State Could Put Money Toward Deal To Extend Progressive Field Lease With Cleveland Indians

Progressive Field in Cleveland, April 2019
Cleveland's Progressive Field in April 2019 [Karen Kasler / Statehouse News Bureau]
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Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) says he's looking into a possible deal to help extend the Cleveland baseball team's contract at Progressive Field by offering state money for renovations and upgrades.  

DeWine says he's talking with leaders in Cuyahoga County and Cleveland about a possible 15-year contract extension for the team to stay at Progressive Field, with the option for two 5-year extensions. 

DeWine, whose family owns a minor league baseball team in North Carolina not affiliated with the Cleveland baseball team, says more state money can encourage a longer lease, but added he's confident the team will stay in Cleveland. 

"No, there's no plan on relocating. None. And the Dolans are absolutely committed to Cleveland," DeWine said. 

The team is owned by the Dolan Family. Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) is a partial owner of the team, which is in the process of choosing a new name.

The governor says he's not yet ready to announce how much money the state could be paying into the deal.

"I think my role was on behalf of Cleveland Indians fans, and this state, and the people of Ohio to try and get a longer lease. I think that's in the best interest of Cleveland," DeWine said.

The state recently put money toward Ohio's Major League Soccer stadiums in Columbus and Cincinnati. The Columbus Crew has received a $25 million loan and a $20 million grant while FC Cincinnati has received $16 million from the last capital budget.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

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