The Indians/Guardians will be staying in Cleveland for years to come.
The Indians were never moving. Despite what some fans truly needed to believe, the Tribe wasn’t going to be leaving. Now, that’s official as the club has agreed to a new deal with the city of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, and the state of Ohio to remain in the area for the next 15-years. The new deal will also see $435 million invested in the home of the Tribe, Progressive Field.
The deal was announced Thursday morning in a virtual press conference that saw many local area politicians, including Gov. Mike DeWine, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, County Executive Armond Budish, County Council President Pernel Jones Jr., and of course the Indians owner himself; Paul Dolan in attendance.
The deal will see roughly $117 million paid to the team over the life of the 15year deal for renovation expenses on the ballpark. The county contributing another $138 million. The state of Ohio will contribute $30 million and the franchise will pay the last $150 million; according to the Plain Dealer and Cleveland.com.
The deal has two extensions that could see the team in Cleveland until 2046.
Some minor hurdles need to be passed but the Indians aim to deliver
The deal is agreed upon and is fully supported but it does still have to get voted in by the Cleveland city council and the Cuyahoga county council. Seeing as how the presidents of both councils were in attendance, that seems to be a small formality since no new taxes or tax increases will need to be created.
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The deal may have some denizens angry about spending public funds on stadium renovations but considering Progressive Field alone is going to generate an estimated $3 billion in taxable income the next 15 years, the $19 million per year the city, county, and state are providing is peanuts compared to the potential windfall.
Not only that but Dolan himself made no small claim that the deal will help the team compete. Since the Tribe handles so much of the renovations themselves, which takes away from available income to spend on players and talent developers, not having to foot such a large bill will help them invest more money into the squad. As Dolan himself said, the new deal alleviates;
"…An enormous burden on our ability to field a competitive team."
This deal not only will reassure fans the Indians/Guardians are here to stay but that the team may have more financial flexibility in the coming offseasons to invest into the squad, an issue some vocal fans won’t move off of.