Progressive Field Guide – Where to Park, Eat, and Get Cheap Tickets
Formerly known as Jacob’s Field, Progressive Field is now the official home of the Cleveland Indians. Cleveland is often referred to as the ‘Mistake By The Lake’, and I guess I won’t argue. However this is a nice ballpark that provides decent value for fans.
The Scoreboard Disrupts the Downtown Vibe of the Park - via Flickr user Erik Drost
Arriving at Progressive Field
Alternative/Public Transport to an Indians Game
When we went to Cleveland, we just stayed in a hotel downtown and walked to the game. If you are coming from out of town, that is a great option. The location is outstanding.
If you are outside of the city center, you can take the Red, Blue, or Green "Rapid" train to the Tower City Station. From there, it's just a quick walk through the walkway to the Quicken Arena across the street from Progressive Field.
If you want to combine food/drink/parking all in one, you should check out the local Great Lakes Brewing Company. They offer a $1 shuttle to the game from Monday-Saturday that runs on vegetable oil, called the Fatty Wagon. If you are a beer fan, this is also renowned for great local brews. Often you can find free street parking in this area.
The Indians also run a free shuttle on for Friday and Saturday games that departs from 25th and Market Street in the Near West Side, where there is copious cheap or free parking.
Driving to an Indians Game
Cleveland is proud of the fact that there are enough parking spots in downtown for Progressive Field and the Q to be sold out at the same time. With that many parking spots it can get overwhelming.
It’s not difficult to find parking in the area immediately surrounding Progressive Field in the $5-$15 range. Premium locations closer to the stadium could reach over $20, depending on the game. The further away you get from the stadium, the better your chances are of finding a cheap lot.
The Indians website provides an easy to use map of nearby garages and lots that notes how much each might cost. You can find that by clicking here.
For around $10, the lot at 740 Euclid Avenue is a quick two block walk to the stadium and positions you well to access gates B and C.
Parking on Euclid Avenue is a Great Option Near the Park
The Tower City Center shopping area has a ton of cheap parking is a quick walk to the stadium
Cleveland State’s Wolstein Center has an affordable parking garage as well, and is located 10 minutes on foot from the stadium.
I do want to offer a word of warning on these prices I mentioned. The lots around Progressive field have been known to jack up the prices depending on the magnitude of the game. So when competitive teams come to town, these are going to go up. You can also expect that if the Indians happen to be in a playoff run.
Another nice tool to make use of is a service called Parking Panda. This site allows you pay for parking ahead of time, and you’re guaranteed a space when you book a reservation. You’ll know exactly where you’re going to park and how much you’re going to pay before you even leave the house. That can save a lot of stress when you’re headed to the ballpark. Check it out here, or view all of their options below:
Food At & Near Progressive Field
Save Money on Food
You can take soft sided coolers into Progressive Field with your own food and snacks. This is a great way to save money as always. If you are looking for a cool local place before or after the game, check out AJ Roccos. You can grab a pizza and a drink and hang out for a little bit before walking to the game.
Here is a full rundown of pre and post game options in the area for food and drink. The surrounding area is loaded with lots of great choices.
Section 533 is all-you-can-eat. They have separate food lines and offer many of the best treats of the ballpark - except for alcohol (you can still buy alcohol elsewhere in the park)
Food at Progressive Field You Shouldn't Miss
While there are food and drink options for every taste outside the park, there are a few gems worth spending the dough for.
1. Melt: Cool evening games are made ooey-gooey warm with a visit to Melt, a grilled-cheese stand by section 113. And these aren't your mom's grilled-cheese - you can choose options with sauerkraut, mushrooms, chorizo, and more.
2. Barrio: the folks behind this beloved Cleveland food truck bring innovative tacos and burritos to Progressive, section 109. An excellent beer and taquilla selection is matched with build-your-own tacos.
3. Great Lakes Brewing Company: Their restaurant sends a shuttle to game, but you can also find a wide selection of their beers and food across the park. Find them by sections 107, 152, and 174. You come for the ales and lagers, but you stay for the Brewer's Barley pretzels.
Cheap Indians Tickets
At this point, nearly every Major League team has some kind of variable pricing model where depending on how in-demand a game is, the ticket prices you'll pay at the gate may go up or down.
Sometimes pricing varies from day to day, other times it is a more formal "tiered" structure where when they are playing a big draw team like the Yankees, you'll pay a premium price compared to a perennial bottom-dweller who might be in the "budget tier."
So rather than focusing on specific prices and sections which tend to change fairly often, I want to talk about general rules and strategies for getting the best deals on tickets.
1. Compare 3rd Party Sites
SeatGeek is a big time ticket comparison site that lets you compare a bunch of different ticket brokers, marketplaces, etc. and find the best price for the game you want to go to. They also have a tool that projects whether ticket prices will go up or down - AKA whether you should buy now or wait.
Progressive Field Boasts a Bright White Exterior - via Flickr user Erik Drost
2. Buy Last Minute
If you've bought tickets online before, you've heard of StubHub. What you may not know however is that with the rise of print-at-home and tickets on your mobile phone via the Ballpark App that you can usually buy tickets right up to a couple of hours before game time.
As someone who has sold a fair share of tickets on StubHub, I also know that sellers are encouraged to set a declining price for their tickets. This means they'll set a starting price and then their lowest acceptable price, and StubHub will auto-magically lower the price of those tickets as the event date gets closer.
So in many cases, a game that isn't sold out will have plenty of below face value deals on StubHub that you can snatch at the last minute and then either print at home, or just use the App on your phone to get scanned into the game.
3. Avoid Craigslist
It's not to say that you can't find ticket deals on Craigslist, you can. It is just more of a peace of mind, safety issue. I'm a Craigslist kind of guy, but I also know it's easy to get screwed buying baseball tickets there.
Remember when I mentioned selling on StubHub? When you list tickets there, all you need to know is the barcode number from that ticket along with the other details on section, row, etc. - So when I sell tickets I never mail them to the buyer, they just print them at home and my actual tickets become void.
If I was a shady character, I could go sell those void tickets to an unsuspecting buyer on Craigslist for cash. The tickets look real, they are "real" in a sense - but what that buyer will find out is when they go to enter the stadium, the ticket scanner will say "thou shalt not enter thy game."
Don't be that buyer.
Stick to buying tickets from SeatGeek, StubHub, or directly from the team. You can still get deals and you never have to worry about being scammed.
Best Value Seats at Progressive Field
I guess it depends who you are, but if you tend to get cramped in your seats you can improve your view a little bit and have some room to maneuver. Its also worth mentioning that the 300 level Mezzanine seats in right are a pretty great view at a good price. You definitely won’t be disappointed there if you want to fork out about $10 -12 more per person.
Be Careful of Overhangs - via Flickr user Chris Metcalf
If you're all the way up in 500-level, there are some sections which have not-so-great, bordering on obstructed views. Sections 564-572 have some overhang issues, and section 533 loses the right outfield corner.
Two more items worth considering: Remember the scoreboard and jumbo screen are in left field, so don’t sit in the outfield seats in left if you care about seeing the screen. I personally think that is a big deal because the screen provides good entertainment and stats during the game.
Secondly, the shade comes to those down the third base line first. You will be in the sun for a while in the summer time in the right field seats that I mentioned above.
Where to Stay White Visiting Progressive Field
My favorite way to travel to a baseball game is to stay as close to the stadium as possible and walk, or take Uber so I don't have to fool with parking in a strange place.
AirBnB is the best way to find a really cool house or apartment to rent so you can hang out with your friends/family before the game and get a more authentic local experience.
Not only is it cooler than a hotel, but you can save $35 on your first stay by using my referral link.
There are 2 types of rentals - those where you rent a private room and stay with a host and those where you rent out the whole place. I've done both, and you'll have some peace of mind about the people you rent from because of the review system they have for the hosts - so you have a high degree of confidence that you won't end up on the bad side of a future Dateline NBC episode.
Best of all, you can always find places to stay that are within walking distance to Progressive Field.
Obviously places come and go on the site, but I've used AirBnB a number of times for sports road trips and it's become my default option when I'm traveling. Click the button below to save $35 on your first trip and see what kind of cool places are currently available near the ballpark:
Free Stuff at Progressive Field
1. Feller Plaza - Make sure to check out Feller Plaza outside Gate C, named for the massive statue commemorating the Indians' greatest pitcher, "Rapid Robert" Feller. For a bit of fun, look at the benches in the plaza - many are marked with large letters. These letters spell out "Who's On First", paying homage to the famous Abbott and Costello routine.
Bob Feller Guards Holds Down the Plaza - via Flickr user Erik Drost
2. Heritage Park: past center field, behind the batter's eye is a great tribute to Indians' history, Heritage Park. Plaques and busts honor a number of famous Indians from all eras of their long history, including favorites like Sandy Alomar Jr. and "Shoeless" Joe Jackson.