Friday, January 11, 2008

The Pro?

Big news out of Cleveland this morning. The Jacobs Field name is no more. A press conference is expected to be held today, but word has leaked out that the naming rights to the Jake have been sold to Progressive Insurance, the Mayfield Village based company and one of the largest employers in Northeast Ohio. It is expected that it will be called "Progressive Field." Terms have not yet been disclosed.

What are the odds anyone calls it "The Pro." When the Tribe wins with late game heroics, are we going to say it was "Progressive Field Magic?" Not likely. It will always be the Jake to me, and to thousands of Tribe fans, but I will say this, in today's game and the market the Indians are in, any extra money that can be put back into the payroll is fine by me. The Dolan's had to sell the naming rights. It would have been stupid for them not to. What I don't understand is what Progressive gets out of this. Am I going to switch my car insurance over to them because they own the name on the outside of the stadium? Negative. I know they will say it's great advertising, but in reality, it isn't going to help them much. People who live in Cleveland are already familiar with Progressive.

I will miss that beautiful "Jacobs Field Home of the Cleveland Indians" sign on the corner of Carnegie and Ontario. But it's just a name. One of the best stadiums in all of pro sports remains the same. So on March 31st, I will head down to "Progressive Field" for the opener, still calling it "The Jake."

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