Cleveland Indians being transparent in transition to new name

Progressive Field home of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
Progressive Field home of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /
Cleveland Indians
Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

Cleveland Indians being transparent in transition to new name

The 2021 season will be the last for the Cleveland Indians moniker and the organization is taking measures to not only ensure that the fans are included, but that the process is transparent. While we’ve heard of local polls for the new name and plenty of fan suggestions, the club has now come forward with a new and innovative way to keep fans informed throughout the process.

Pushing out a tweet, Cleveland has created a home page for all things name-change on their website. The page provides an in-depth look at how the decision is being made while also providing a step-by-step breakdown and the closest thing to a timeline that has been provided up to this point.

The announcement of the name change has created a clear divide in the fanbase and while the webpage won’t fix that, it at least provides transparency and clarity in how the new name and future of the franchise will be decided. The first page alone includes links to the letter from Paul Dolan, a press release announcing the change, learning opportunities about Native American communities and an option to sign-up for updates in the process.

While providing information, the page also highlights all the hours and steps put into the decision of changing the name. So far, the club has put in over 140 hours conducting interviews with various stakeholders in the organization, whether it be fans or community leaders, regarding the change. That includes surveying over 40,000 fans as well.

The webpage also includes videos from these conversations on top of various links to see how this first step in the process unfolded. The page already includes discussions with local influencers and young professionals and is set to debut four more topics in the near future.

The interactive website has a strong focus on staying true to Cleveland and ensuring that the legacy of the Cleveland Indians lives on through a new name. One stat provided was that 1,198 potential teams names were accumulated to begin the process before the list entered the next step of being narrowed down, which has already taken 14 rounds of talks.

The club makes it clear that this is the step that is currently in progress and that the next will be to begin creating the visual representation for the future of Cleveland baseball, including logos, wordmarks and more as well as all the legal steps to make sure it’s all possible.

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No matter your stance on the issue, this is a promising gesture by the organization. There’s a clear acknowledgement that the history of the Cleveland Indians will still live on, it will just do so under a new name. The club has been around for over 100 years and that fact will remain. Now, the team is just catching up with the times and making a necessary change.

We’re still a long way from discovering the new identity of Cleveland baseball, but this home page and the ability to sign-up for updates is a tremendous move by the organization. Fans will be able to stay informed throughout the process and while the name might not be leaked to any specific group in the near future, seeing the work that goes into the decision is reassuring.

The Cleveland Indians know that this is a big deal for all fans. Older generations are losing a part of the team they grew up with and love to this day while the younger generation is waiting to find out what their favorite club will be called for the next 100 years, give or take. It’s an exciting time in the history of the organization and they are doing a great job of embracing the situation while recognizing the struggles that accompany the change.

For fans, this will provide a unique level of involvement and one that should bring ease to the situation. We aren’t the ones picking the name, but the organization is taking measures to make sure we at least feel included. Like I said, it won’t take away the sting completely, but it at least helps the case seem a bit better in the long run. It’s a great way to transition into the next phase of history for baseball in Cleveland, Ohio.

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