CLEVELAND — At the end of last year, the Cleveland Indians announced the team would be moving forward with changing its name following years of protests calling the team name and former Chief Wahoo logo “derogatory,” “racist,” and “offensive."
Over the past several months, the team said it has been conducting research and holding discussions with a wide range of people as they contemplate what the new name should be. Those groups included Cleveland influencers, young professionals, civic leaders, season ticket holders, teens and families.
After holding these discussions, the team decided that some of the most important factors that will play into what the team name will be changed to include connecting with the city, preserving the history of the baseball team and uniting with the community.
The next step for the organization was to brainstorm ideas for new names that fit into all three categories, and according to the Tribe, a total of 1,198 name options were considered. Over 100 hours were spent in brainstorming sessions and the more than 1,000 names were put through 14 rounds of vetting to narrow down the options and come up with a list of top choices.
And that is where the team's process currently resides.
A list of finalists has not been released at this time and the Tribe said it continues the work on narrowing down the options. Once that list is settled on, that's when the organization said it will begin the process of creating options for logos and brand elements to go with the new name.
In April, owner Paul Dolan told WAKR that the organization he and the club not only were discussing the options with fans, but also working to make sure any possible name was able to be legally secured and approved by Major League Baseball.
“We have a list of names, we’re talking to people about it. We’re talking to fans,” Dolan said. “We are also doing the important work of securing the names so we can use them commercially because it doesn’t make much sense if we can’t use the name, and so we’re in the midst of that.”
The organization said it is still in that process and is vetting the name options for MLB use and for trademark protection.
"While we are excited for this new chapter in our franchise's story, this change does not diminish the 100+ years of our ball club's history and the rich tradition of baseball in Cleveland. We will continue to honor our past as we look forward to unveiling the new name to all of our fans and the city of Cleveland," the organization said.
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