Progressive Field is about to undergo the first phase of significant renovations as a result of the team’s name change to the Guardians. The most noteworthy element of those renovations involve the giant, script ‘Indians’ logo atop the Progressive Field scoreboard.
That 80-foot logo, which was first placed at Progressive Field in 1994, will soon be gone. Construction crews on Tuesday morning began the removal process of the behemoth logo, beginning with the “I”. It remains unclear exactly what will eventually happen to the pieces of the logo that are brought down by crane.
Progressive Field is set to host the first game as the home of the Guardians on March 31, 2022 against the Kansas City Royals.
The Cleveland Guardians roller derby team recently filed a lawsuit against the MLB franchise, claiming their rights were infringed upon while the latter went through the trademark process. The baseball team, though, released a statement through a spokesperson saying they weren’t worried about any legal issues with the process or the claims being made by the roller derby team’s lawyers.
“We have been and continue to be confident in our position to become the Guardians,” the statement read. “We believe there is no conflict between the parties and their ability to operate in their respective business areas.”
The baseball team’s claims that there aren’t concerns with the lawsuit were backed up by the fact that there is no longer an “I” in the script logo atop the scoreboard, and the rest of the logo is expected to be removed this week as construction continues.
The removal of any reference to the former team name won’t be the only changes Progressive Field undergoes with a long-term view in mind. Cleveland’s baseball franchise this summer extended the lease with the city through at least 2036. The lease also includes two five-year options that could make it a 25-year extension.
As part of the agreement of that extension, Progressive Field is set to receive $435 million in renovations, improvements, maintenance and repairs over the duration of the lease. The city and county will collectively contribute $17 million annually, and the state will contribute $2 million annually. The team will contribute about $10 million annually, with $4.5 million of that going toward general ballpark improvements, according to a release.
The anticipated renovations to Progressive Field — which could take place over the course of several years — include transforming the left-field experience inclusive to the Terrace Club, a “re-imagining” of the upper deck concourse (especially in right field), the creation of a larger dugout-level social space and other enhancements.
Follow Ryan Lewis on Twitter at @ByRyanLewis.