Sunday, January 20, 2008
Right now I want to do a local post that may be of interest to all my friends who stop here.
This past Friday, the Jacobs Field sign came down from the front of the ballpark where the Cleveland Indians play their home games. The park is now called Progressive Field, and that sign will be up before opening day.
The original name of the venue was supposed to be called Indians Park, but then Indians owner, Dick Jacobs purchased naming rights that expired in 2006, so the Indians sold the rights to Progressive Insurance for the next 16 years. I sort of hoped the Eaton Corporation would buy the rights and call the field Eaton Park. The vendors would really have loved the subliminal message.
Of course the natives have become restless because the name has changed. Hello! It's still on the corner of Ontario and Carnegie, and the Tribe still plays there. If you are screaming for tradition, call it League Park.
My biggest problem is the big building next door. It's currently called Quicken Loans Arena. The former name was Gund Arena(which to me sounded like a social disease.) I thought that building was unnecessary. Let me explain.
From 1974-1994, the Cleveland Cavaliers called the Coliseum their home. It was built with private funds by the original owner of the Cavaliers, Nick Mileti. He had moved them from a 40 year old building in downtown Cleveland called the Cleveland Arena. Not everybody was in favor of that move, because it was out of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County to Richfield, in Summit County, which was a 25 minute drive from downtown Cleveland. For 20 years, the Coliseum was home to basketball, hockey, indoor soccer, and World Team Tennis. There was a boxing match where Muhammed Ali fought Chuck Wepner. That fight was the inspiration for the Rocky movies.
There also was ice shows, concerts, and the circus, and a whole bunch of other things.
Like I said before, the building was built with private funds. It was also maintained with private funds. Nick Mileti sold it to the Gund Brothers, who bought it with their own money. The Gunds were lured downtown by the Gateway Commission, who built them a new building, using tax dollars, collected from a "sin tax." The Coliseum was sold to Cuyahoga Valley National Park, who bought it with tax dollars. It was torn down with tax dollars. This paragraph has been very taxing.
Your tax dollars at work.