Cleveland Indians: Cleveland baseball safe after 15-year lease extension
It’s official. Cleveland baseball will remain in the city for at least the next 15 years. The Cleveland Indians organization has agreed to a lease extension to continue playing at Progressive Field. The lease agreement is for 15 years, but there is an additional 10 years worth of options on the deal as well.
This really shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise after the new name was announced. The team isn’t going to be named after a Cleveland landmark and then leave the city within a few years. While landmark monikers haven’t always kept teams in cities, see the Los Angeles Dodgers or Los Angeles Lakers, this one seemed rather rock solid given the proximity to an impending lease agreement.
As Zack Meisel went on to say in a later tweet, there really wasn’t any concrete evidence that the club could be looking to relocate away from Cleveland. There have been rumors of expansion clubs or relocation cities, but none that have contacted the organization.
Should Major League Baseball look to expand there’s already two cities that have been tabbed as likely locations. Nashville and Portland both have organizations pushing for major league teams and the locations would help balance the league’s layout.
With that being said, it won’t be the Cleveland Indians or the Cleveland Guardians relocating to either of those cities. At least not anytime soon as the club will remain at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario.
The speculation that Cleveland could be on the move stemmed from the club’s goal to continue cutting payroll. Looking to save money and field what was viewed as a below-par team were signs that perhaps a “Major League” scenario of tanking to get attendance low enough to relocate was in the works. Thankfully, it seems like that storyline is being kept in Hollywood with Ricky Vaughn, Roger Dorn and Willie Mays Hayes.
The current edition of Cleveland Indians baseball just fell a game below .500 after a big loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday. With a record of 52-53, the Tribe are just attempting to finish out the year above .500, a goal the team hasn’t failed to meet since the 2012 campaign, being the final season under Manny Acta.
What is hurting the team is that the field that they just upped their lease for, Progressive Field, isn’t giving them much of a home field advantage this year. The club is just 26-23 at home during the 2021 season. While that’s above .500, the hope is for a bit better of a winning margin at home.
However, the focus right now isn’t on the home record or even really on the 2021 team. That focus ran out in the midst of the trade deadline where the Tribe were frequent sellers, striking four deals. Now, the focus is on the future and this deals means that the future will be in Cleveland.