Originally posted on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 7/13/12

After months of hearing fans use parking costs and concession prices as an excuse for not attending Progressive Field to watch a team on the cusp of a playoff spot in the AL Central, the Cleveland Indians unveiled their initiative to provide a more cost-friendly approach to the second half of the season.

In a press conference held at Great Lakes Brewery, Cleveland Indians team president Mark Shapiro repeatedly mentioned a more “accessible and affordable” experience for fans of the team.

“One of our commitments is to make the fans the focus of our actions,” said Shapiro. “Transportation and food have been recurring themes in our conversations with fans. In response to these conversations, our main goal is to provide convenience and value so that these concerns to not interfere with the ability for our fans to have memorable experiences at Progressive Field.”

While Shapiro would backtrack a bit and say that the main goal is actually working towards the 2012 World Series, the in-game experience is solely focused on the fans. Thus, the team has lowered concession prices at various stands throughout the Progressive Field concourse, including but not limited to packages that help fans save even more money when purchased together.

Among the value menu are an $8 “Beer and Brat” combo, kids meals which will be priced at $5.25 (sandwich, popcorn and juice box), 32-ounce Pepsi products that will now include one free refill, and “Triple Play Pizza” will be sold for $3.25 per slice — three slices can be purchased for $9.75, saving fans an additional $1.50.

Travel accommodations will include a “Free Transportation Weekend” during the July 20, 21 and 22 games which will include free parking at the Gateway East Garage with an advance ticket purchase and the password “parking,” free RTA Rail Service when showing a valid Indians game ticket and free shuttle service from Ohio City near Great Lakes Brewing Company. Following this promotional weekend, special family fares and shuttle services will be provided.

Despite being one game out of the Wild Card in the American League, the Cleveland Indians remain dead last in attendance, averaging just over 18,800 fans per home game.

“In all of our market research, one of the significant barriers to entry into Downtown Cleveland and Progressive Field has been transportation,” said Shapiro. “[This initiative] ensures that there are many safe, reliable, and cost-effective means to get to our ballpark.”

[Related: Indians All-Star Break Review: DH and Outfielders]

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