Cleveland's Baseball Team Agrees To 15-Year Lease Extension

(Cleveland) - The city's Major League Baseball team - now the Indians, but becoming the Guardians in 2022 - will stay in Cleveland for years to come. The Indians, along with the City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, and the State of Ohio, have announced a 15-year lease extension for Progressive Field, along with two options to extend that contract, each for five years. For taxpayers, it will mean no more taxes.

The deal was announced by officials from all parties at a Progressive Field news briefing. Indians owner and CEO Paul Dolan says this meets the tam's goal of having the best ballpark experience possible, in a world-class destination city.

As part of the public-private partnership, the Indians, and each of the government entities, will make monthly payments toward a projected $435 billion in renovations to Progressive Field. It was pointed out that Progressive Field is the 11th oldest Major League ballpark.

As part of the statement that there will be no new taxes, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson says the city will be able to make their annual $8 million payment from sources including payments for the entire Gateway complex, the city-owned parking garage next door, and the city's admissions, or ticket tax. Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish says the county's annual $8 million will come from the county's bed tax, the sin tax on tobacco and alcohol, and the county's general fund. Governor Mike DeWine says the state will put in two million dollars a year, using general fund money. The state has made similar pledges to the construction of new soccer stadiums for Columbus and Cincinnati. The Indians/Guardians have promised to put in $10,.2 million a year.

Mayor Jackson says the city wanted to make this investment as part of Cleveland's future, saying that the various industries and businesses supported by having at least 81 home baseball games per year, brings millions of dollars into the city's economy, and into its tax coffers.

Photo: Ken Robinson, WTAM

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