CLEVELAND (WJW) – Cleveland City Council gave the green light to its portion of a multi-million dollar deal to renovate Progressive Field, but the decision was not a unanimous one.
City council voted 13 to 3 in favor of the deal, which will keep the Cleveland Guardians in town for the next 15 years.
The overall package called for the city to contribute $8 million a year for ballpark renovations and upkeep. In return, the Guardians would sign a 15-year lease.
The Guardians’ existing lease for Progressive Field was set to expire in 2023.
The team already committed to an additional $4.5 million for upgrades, and county council already passed its part of the funding, another $9 million per year.
Plus, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine indicated that he would support state funding for $2 million a year.
Add it all up and the project will total about $435 million.
According to the proposed phasing schedule, some of the work on the left field terraces is set to begin in April 2022.
Completion is expected by opening day in April 2025.
The Cleveland Guardians released a statement.
“We are excited that Cleveland City Council approved our lease extension this evening. We are very appreciative of the partnership from the entire public sector (City, County, State) throughout the process to achieve a finalized, long-term agreement. We also want to thank the many champions from the business community, Greater Cleveland Partnership, Destination Cleveland, hospitality industry, labor/trades and many others for supporting and believing in this as a wise investment that maintains Cleveland’s reputation as a Major League community. The approval of this agreement, spanning at least 15 years, will allow us to create a more compelling fan experience at Progressive Field, provide funding for capital repairs to preserve this public asset, and address needed upgrades to significantly enhance our team’s ability to perform on the field in our quest to win a World Series. We will now focus on advancing our planning for the proposed ballpark enhancement projects and needed capital repairs.”Curtis Danburg, Cleveland Guardians