Cleveland Indians President Mark Shapiro announced that the team is investing in the Progressive Field experience by removing 5,000 seats, reducing capacity from around 42,200 to 37,200. That would make one of the smallest stadiums in the MLB, and, wait for it, smaller than Howard J. Lamade Stadium, home of the Little League World Series. You’re welcome, Indians fans.
— Cleveland Scene (@Cleveland_Scene) August 7, 2014
In an era where other MLB teams are expanding, the Indians are retreating, in more ways than one. However, the reason isn’t just to spare fans the sight of a team that may have already packed it in. The plan is to add some restaurants and things around the stadium, but the problem is the Indians already have the lowest attendance in the MLB this season. So who exactly are these people that will going to these new shops and restaurants? The team is trying to make a cake that’s all icing, and no batter (or pitcher).
Is starting pitching included in the Progressive Field renovations?
— Garrett Alt (@Garrett_Alt17) August 7, 2014
To be fair, the team is not begging for public funds to do this, which is refreshing. However, now that they’ve had its usual midseason fire sale – reminding fans management has no interest in spending for talent – they should have the money to do the work. So with a middling team, expect the Indians to walk (or strike out) their way to this year’s Crap Attendance title. And taking away 5,000 from next season just seems like piling it on. So let’s go ahead and give them the title for 2015 as well.
Photo via Getty
David Young has been a columnist for ESPN and Sports Illustrated, and now is one for SportsGrid. Follow him on Twitter @flyingturkeys.