The Indians send out quite a few surveys to their fans.
A recent one, though, caught our attention because it involves a possible new addition to the popular Right Field District at Progressive Field.
The most recent survey said the Tribe is studying “a private terraces concept,” which in past questionnaires had been referred to as “social cabanas.”
Curtis Danburg, the Indians’ senior director of communications, said nothing is imminent and such ideas sometimes stem from concepts that other teams have implemented.
In the case of the private terraces, Danburg said the Indians are discussing something similar to what the Colorado Rockies and Oakland Athletics have done. If the Indians continue to pursue the option, which would be more than a few years away, the terraces would replace the upper-deck boxes in right field. Those patio areas — which resemble shipping containers and feature retired jersey numbers and the names of community partners — have been the only aspects of an extensive ballpark renovation that have been roundly criticized.
The Rooftop is a 38,000-square-foot space in the upper right-field deck at Coors Field in Denver. There’s an urban garden, plus VIP cabanas, TVs and pregame entertainment. It features three group areas, two of which accommodate 40 to 60 fans and have a private bar. The other is a patio that is only available prior to the game and fits 80 to 300 guests.
The A’s, meanwhile, debuted the Connie Mack Club in 2018. The space features premium suites that overlook club seats. The Athletics’ website says it’s the team’s most popular hospitality area, and it offers outdoor seating, a pregame buffet and the team’s “highest-end” food package.
The Indians are stressing that they’re exploring options to improve the fan experience, and any such development wouldn’t be in the next few years.
But the fact that private terraces have been mentioned in a couple surveys makes us optimistic that this is a possibility that could become a reality — and one that would be a welcomed replacement for the lone weak link from the extensive renovations at Progressive Field.
From 2014-17, a combined $77 million was spent on ballpark renovations. The total represented a near-even mix of private and public investments.
The $26 million first phase of work that debuted in 2015 was privately financed by the Tribe and Delaware North, the club’s longtime concessionaire. Transforming right field was the focus of that round, which was highlighted by the additions of The Corner, the Kids Clubhouse, stacked bullpens and neighborhood areas featuring local food offerings.
You can follow me on Twitter for sports information, analysis and to tell me if you prefer The Rooftop or the Connie Mack Club. (We’ll install The Rooftop as a 10-1 favorite.)