Cleveland Indians Bring Snow Days Back To Progressive Field
Mike B. | On 23, Nov 2011
While pitchers and catchers still are 89 days from reporting to sunny Goodyear, Ariz., the Cleveland Indians are only two days away from Snopening Day at Progressive Field. The Indians’ winter wonderland returns for its second season, with several changes from last year and a new emphasis on hockey.
“Last winter, Indians Snow Days allowed over 50,000 Indians fans to create memories with their families,” Indians President Mark Shapiro said. “We are excited that the return of Indians Snow Days and the addition of the Frozen Diamond Faceoff will allow even more fans to create wintertime memories at Progressive Field.”
The Batterhorn, sponsored by RTA, has returned from last year, but with some alterations. The eight-lane tubing hill no longer begins in the left field bleachers, but on the Toyota Home Run Porch. It stretches 200 feet, sending tubers at speeds of 30 mph toward centerfield. This season Snow Days participants do not have to worry about reserving tubing time, as it will be unlimited with admission.
Circulating around The Batterhorn and The Rookie Rink—a 60-by-32-foot rink for beginning skaters—is The Frozen Mile, sponsored by Cleveland Clinic and The Let’s Move It solution. The Cleveland Clinic will sponsor Let’s Move! It Mondays on Nov. 28, Dec. 5 and 12, promoting health, wellness and an active lifestyle in the winter months. Let’s Move It! Mondays are a free event to skaters wishing to participate on The Frozen Mile.
But this year’s crown jewel, and the reason for the move of The Batterhorn, is the addition of The Frozen Diamond hockey rink on the first base side of the infield. The rink will be open for advanced skaters during Snow Days when hockey is not being played. The Indians are sponsoring a youth tournament, featuring 48 teams competing at three different locations around Cleveland, from Nov. 21 through 27. All teams will play four games, including one at Progressive Field.
The Tribe and Gilmour Academy will work together to have their own high school hockey tournament from Dec. 2 through 4, and featuring local schools and schools from Illinois and Pennsylvania. The high school action will culminate on Jan. 5, when St. Ignatius and St. Edward face off.
The hockey events on the baseball field culminate with The Frozen Diamond Faceoff on Jan. 15, when Ohio State takes on Michigan on the ice. The game will be the second of a two-game series between the two schools and will be sanctioned by the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. It will be recognized as the first outdoor hockey contest in Ohio.
“An event at a venue like Progressive Field is great for both the institutions and the league as a whole,” CCHA Commissioner Fred Pletsch said. “We’re looking forward to coming to Cleveland this January to see a terrific rivalry showcased in a distinctive and memorable setting.”
Tickets to Snow Days and The Frozen Diamond Faceoff are on sale to the general public and can be purchased on Indians.com, at the Progressive Field Box Office and Indians Team Shops.
Photo and Video: Mike Brandyberry