News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Area Agency on Aging 10B, Inc.

Northeast Ohio Medical University


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Sports


Pluto asks: What's not to like about the Progressive Field deal?
Yes, he acknowledges, fans want a consistently great team; but the upgrades at Progressive are not an either-or
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
 
A view of Progressive from right field. Many of these seats will be removed to open up a two-story concession area.
Courtesy of M.L. Schultze
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

The Indians announced a major renovation at Progressive Field last week that will focus on creating more social space inside the ballpark – in part by pulling out about 6,000 seats.

It’s a privately funded deal that met with some griping from Indians fans – who say they’d rather have a consistently winning team. The griping confuses sports commentator Terry Pluto, who outlined the deal with WKSU’s M.L. Schultze

 

LISTEN: Schultze and Pluto on the Indians upgrades

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (4:27)


PLUTO talks about the differences between LeBron James and Johnny Manziel

Other options:
MP3 Download (6:41)


The Indians won 92 games last year and made it to the playoffs. But that barely moved the needle when it came to season-ticket sales this year. So, Terry Pluto says, the team started researching what local fans want, what’s happening across baseball and what changes must be made.

What they found, in part, is that around baseball, attendance is down for many games by 10 to 15 percent. Meanwhile, TV ratings are up – especially for the Indians.

That means more ad revenue, Pluto acknowledges.

“But they still want people in the park because, yes, you can charge more for your ads, but when Schultze goes down there and you’ve got kids, grandkids, uncles, nieces -- and the  team actually wins the game -- next thing you know somebody wants a Jason Kipnis jersey.”

“And even on dollar dog night, if you’re buying something to drink, you’re spending money there.”

It's a social world
Beyond that, Progressive Field needs to adjust to social media and the culture imbued with it.

“People like to wonder around the park ,take pictures of themselves, take pictures of others,” Pluto says. And while the Indians have improved the technical end, “they  also want to tailor it so it’s a night on the town, not just a game.”

The days of keeping score on a 50-cent score sheet with the miniature-golf pencil are over, he says. “Now a lot of fans have two games going on at once. They’re watching the Indians game, but they also have their fantasy team in mind.

So, for example, they have their eye on Corey Kluber  at Progressive Field and  Miguel Cabrera and Justin Masterson on their smart phones .

“And we can say we don’t like it because we’re old and grumpy, but this is what they do. And the Indians went and looked all this stuff and said this is what people want.”

Pluto says there’s one reason any type of Indians fan should be happy about the announcement : How it’s financed. The sin tax that voters passed in the spring will go toward shoring up the underpinnings of a ballpark that turned 20 this year.

Concession companies aren't likely to buy into a player's contract
But the public spaces – including more concession areas and open concourses – will be covered with private financing arranged with the Indians concessionaire, Delaware North. Pluto says Delaware North is likely getting a bigger share of concession sales as its part of the deal. And it’s a long-term investment.

“Don’t think about this like Nick Swisher’s contract, you know $60 million for four years -- that’s got to be paid out over four years. It’s more like the mortgage on your house, … paid out over a whole bunch of years.”

And there’s no way, says Pluto, a concession company is going to agree to that kind of deal to cover the cost of players’ contract.s

Overall, says Pluto, the complaints don’t make sense. “It’s going to make the ballpark better, it doesn’t to cost you a dime, and whatever deal they’ve worked out with the concession company, I don’t really care.”

Want cheap tickets?
Side note: Terry Pluto notes that – even while attendance has been doing down for the Indians, ticket price revenue has been going up. That’s thanks to something called dynamic pricing – in which people pay more for tickets to the bigger games on the better days. It’s a model nearly as old as baseball: scalpers. For those who want cheaper tickets, Pluto suggests a Wednesday night game in April versus Kansas City.

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

The postal workers union is challenging mail-sorting closures in Ohio
Do not close the akron facilaty for mail processing. This will severly deminish mail service to the northeast ohio area, Cleveland can not handle this burden.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park OK's sharpshooters to thin deer herds
In this article you mention that the Mule Deer Foundation is a "hunting group" in reality the Mule Deer Foundation is a conservation group that is over 25 years...

Clarence Bozeman: In the driver's seat of history
I believe he was a teacher of mine as James Ford Rhodes. My favorite teacher of all time! Loved learning this part of his amazing history.

Cleveland RTA is moving Public Square bus stops beginning this week
I am very confused. Why are you taking one or more of the park and ride 246 out of service in the morning. I looking over the new schedule I see that there ar...

Canton school board will vote Wednesday on its high school merger
Great to see that THE REPOSITORY is advising a 'no' vote for now! Another point, besides all the Very accurate points already made against this move is the fac...

Some parents opting their students out of Common Core test
I am an 8th grader at a school in Allen County. I have just recently taken the ELA performance based assessment and found it extremely difficult. It asked me a ...

Fallout from the Ohio Supreme Court Munroe Falls ruling
The comment by Nathan Johnson from OEC is confusing. Instead of cities being 'emboldened' to craft zoning laws that were just stricken down by this ruling, comm...

Stopping sediment dumping in Lake Erie
Ah, yes, the Army Coro of Engineers, the geniuses that designed the levee system in New Orleans that has made the flooding worse due to no sediment reaching the...

Ohio charter school critic says reform bills are a good step
The cold truth is that these charter schools are offering services beyond the what the state tests can guage. Parents and students have a choice and they are ch...

State law trumps restrictions on oil and gas drilling in Munroe Falls
Justice O'Neill's quote brings up a point I wish WKSU would address: since, unlike for Federal judges, our judges here in Ohio are elected, and therefore respo...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University