04/04/07 10:00 AM ET
Heritage Park not the only change
Several Jacobs Field upgrades will be noticeable to fans
By David Briggs / MLB.com
When Jacobs Field opens for its 14th season of baseball Friday, every concession is outfitted with grills, ready to freshly serve the game's enduring top seller.
"No more will servers be looking under the counter," said Bob DiBiasio, the club's vice president of public relations. "You will get a hot dog right off the grill. How about that?"
The Indians have the only park in baseball able to make this claim. And that's one of several changes fans will notice at The Jake this year.
Whether it's the "Steak Me Out to the Ballgame" stand, championship pennants adorning the right-field upper deck, the chance to grace the cover of "Game Face" magazine or the new Legends suites, striking Heritage Park won't be the park's only fresh addition.
Take a look at right field for starters. Nine new pennants celebrating the Tribe's World Series, American League and AL Central titles will adorn the front of the upper deck. And "Pronkville," the mezzanine section affectionately named for Travis Hafner, now features identifying signage.
Then there's the new Legends Suites area. Following a national trend of finding new uses for unsold suites, the club combined three boxes in the right-field corner into one party box that can accommodate up to 50 fans. This is on top of three other party suites in the area.
Tribe officials also clearly had the kids in mind this offseason. A Slider Bench, where kids can pose for pictures with a life-sized fiberglass statue of the furry mascot, now sits outside section 117. Next door, fans will see an overhauled Kids Land. A few paces over to section 111, a new "Fan Photos" area, which allows kids to front the cover of various magazines, greets fans.
On the food front, the Jake has several new offerings, including "Steak Me Out to the Ballgame" and "Hounds by the Pound" stands in the Market Pavilion.
Don't want to leave the seat for that Philly cheese steak or gourmet hot dog? Vendors will have exclusivity on many items this season. Moosetracks ice cream, cheese popcorn and Pizza Pan personal pizzas, for instance, can only be purchased in The Jake's seating areas.
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Lastly, don't forget to leave the smokes at home this year. In compliance with the recently enacted "Smoke-Free Ohio" law, smoking is entirely prohibited at the Jake. The Indians join 14 other teams across baseball in enforcing this policy.
David Briggs is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.