Stadium 12: Progressive Field in Cleveland

Cleveland does indeed rock.

Patti and Ron both enjoyed Progressive Field, the city, and the surrounding area. It seems that Cleveland gets a bad rap, but the city itself is indeed progressive with hip neighborhoods, a thriving restaurant scene and quaint waterfront.

ACCESSIBILITY:

Patti says:   (3 RVs)

Parking at Progressive Field is affordable with lots ranging from $5-$20. You can also prepay for parking in the Gateway East Garage right next to the stadium. Check out the Indians’ MLB site for locations of garages.

Ron says

We kind of did it the hard way — parking blocks away to park for free — but Progressive Field is actually fairly easy to get to.

We noticed plenty of street parking and lots as we got closer to the stadium. Getting into downtown Cleveland was a breeze — even driving into town at 6 on a Tuesday.

ATMOSPHERE:

Patti says

Indians great Jim Thome, who was a year ahead of Patti at Limestone High School near Peoria, Ill.

Before entering Progressive Field via the right field gate, you encounter statues of Bob Feller, Lou Boudreau, and Larry Doby. Once inside the park, you find Heritage Park, which pays homage to former players whose placards surround a center statue of Frank Robinson — the first African-American manager in MLB history.

There is also a player statue whose inspiration I recognized immediately as Hall of Famer Jim Thome. There is an homage to the team’s history in other areas of the stadium, like on the third deck where pennant years and players with retired numbers are displayed.

From the large, easily visible scoreboard encouraging folks to get loud to the open concourse and great views for the plethora of fans, Progressive Field is a great place to experience a game.

Ron says

For the reasons Patti stated, I completely agree. Progressive Field is a very cool park and the right-field entrance reminded me a lot of Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

Frank Robinson watching over Heritage Park at Progressive Field

When you come into Camden Yards from Eutaw Street, you are greeted by a sculpture of Babe Ruth and statues of the team’s retired numbers. The Feller, Boudreau and Doby statues are like those numbers and consider Jim Thome’s statue in the vein of Ruth’s in Baltimore.

Heritage Park, with former manager Frank Robinson watching over the placards of the franchise’s Hall of Fame players, is also similar to Baltimore’s Legends Statue Court with former manager Earl Weaver supervising.

Considering Oriole Park at Camden Yards opening in 1992 and Progressive Field opened as Jacobs Field two years later, this is not a coincidence.

FOOD: 

Patti and Ron both say:

There is not really an iconic food, but from the multiple options here, Ron chose to have a grilled cheese sandwich stuffed with bacon and mac and cheese from Melt. Patti had a tasty burger and fries from the build-your-own booth.

In both cases, we were supplied with more than enough food for a reasonable cost.

VALUE: 

Patti and Ron both say: 

For $91 (total cost, including fees) we sat right behind home plate in section 152. This was a great deal and we could not believe how good our seats were.

Concession prices are reasonable and we definitely feel like we got our money’s worth at Progressive Field.

MISCELLANEOUS / EXTRAS: 

Progressive Field from the bullpen field-level viewing area

While we were walking around during the sixth inning, an usher near section 113 asked us if we would like to go into the Bullpen Field-View area. Once we learned what it was, we answered yes immediately. Up to 15 fans are allowed on a first-come-first-served basis to go into an old bullpen at field level and watch the game for one inning. We were there throughout the seventh and it was a really fun perk.

Just up the steps from that bullpen viewing area is the Corner Bar — a two-level concessions area in the Right Field District that has a plethora of food and beverage options. The Corner Bar actually has three bars with over 40 beer options and an open-air firepit on the rooftop deck. It opened in 2015 and, while the second level does require a special ticket, the field level area is open to all.

THE CITY OF CLEVELAND: 

What other city has a large chandelier hanging over an intersection?

Playhouse Square’s chandelier

We would have loved to attend a show in Playhouse Square, but it was not to be on this trip. We did however enjoy lunch at a restaurant in The Flats, a redeveloped area on the banks of the Cuyahoga River.

A popular walkway lines the west bank of the waterfront, and water taxis take people from one side of the river to the other. It was a bit chilly on this day, but you can partake in watersports by renting a kayak or paddleboat.

The Cuyahoga River winds away from Cleveland and into the Cuyahoga Valley, where a national park is located less than an hour from Cleveland. We just got a taste of Cuyahoga Valley National Park, but loved every minute we spent hiking with Holmes.

We stumbled upon another hip neighborhood as we tried to get a taco at Barrio. The line was out the door at the popular downtown location, so we drove to Tremont.

Ron in front of the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Tremont is one of the oldest parts of Cleveland, and is home to many restaurants and art galleries. Because the Tremont location was also very busy on a Saturday night — with an hour wait — we went down the street to South Side and had a delicious dinner. Save room for the limoncello cake if it is on the menu.

Definitely on the menu for a trip to Cleveland should be the Hall Pass, which gets you into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland for one discounted price. The “A Game For Life” exhibit in Canton, which hologram Joe Namath narrates, contains a great inspirational message for children and adults. It is a must-see exhibit for sure. Ron may have had tears in his eyes (and so did Patti).

If front of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Also inspirational is a visit to The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will leave you feeling nostalgic and wanting to go listen to all the greats.

There are so many things to see at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, it’s almost overwhelming.

Make sure you have multiple hours to spend and get thru all six floors. It may sound daunting, but it is certainly doable.

Long live rock… and the city of Cleveland.

Home Run On Wheels, Home Run On Wheels

Follow Ron and Patti as they travel in their RV to all 30 MLB stadiums in 2018. Along the way, they will write stadium reviews, talk about food, baseball and life in an RV, and how you can help a child in need.
There will also be features with MLB players and other sports figures along the way.

Leave a Comment