CLEVELAND, OH- Following legislative approvals from Cleveland City Council and Cuyahoga County Council, the Cleveland Guardians signed a new lease agreement and bond financing for Progressive Field improvements.
The Guardians now begin the next stage of detailed planning for future renovations and needed capital repairs. Team officials expect ballpark renovations at Progressive Field will occur over the next several years, with the work starting at the earliest after the 2022 season concludes. Those enhancements include transforming the left field experience inclusive of the Terrace Club, re-imagining the upper deck concourse, creating a larger, more engaged social space in the seating area behind home plate, and clubhouse/front office building renovations work that helps advance our mission of winning the World Series.
“Today heralds a new era of professional baseball in Cleveland, and on behalf of the Dolan family and the Guardians organization, I want to express my deepest appreciation for all of our supporters who helped ensure the continued success of baseball in Cleveland,” said Paul Dolan, Owner, Chairman and CEO of the Cleveland Guardians. “We feel very fortunate to live in a community that is unified in maintaining momentum in Northeast Ohio and building for a better tomorrow. We take very seriously the role we can play in maximizing the potential of this great city, and we are confident that this agreement will create a more compelling fan experience and keep this facility modern and relevant for many more years to come.”
Dolan said the agreement was the result of collaborative and rigorous negotiations. The agreement was ultimately successful due to the support of public officials and a diverse, wide-ranging coalition of advocates ranging from civic leaders, the hospitality community, small and large businesses, organized labor, fans and residents.
The lease agreement extends the Guardians occupancy of Progressive Field to at least 2036, with the potential for 10 additional years to 2046, building upon one of the longest successful partnerships between a team and the public in all of sports.
Funding for the project is provided by the City, County, State of Ohio and the Guardians, with no new or increased taxes to the residents. The agreement includes needed fan friendly and baseball/front office operations improvements and necessary funding for capital repairs, maintenance, Gateway operations, and property taxes. The City and County collectively will contribute $17 million annually, the State will contribute $2 million annually, and the Guardians organization $10 million annually.
Upgrading the facility will extend the life of the building and ensure it remains a competitive economic asset for the City, County and the Guardians.
Progressive Field and Guardians operations create, on an average basis, $323 million in direct annual spending, $21 million in direct annual tax payments (State, City and County), and helps to create and support more than 4,800 jobs. Baseball games bring approximately 1.7 million people to downtown Cleveland annually, many of those from outside of Cuyahoga County, providing a substantial cash infusion for local establishments.
The Guardians have hired Marc Taylor Inc. (MTI) to serve as Project Management Advisor for the renovation projects. The project management work will include local companies partnering with MTI (MCM Company Inc. focused on project mgt. and APB & Associates focused on DEI guidance) to oversee all the planned work.
One of the critical reasons for selecting MTI is their commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), which was a focus of city and county leaders during the legislative approval process. The Guardians, Gateway, and MTI are committed to DEI initiatives that will span the life of the Progressive Field Ballpark Improvement Project.
The Guardians organization and MTI are in the final stages of aligning with community leaders and construction industry experts on improving our existing Community Benefits goals for our upcoming renovations. We expect to meet and exceed existing goals in the areas of economic inclusion, workforce inclusion, pre-apprenticeship program participation, career pathways support, supplier diversity, training, and community engagement.
The next steps in the Progressive Field renovation planning process include:
- 1st quarter 2022: Select architect, construction management firms, finalize sequence of proposed projects. As always, our process is being conducted in an unbiased manner to select the right partners to achieve our objectives.
- 2nd quarter 2022: Begin design and construction documents
- 3rd quarter 2022: Continue design and construction documentation
- 4th quarter 2022: Targeted start of construction
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