CLEVELAND, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – The Guardians lease extension has been approved by city and county officials completing a multiyear process to keep the team in Cleveland through at least 2036 and potentially 2046 with built in extensions.
The legislative approvals also allow the team to move ahead with a $202.5 million overhaul of Progressive Field, a cornerstone of the new lease agreement.
“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,” Paul Dolan, owner, chairman and CEO, said. “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.”
The City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County will contribute $17 million, the State of Ohio $2 million and the Guardians $10 million annually towards the project which is expected to be completed by opening day 2025.
The public portion of the project financing includes now new taxes according to the team.
The Guardians have hired Marc Taylor Inc. (MTI) to serve as project management advisor for the construction, which will be completed in phases.
An architect is expected to be hired in the first quarter of the year and construction on the first phase is scheduled to begin following the 2022 baseball season.
The ballpark overhaul includes six primary projects to be completed over a three-year period – a complete renovation and expansion of the team’s executive office building on Ontario Street and connection to Gateway Plaza, service level and clubhouse modernization, transformation of the left field terrace (Terrace Club), reimagining of the upper deck (including right field) and the press box.
Progressive Field opened in 1994 as Jacobs Field and has hosted two All-Star Games, 12 playoff seasons and three World Series.
After undergoing a series of upgrades and renovations over the years, the expectation is the ballpark will be modernized and transformed upon completion of this projectoverhaul.