 20 high-definition televisions, leather high-backed seating for season-ticket holders, and surroundings which have been deemed private and climate-controlled. Also differing from the current “club” level is that those in attendance will have the option to have open-air viewing of the playing field from their table side seating; the mezzanine club is tucked behind the sections of seats, leaving only television viewing as an option.

“We are excited to open this new, exclusive space for the 2013 season,” said team president Mark Shapiro. “It will allow us to better serve the segment of our fan base that research clearly determined desires a more premium experience. The new club features amenities and exclusive benefits that will give our fans a truly premium experience at Progressive Field.”

Attendees will also be granted access to SportsTime Ohio’s pre- and post-game shows, including a live filming of Bruce Drennan’s “All Bets Are Off.” Crains Cleveland reports that tickets will cost $150 per game. The Premium Club is one of the many projects financed by the team that will help improve the 18-year-old Progressive Field. While total cost is not reported, it is estimated that this was a multi-million dollar venture. It is believed that this new Club will provide a similar exclusive experience similar to the Patron Platinum Lounge and Suites located within Quicken Loans Arena which features various types of seating and tables, a full length-of-the-lounge granite-top bar, an array of specialty lighting fixtures, an assortment of large wall-mounted plasma televisions, and a full glass wall facing the arena bowl entry way.

“We understand that a large percentage of our business is based on the team,” said Shapiro, “but of that other small percentage, we have to be 100 percent perfect. The good thing is that we have complet control over that side of things, where things happen on the field that we don’t have control over.”

[Related: Prospect ranking turnover shows that Indians might still be bad at drafting]

  • nj0

    “The good thing is that we have complete control over that side of things,
    where things happen on the field that we don’t have control over.”

    Translation- we now realize that people won’t pay for our on-field product so we hope they’re willing to give us money for good food and booze.

  • Natedawg86

    “where things happen on the field that we don’t have control over”

    But you do have control of who is on the field…

  • thenoclist

    Yikes, way to alienate the casual fan even more by pricing us out of an exclusive section of the ballpark.

  • mgbode

    HOW DARE THEY ADD A SECTION FOR FANS WHO CAN PAY MORE FOR TICKETS!!! GARRRRRRRR!!!!

  • Ericj_d

    It’s 120 seats. Nobody’s pricing anybody out of anything. There are literally 40,000+ seats available as less expensive options that people don’t use now. I think it’s great that they are thinking outside the box for a way to generate more revenue without raising ticket prices across the board.

  • Natedawg86

    Premium alcohol available for purchase, or part of the ticket?

  • Roosevelt

    When I heard they were going to have a premium club, I didn’t expect it to be a club as elite as, say, the Yankees, but I did expect it to affect the club’s general competitiveness. Turns out it’s just a restaurant, in the stadium though.

  • C-Bus Kevin

    I was just thinking to myself the other day…it’s high time that rich folks get some better options at the ballpark. Sit in a fold-down seat with the unwashed masses? What are we, savages?

    Seriously though…$12,000+ for season tickets before food and parking. To hear him say that the their research showed that there is a segment of the fan base “clearly” clamoring for this option, tells me that I clearly don’t understand just how wealthy some people are.

    This is where in-stadium pro sports are headed (have arrived?). Before long, stadiums will be full of super-rich, disinterested “movers and shakers” looking to be seen while the rest of us (aka the common folk) will be relegated to watching exclusively at home. And before anyone jumps down my throat about bleacher seats, can we at least agree that the difference between the base level seat and the top level club is HUGE at this point? It’s not apples to apples…it’s not even apples to food anymore.

    What recession? What income disparity?

  • C-Bus Kevin

    It seems like everyone is on your case for this opinion, but I totally agree with you. Sports used to unite classes behind common fandom. It’s tough to feel united when you’re eating a hot dog and the guy across the stadiudating aging prime rib.

  • Steve

    The Indians have been bending over backwards to make it more affordable for the casual fan to get to the game.

  • Kevin B

    “I have always believed that a fan’s knowledge of the game was inversely proportional to the price of his ticket” – Bill Veeck, Class Uniter

    There are plenty of people who can’t afford $10 bleacher seats. Are they being alienated? They can’t even afford to get in the door! Let’s just open the park and make it free for everyone! Free hot dogs too! Free everything for everyone!!!

  • thenoclist

    By no means do I personally feel priced out by this, that wasn’t my point, but it just makes no sense to me to add a high roller section when the product on the field is garbage. Let’s face it, this section will be used for nothing but businesses trying to impress clients. There will be no real fans here. If the money this generates can somehow help us afford better players, then by all means, I’m for anything improving the team. But maybe I don’t know what I’m taking about because I’m just an Indians fan who watches games from the upper deck.

  • Kevin B

    Seriously, dude. Do you ever opt for Five Guys ($6 cheeseburger) over McDonald’s ($1 cheeseburger) because the burgers are better at Five Guys? Do you own a New Era Tribe cap ($30) rather than a Wal-Mart Tribe cap ($5)? Do you own a cell phone? Do you own a car made in the last ten years? Do you own more than one pair of shoes? If you do, your comments could easily be turned around on you. Stop all the class warfare bologna. This is America. That means “equality of opportunity”, not “equality of outcome”. Get to work, and someday you’ll be able to buy $150 baseball tickets if you want, or you can pocket $140 and sit in the bleachers with me.

  • mgbode

    120 seats at $150/game generates $1.5mil per season if sold out (before concessions/merchandise are sold)

    if there is a market for these seats, then the team is plain dumb for not “exploiting” this segment of high-rolling fans earlier.

    if there is not a market for these seats, then the team is dumb for wasting money upgrading this section for them to go empty.

  • Kevin B

    There are no fans, real OR fake, there now.

  • Kevin B

    Merica.

  • C-Bus Kevin

    I’m not getting into class warfare. I’m simply saying that sports is a communal experience, and adding more über-rich sections to the stadium makes it less so. That’s all.

    I love Five Guys, I own several pairs of shoes, and I am writing this comment on a cell phone. However, being able to afford these luxuries is in no way equivalent to being able to afford $12,000 in season tickets. It’s a myth that all it takes is hard work to be able to afford such extreme luxuries. Unless you’re born on 3rd base, to stick with a baseball metaphor, you need to be extremely lucky in business to be able to afford such a luxury. $12k is only 5% of your gross income, but that’s if you make $240k per year!

    If you make enough money to buy a unicorn to ride to the office…more power to you. I just don’t like this kind of thing invading the realm of sports.

  • thenoclist

    Yep. This.

  • Kevin B

    It absolutely is the equivalent of being able to afford $12,000 in season tickets. Consider this:

    *The POOREST 5% of Americans are richer than 70% of the rest of the world.

    *The POOREST 5% of Americans are richer than the RICHEST 5% of Indians (real Indians, not Cleveland Indians, heh heh).

    *Check out this webpage to see statistics based on your income. http://www.givingwhatwecan.org/why-give/how-rich-am-i

    Look, I definitely do not begrudge you your opinion, but when you use phrases like “super-rich, disinterested ‘movers and shakers’” and “the rest of us (aka the common folk)” in the same sentence while complaining about the price of a product that was set by a business owner, you’re engaging in class warfare. If it’s a stupid idea, the market will correct the business owner.

    Furthermore, you’re right that it doesn’t just take hard work to succeed in business. It takes hard work and perseverance, because sometimes it takes a long time for the hard work to create success. Sometimes, people are gifted with talents or opportunities that reduce the amount of hard work or perseverance required for them to achieve success, but I’d never call someone who “got lucky” successful, because generally speaking they’re not going to know what to do with their luck. Look at all the stories of failed lottery winners.

    Take it easy, man. I’m no Richie Rich. I’m an IT guy. I can’t afford a $12000 CAR right now, but I will be riding my unicorn to the office one of these days.

  • C-Bus Kevin

    We obviously have different world views, and that’s okay, but you’ll forgive me if I find little comfort in the concept that I should be happy because I’m wealthier than a Chinese field hand.

    Sometimes, people have skills that make life easier. Sometimes, people are born so wealthy that they can continually fail upward no matter how many mistakes they make.

  • Steve

    This is class warfare. Both you and the prime rib guy are there to root for the team. That’s common fandom. What you’re eating at the game only speaks about the value you place on the meal, and any other purchases you would make with that money you don’t spend, and not either of your interest in the team.

  • SDA

    When do we get Premium Players?

  • Henry Brown

    I don’t know what the new Cleveland casino is like, but at the Columbus one the blackjack minimum is $25 a hand so you can pretty easily fly through $200 in an hour or less (or much less without a good hand here or there) so I wouldn’t mind throwing down a couple of hundred for a really nice experience at a ball game that would last a few hours. Both are fun, both are expensive. They only question is if they will all be sold as season tickets or are you able to get single game seats?

  • zonk

    Big assumption that section is selling…. go ask the Yankees how great it looks to see empty seats all over the $1,000 seat section for a Tuesday night game in May.

  • kevin b

    If $12K season ticket guy referred to you in the manner which you referred to Chinese field hands, how would you react? I’m sorry that you’re bitter that you weren’t born into wealth. There is nothing wrong with being born into wealth. I wasn’t. You apparently weren’t either. So what? Why hold that against someone who was? It just seems like you’re jealous. It just seems like you wish life was handed to you on a silver platter. I don’t know. I wish you the best, dude.