The Cleveland Indians Should Host the Next All-Star Game

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Apr 10, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; The newly designed right field and bull pen area before the game between the Cleveland Indians and the Detroit Tigers at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Why the Cleveland Indians Deserve the All-Star Game

The last time the Cleveland Indians hosted the Midsummer Classic was back in 1997.  Progressive Field, then known as Jacob’s Field, was one of the premier parks in the game having opened in 1994.  The first of the “retro-modern” ballpark in baseball, taking many aspects of Camden Yards, baseball’s first “retro” ballpark (now called a “retro-classic” park).  To this day publications still rank Progressive Field as one of the ten best ballparks in baseball.  Needless to say, the 20 year old park has held up well.  But is that enough to get another All-Star game? No, but how about some renovations?

During the 2014 season, the Cleveland Indians announced that they’d be making major renovations to Progressive Field.  Among the plans was to redo the outfield bullpens, remove the third deck seats in right field, and adding a two story bar in the right field corner.  In 2015, fans were greeted with these great new additions.  Sure the capacity has dropped quite a bit (down to 38,000 from ~43,000), but ask any fan that’s experienced the new bar or kids playground and you’d be hard pressed to find any complaints.  Are these new renovations and upgrades to the park worthy of an All-Star game nod?  Well it worked in Kansas City and Los Angeles.

The Royals got the 2012 All-Star game after Kaufmann Stadium underwent a major renovation ($250 million) that was completed in 2009.  The stadium wasn’t “new” but it looks great and the sixth oldest stadium in baseball was worthy of another All-Star Game.  The Angels received the 2007 All-Star game despite having the fourth oldest ballpark in baseball thanks in part to the renovations made in the late 1990s after the Los Angeles Rams left town.  Cleveland’s renovations, which will soon include a Larry Doby Statue, should be more than enough to push them to the top of a list for potential All-Star hosts.

Next: Is There a More Deserving American League City?