CLEVELAND — In a long list of what fans can expect at Progressive Field for the 2021 season, the Cleveland Indians announced it will not allow fans into Progressive Field with “headdresses and face paint styled in a way that references or appropriates American Indian cultures and traditions.”
Anyone wearing inappropriate or offensive images, words, dress or face paint must be covered or removed, and failure to do so will constitute grounds for ejection or refusal of admission, the organization stated.
The new policy comes after the announcement from the team last year that professional baseball in Cleveland will be played by a team with a different name.
The Cleveland Indians held discussions in the summer 2020 about the possibility of a name change after years of protests calling the team name and former Chief Wahoo logo “derogatory,” “racist” and “offensive.”
Native American groups have, for years, demanded the team change its name and encouraged the organization to “eliminate harmful and racist Native American sports mascots, names, and imagery.” The organization removed the Chief Wahoo logo in 2019 from on-field use and around Progressive Field.
Weighing in on the discussion, Manager Terry Francona agreed, saying he believed the time has come for the team to change its name after more than 100 years.
The Cleveland Indians also said the solicitation of contributions and or distribution of literature on Progressive Field is prohibited.
Other policies new to the 2021 season include:
- All tickets will be exclusively mobile entry. Fans will be able to access and manage their tickets via the Ballpark app, My Indians Tickets account, or the StubHub app.
- Progressive Field strongly encourages fans to go cashless at all food and retail locations to support everyone’s health during the pandemic.
- The Terrace Club will be closed at the start of the season for all fans.
- Two new escalators were installed at Progress Field (Right Field District, Infield District).
- Netting—Fans will get their first look at the extended netting that was installed prior to the 2020 season. The new netting extends down both foul lines, going to section 128 in the Right Field corner and to section 174 in the Left Field corner. The net height was extended from 23 feet to 33 feet and the canopy was removed behind home plate, allowing for foul balls to once again reach fans in the lower bowl.
- New Health and safety policies—All fans will be required to wear a CDC face mask at all times while in the ballpark unless they are actively eating or drinking in ticketed areas. No bags will be allowed to speed up ballpark entry with the exceptions of medical bags, diaper bags and clutch purses. Additional sanitizer stations will also be added to the ballpark.
- Lexus Home Plate Boxes—The Lexus Home Plate Boxes offer a private location with premium seating directly behind home plate. The boxes offer an exceptional view and come with a unique menu, drink rails, balcony heaters, TV and your own attendant.
- Reduced food options—The number of concession stands will be limited to 40 in April. Progressive Field favorites such as Ballpark Classics, Fat Rooster, Forest City BBQ, Throwing Smoke BBQ and 9 local CLE restaurants will still be available with limited menus (Great Lakes Brewing Company, Barrio, Melt, Dynomite Burger, Dante’s, Momocho, Fat Heads, Brew Kettle, Ohio City Burrito).
The Cleveland Indians will take on the Kansas City Royals during the Home Opener on April 5.
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