Cleveland Guardians sell out home opener, announce $49 Ballpark Pass
For the 29th straight year (not including 2020), Progressive Field will be packed to full capacity on Opening Day. The Cleveland Guardians announced Tuesday morning that they had sold out the first game of the season on April 7 against the Seattle Mariners, as buzz for the defending AL Central champions continues to mount heading into the final days of spring training.
The Guardians also announced their 2023 Ballpark Pass, a standing-room-only ticket that gets you into every home game this season for just $49 per month.
While the listed capacity of Progressive Field stands at 34,830, Cleveland has seen north of 36,000 fans enter its turnstiles after recent renovations removed seats in right field to install standing-room terraces and the Corner Bar. Standing-room tickets are still available for Opening Day, but it’s unclear how many more tickets can be purchased. Fans with standing-room tickets can situate themselves at the Corner Bar, the left and right field drink rails, the Home Run Porch and Heritage Plaza.
The sellout and ticket package, along with the 35 games featuring promotions and giveaways, show the latest push for the Guardians - who averaged just 15,998 fans per game last year - as they try to continue to try and improve attendance numbers, which have consistently decreased since the early 2000s. Not only have the renovation projects at Progressive Field enhanced a now-29-year-old stadium, but they’ve shrunk the number of seats and curtailed the decreasing attendance.
Attendance - or lack thereof - has been talked to death in Cleveland over the last few years. The Guardians averaged just below 20,000 fans per game in 2016 during the miracle run to Game 7 of the World Series and saw a large uptick in attendance over the next few years. But 2017, averaging 25,285 fans per game, was the peak. Hitting a 20-year low last year, though coming out of a pandemic, the Guardians averaged just 13,758 fans per game, a far cry from the 455 straight sold-out games.
A combination of a young team with a recognizable nucleus headlined by Shane Bieber and José Ramírez, and the team coming off a near-upset of the New York Yankees last postseason, should mean more fans will flock to the stadium. The new ticket plan, bobblehead giveaways, a Larry Doby Day and nine Dollar Dog nights show Cleveland’s continued push to draw fans to the stadium. Until the summer and (hopefully) playoff push in August and September, the Guardians typically struggle to consistently bring in more than 15,000 fans, rendering Progressive Field quiet and empty.
This year, though, fans can watch an exciting team while also enjoying jersey giveaways of Josh Naylor and Triston McKenzie, bobbleheads of Andrés Giménez, Steven Kwan and Emmanuel Clase, or replica Gold Gloves. On August 19, the Guardians are planning to induct at least one new member into the team’s Hall of Fame for the first time since 2016. The ticket package works itself out to $294 for the entire season, a good deal for what’s essentially a season ticket.
The Guardians have their team assembled and continue to show they’re putting a really impressive foot forward to draw fans to the ballpark. Opening Day is sold out. Now it’s on the fans to show up the rest of the season.