Walking through the corridor around the club suites towards the media event I was already a few minutes late for, my nose caught a familiar smell that told me baseball season had to be just around the corner. No, it wasn’t popcorn or hot dogs or peanuts.
It was actually carpet cleaning solution.
Which meant that the Indians had been steam cleaning the carpets of the suites. Like I said, a sign that they are getting the ball park ready.
There were other signs as well. An employee was power-washing the tops of the dugouts and the aisles up and down the steps of the lower bowl. Cans of nacho cheese sauce and other items were being wheeled to the different concession stands. As Bob DiBiasio would mention in his presentation, baseball and food go hand in hand.
The Indians shared with media outlets on Wednesday the changes that have been made to the ball park and game day experiences. You can read all about these changes here, which is the exact same press release we were given.
I will highlight a couple of these changes.
The change that got the biggest reaction from the media and others gathered at the event was that the Indians were now going to allow one factory sealed, 20 ounce bottle of water per fan to be brought into the game. Laugh all you want, but that is going to lead to lost revenue. The Indians listened to complaints and decided to allow the change. I was quite surprised by that one.
Another area that the Tribe is changing to meet fan demand is by establishing a re-entry point. Make sure you follow the proper procedure-
Fans needing to exit and re-enter Progressive Field must do so through a dedicated gate at Gate A. Their game ticket will be scanned upon exit. To re-enter the Ballpark, fans will enter through the Security Checkpoint and turnstiles where their ticket will be re-scanned. During games in which a gate giveaway is taking place, fans leaving the exit gate will have their ticket scanned and marked so that they may not receive multiple promotional items.
I haven’t considered this policy a big deal before, but apparently others have and the Indians are trying to accommodate.
The most obvious difference in appearance will be the wind turbine. It will be on the southeast corner of the park roof. This turbine is unlike any that I’ve seen before. If you picture the three bladed propeller type of turbine, you will be surprised too. The turbine is shaped like a tunnel. Here’s a picture. We’ll have to see what it looks like when installed and running. At least it is white and should blend in somewhat with the structure around it. The Indians partnered with Cleveland State on the turbine. They say it will produce enough power to supply 2 homes a year. (Dolan’s and Shapiro’s? Just kidding.) That doesn’t seem like an awful lot to me, but I’m not exacting the ‘greenest’ person I know.
The Tribe will continue to use social media, adding Pinterest, Google+ and Tumblr to the accounts they already own and maintain. The social media suite will again be used, presumably in the same manner as it was last year. The Indians really are on the leading edge of social media use, not just for MLB, but all sports in general.
The new uniforms were on display. They definitely have a more laid back look to them. I think I like it. Except of course the cream, which I still hate. (I know, everyone else likes them and I’m a terrible person.) I would rather have seen the sleeve and collar trim to be white or red on the blue uniforms instead of grey though.
There are new food items as well. The buffalo chicken macaroni and cheese was hyped by DiBiasio, and available to try so I did. I am a bit of a spicy food wimp, but I couldn’t eat more than a bite or two of this one. My mouth was on fire. Combining it with the Italians sausage sandwich proved to be too much for me to handle. I should have known better. Others around us liked it. Scott and I agreed it was really spicy.
So that’s ‘What’s New’. Click the link above to read all about the changes to kid’s land and a few other things. The “What if” campaign returns. That really isn’t new, but there are new spots featuring some old favorites. I’d link to the commercials, but really, aren’t you going to be seeing them a lot over the next 162 games?
162 games. That sounds good.