Indians agree to 15-year lease to stay in downtown Cleveland

The Cleveland Indians recently confirmed they intend to change their name to the Cleveland Guardians following the ongoing MLB season, and there were rumors and concerns the ballclub could relocate somewhere such as Memphis once its lease with Cleveland expires after the 2023 campaign. 

Such worries were put to bed Thursday. 

Per Courtney Astolfi of and other outlets, the team has come to terms on a 15-year lease agreement with the city of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County and Ohio that will keep the to-be Guardians at Progressive Field through 2036. 

The deal includes a pair of five-year options that can be picked up by the city and county and $435 million for needed renovations on the ballpark. 

City and county councils must still sign off on the agreement that, according to the Associated Press (h/t ESPN), involves the franchise spending $10.2 million per year on venue improvements. Cleveland and Cuyahoga County will add $8 million annually, and Ohio will provide $2 million per year. 

“We are one of a few cities that have three major sports teams all located in a central business district,” Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said in a prepared release. “This shows that sports are important to the economic vitality of our hospitality industry, and baseball specifically is critical to Cleveland’s future.”

The NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers play in the same complex as Cleveland’s baseball team. The NFL’s Cleveland Browns, meanwhile, host opponents at FirstEnergy Stadium, which is on the shoreline of Lake Erie but still in downtown Cleveland.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said Cleveland owner Paul Dolan never discussed moving the baseball franchise before this development despite the current lease between the parties expiring in 2023. 

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