The Indians have shown little interest in spending money on baseball players, but they’re shelling out for country stars. Last week the club announced its first-ever Indians Music Festival at Progressive Field, a lineup that includes Brad Paisley and Blake Shelton. It’s scheduled for June 11, roughly the same day the Tribe will be mathematically eliminated from postseason play.
But who benefits from this event in a stadium owned by the public and built with a significant share of public money? Why the Tribe, of course.
“Part of the lease [with the Indians] is a clause for special events,” says Todd Greathouse, director of the Gateway Economic Development Corporation, which owns and oversees the complex. “The Indians pay rent for the facility; they pay no extra money if they add another event.”
Gateway also received no money from the Indians’ inaugural Snow Days. According to the team, 50,000 visitors attended the recent winter attraction, making it a more successful use of the baseball field than baseball.