Even in the offseason, the Cleveland Indians are still drawing crowds to Jacobs Progressive Field, home of the least-attended baseball squadron in the league. How, you ask?
Apparently, the organization has built something of a winter wonderland on the field in hopes that they’ll pull in some offseason revenue. Lord knows the Indians aren’t going to pay for themselves.
The event, known as “Snow Days” has a huge hill called the “batterhorn,” which is apparently not a professional wrestler’s finishing move, and an ice-skating track called the “frozen mile,” which is actually only a quarter-mile long.
This is an absolutely fantastic idea, and I’m actually considering dragging the family all the way to Cleveland just to check it out.
That said, the Indians expect to lose money on this venture even though they’re doing it anyway. The idea is to use Snow Days as something of an advertisement for the baseball team come spring and summer. The organization hopes the kids will remember the fun they had their tubing down the batterhorn and skating on the frozen mile and will want to come back and watch the Indians.
This is what it has come to in Cleveland.
The Indians are so bad that they are hoping a winter theme park will get people to watch baseball, when they sold out for the first five years of Jacobs Progressive Field’s existence from 1997 to 2001. They even made the playoffs in 2007 and had Cliff Lee and C.C. Sabathia on the same pitching staff, if I’m not mistaken. Nope, I’m not mistaken.
Apparently that was a hell of a long time ago, and the Indians will pretty much take anything they can get these days.
I don’t know if this changes the balance of power in the city’s competition with Buffalo as the most tortured sports city in the country, but if the Browns turn their field into a water park over the summer, it’s probably all over for Buffalo.
I’m thinking maybe it’s time for Major League Baseball to look into a salary cap for all teams (and hopefully a salary floor too) because you don’t see the Yankees turning their stadium into anything like this over the winter. They’re hosting an actual bowl game while the Phillies just paid like a billion dollars for Cliff Lee. I don’t think the Indians are going to compete with that any time soon.
Snow Days might just be the tip of the iceberg for Cleveland.