There seems to be a trend occurring on the corner of Ontario and Carnegie streets in Cleveland– the continued downward spiral of the attendance at Progressive Field for Indians games. The rock and roll capital of the world certainly isn’t rockin’ or rollin’ in attendance when it comes to their baseball team. The games look more like a scene straight out of the movie Major League than they do an actual Major League Baseball game.
Typically, when a team struggles in attendance, it’s a result of the product on the field. However, product on the field isn’t the issue in Cleveland. Sure, they didn’t make the playoffs this year, but they have put together back to back respectable seasons with even a Cy Young contender in Cory Kluber. So then, why aren’t fans showing up?
In the 2014 season, the Indians were 29th in the league in attendance, averaging 18,640 fans per game at home. That is an abysmal 42.4% of occupancy within the confines of Progressive field – that means more than half of their stadium isn’t full each game, representing the worst attendance in the league.
This year, the Indians announced plans to renovate Progressive Field to keep it up to date with the changing times. Part of their planned renovation is to take out over 5,000 seats, reducing capacity from 43,000 to 38,000 – probably a smart move by the front office. Each year, people assume the attendance will rise back to a respectable amount, but it doesn’t. What do you think is going on with the Cleveland Indians?