Transition to Progressive Field done
Completion of park's signage among most recent additions
CLEVELAND -- With the installation of a final few letters at Progressive Field on Tuesday, a new era of Cleveland baseball officially began.It's not the like the Jacobs Field era didn't have its memorable moments. The Indians won seven division titles and reached the World Series twice in 14 years at the ballpark known by fans as "The Jake." On Jan. 11, the ballpark became Progressive Field. Progressive Insurance, which is based in suburban Mayfield Village, Ohio, is one of the country's leading automobile, motorcycle and commercial auto insurers. The new main marquee sign outside the ballpark was completed on Tuesday with the installation of the final letters of "Progressive." "We're excited to be creating memories under a new name," Indians vice president of public relations Bob DiBiasio said. In addition to being the home of the defending American League Central champions, Progressive Field will feature several new highlights for the 2008 regular season, which opens for the Indians on Monday against the Chicago White Sox. Approximately 1,000 signs throughout the ballpark will be installed by the All-Star break. Once inside the ballpark, fans will see the name "Progressive Field" appearing above the script "Indians" on the main scoreboard. Other new features are four exterior signs on the elevator towers at the four corners of the ballpark and logos on all of the cup holders, which will be installed early in the season. Another highlight is the Party Deck, which is located in the right-field corner. Fans can watch the game and enjoy a picnic at the same time. The Party Deck features a blend of traditional ballpark and tabletop seating, a private bar, an all-you-can-eat menu served when gates open until one hour after the scheduled start of the game. The price for this location will be $50 per person for groups of 25 or more. Tickets in the Party Deck will be sold to the general public if seats remain two weeks prior to a home game at $65 per person (subject to availability). The Champions Suite is another new feature. Boosted by its incredible midfield location, the Champions Suite provides a truly unique business and entertainment setting with in-suite presentation equipment. The Champions Suite is available for $10,000 per game and features an upscale menu with beverages, 60 game tickets and multiple high-definition flat-screen TVs in a setting celebrating the Tribe's past championships. The ballpark has a new name, but a fan favorite from 2007 returns with the Sugardale Hot Dog Race at the end of the fifth inning of every home game. The contestants -- Ketchup, Mustard and Onion -- will stay the same, but new physical identities for each of them will be unveiled.
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The 2008 Indians High Achievers Kids Club is another highlight. The Indians organization is committed to encouraging students to reach their full potential and help foster self-confidence in the youth of Northeast Ohio. The club will provide an opportunity for students to be rewarded with tickets and other prizes for positive efforts and academic success.The goal of this newly developed online venture -- which is free to students from kindergarten through eighth grade -- is to give an outlet for Northeast Ohio students to have fun through learning, with a focus on education and citizenship. As the official Indians High Achievers Kids Club spokesmen, Indians manager Eric Wedge, along with help from first baseman Ryan Garko, will support the educational component of this Indians Community Outreach initiative. Students can register online at indians.com/highachievers. Among the other features are "The Tribe" Fan Club, new ticketing and merchandise, special events and promotions. For more information, visit indians.com or call (216) 420-HITS.
Steve Herrick is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.