Jacobs Field is one of the contributing factors to the revitalization of downtown
Cleveland. Opening in 1994, it replaced Cleveland Municipal Stadium, which the
Indians shared with the NFL's Cleveland Browns, and which for the Tribe had become
the archetype of the adjective "cavernous."
In May 1990, Cuyahoga County voters approved a 15-year sin tax on alcohol and
cigarette sales in order to finance the new sports complex. In June 1992, the
ceremonial first pitch was thrown at the site of the new Jacobs Field before
construction of the building began. Finally, on April 4, 1994, the Cleveland Indians
played their first baseball game at Jacobs Field against the Seattle Mariners.
Then-president Bill Clinton threw the ceremonial first pitch, and the Indians won 4-3.
In 1995, Jacobs Field hosted its first World Series, where the Cleveland Indians lost to
the Atlanta Braves. Jacobs Field was the site of the 1997 MLB All-Star Game and the
host of the 1997 World Series where the Cleveland Indians lost to the Florida Marlins.
Prior to the start of the 1997 season, Jacobs Field had a slight addition as two
sections of seating were added onto the ends of the bleacher section, increasing the
capacity by about 1,000 to its current 43,345.
The Indians' move to "The Jake" coincided with the coming of age of an outstanding
young team, and the Indians soon became the hottest ticket in Cleveland. The
ballpark set a major league record between 1995 and early 2001 by selling out 455
straight games. Demand for tickets was so great that they sold out all 81 home games
before opening day on three separate occasions. The Indians "retired" the number
455 in honor of this outstanding record. "455 THE FANS" has been placed in lettering
on a wall in the right field GA in commemoration.
In 2004, Jacobs Field's scoreboard, the largest free-standing scoreboard in the United
States, was modernized with the installation of the largest video display in the world at
a sports venue, built by Daktronics of South Dakota. The video board measures 36
feet high by 149 feet wide. Also in 2004, a center field dining area located behind the
seating, formerly occupied by auxiliary bleachers, was replaced with a bar area called
the Batter's Eye Bar.
Starting on Opening Day of 2007, The Cleveland Indians are going to be opening
Heritage Park, a site for The Cleveland Indians Hall of Fame, The 100 Indian Roster,
and Memories of The Indians. It will be located behind the Center Field Wall, but with
shrubs and bushes so it doesn't interfere with the "Batter's Eye View."