New life is breathing through the Indians' organization these days. Terry Francona has been installed as the new manager, the Dolans opened up the checkbook to land some free agents, and Chris Perez seems vaguely happy.
That new life extends beyond the field, however, to the full fan experience at The Jake. Because what's a ballgame without refreshments and food.
Understanding how valuable the ancillary dollar is for the many hard-working Northeast Ohioans, the Cleveland Indians have created the 4-3-2-1 concession initiative. It's pretty simple: $4 domestic 12-ounce draft and canned beers, hot dogs starting at $3, $2 soda refills, and six additional Sugardale $1 dog nights, for a total of 15 in 2013. It's enough reason to skip the pre-game bar scene and head straight to the ballpark.
In addition to lowering concession prices, the Indians have also put a premium on bringing more local options to the stadium.
"As we have in recent years, our focus again for 2013 was to bring more local fare to the ballpark," says Chris Angne, general manager for Delaware North Companies Sportservice at Progressive Field. Unlike in years past where they really just scratched the surface, Delaware North Companies is taking local to new heights for this venue. "We also have a lifelong Clevelander, Ed Michalski, coming into his first full season as our executive chef, so we're excited about the road ahead," says Angne.
In the concessions world, Angne and his team have chosen to use Pinzone's Gourmet Sausage and Brats. A recognizable name from their popular stand in the West Side Market, Pinzone's will be served at numerous grill carts throughout the lower concourse. Joining Pinzone's is T.J. Butcher Block Burgers. T.J.'s, a Lakewood favorite, will be offered at a portable cart on both the lower and upper decks. Thirsty for something local? Also offered in section 152 at Spirits of Ohio will be Cleveland Whiskey and Portside Rum, both from Cuyahoga County. The additional local flare will join the concession fan favorites from our region like Cleats Club Seat Grille and Strickland's Frozen Custard.
The ballpark suites will also see its own touch of local influence, but this one is on the sweet side. The famous dessert cart that suite ticket holders happily and eagerly wait for every game gets a local flare with a new line-up of its own -- Cake Royale, Slices Pastries, M. Mazzone and Son, Seballos Pastries, Becker's Donuts and Mitchell's Ice Cream to name a few.
Rounding out some of the other tasty additions include an upgraded menu to the concessions Food Network cart with items like pork belly sliders. Suite fans will also see small plate options added to their menu, including a hummus trio. Terrace Club Bar fans will also see an upgraded burger slider menu and a must have-fried pickle chip appetizer.
If the players are half as good as the food, the Tribe will be playing well into October this year.