CHICAGO - The Cleveland Indians will stay in their current stadium through at least 2023 under a new agreement that comes as officials make final payments on the 18-year-old tax-exempt debt issued to finance construction of the downtown stadium.
Under the current stadium agreement, the city of Cleveland gets automatic ownership of Progressive Field once the tax-exempt bonds are retired. This week, the City Council approved a measure that will hand ownership immediately back to the stadium's current owner and original developer, Gateway Economic DevelopmentCorp. That move allowed Gateway and the Indians to renegotiate the team's lease, extending it another 10 years through 2023. The Indians reportedly wanted a longer lease to allow them to generate long-term revenues and corporate sponsorships.