No matter how good or bad our teams are (and they certainly can run the gamut between those extremes!), Cleveland is undeniably a die-hard sports town.
Cleveland has three professional sports teams, one of which being the Cleveland Guardians baseball team.
Cleveland has had a professional baseball team since 1901. The Guardians play in the American League (AL), and have won six AL pennants and two World Series titles (the World Series titles in 1920 and 1948).
The Guardians have gone through several name changes and played at 3 different stadiums throughout their history, currently playing at Progressive Field in downtown Cleveland at the iconic intersection of Carnegie and Ontario.
Whether you’re a lifelong Cleveland fan, a casual baseball watcher, or a visitor from out-of-town, there are plenty of things you should know about going to see a Cleveland Guardians game in-person at Progressive Field.
This guide will cover everything to keep in mind if you want to come cheer on the Guards!
Why go to a Cleveland Guardians game?
Cleveland’s baseball team has a long tradition in this city; we’ve had a professional baseball team for more than a century, and that team has had several firsts in the MLB (like the first African American to play in the AL in Larry Doby, and the first Black manager in Frank Robinson in 1975).
And while the Guardians franchise only has two World Series wins under its belt, the team has made it to the World Series several times – most recently in 2016, when they lost in Game 7 to the Chicago Cubs.
After the Cubs’ World Series win in 2016, the Cleveland Guardians are now in the longest World Series win drought out of any team in the MLB – but that doesn’t mean they’re not good!
Going to see a baseball game in person is so different to watching it on TV. The excitement of being in Progressive Field just hits different, and it’s worth doing at least once or twice a season.
Where to sit at Progressive Field
Did you know that Progressive Field is actually the smallest ballpark in the MLB? Though it’s all relative, of course, since the stadium still has a capacity of 34,830.
When it comes to buying tickets for a Guardians game, you can purchase season tickets, a Six Pack with tickets to six games, or single game tickets.
Club seats and lower level seats will be the most expensive, but they offer the best views and the most comfort. You can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $250+ for these seats.
If you’re looking to save money, sitting in the upper level or bleacher seats is more affordable. These seats can be as low as $10 to $15. But keep in mind that these seats may be exposed directly to the sun during daytime games, and that the bleacher seats don’t have seatbacks.
If you’re interested in attending many games at Progressive Field and don’t mind standing, you can also purchase the Guardians Ballpark Pass for $49 a month, which gets you standing room access to every regular season home game (that means you could conceivably go to 81 games for less than $300!).
Standing Room Only tickets mean you’ll be watching the game from designated areas that include The Corner Bar, the left field and right field drink rails, the Home Run Porch, and Heritage Plaza.
Food and drinks at Progressive Field
Enjoying food and drinks is half the fun at a baseball game, and Progressive Field has plenty of options to choose from. The stadium prides itself on offering food and drink options from lots of local vendors, including more than a dozen Cleveland-area restaurants and breweries.
Some of our favorite spots you can find in the Right Field District and Infield District of Progressive Field include:
- Happy Dog: Classic hot dogs with a twist (they even have a new vegan dog this year called The Wild Thing)
- Melt: Grilled cheeses like you’ve never seen them before (and try the new Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese Bowl this year)
- Throwin’ Smoke BBQ: Barbecue favorites including mac anc cheeses
- Dynomite Burger: Fresh, made to order burgers and sandwiches
- Barrio: Mouth-watering street tacos
- Ohio City Burrito: Tasty burritos and other Mexican fare
- Momocho: Tacos, quesadillas, and delicious nachos
- Dante’s Inferno: Hand-crafted pizzas
- Sweet Moses: Homemade ice cream and other sweets
There are also several different bar areas at Progressive Field:
- The Corner Bar: This 2-story bar in the Right Field District has 40 beers on tap, and even an open-air fire pit on the roofdeck.
- Great Lakes Brewing Co.: Enjoy a craft beer and some pub grub at this outdoor beer garden inside the stadium. (GLBC is the official beer of the Cleveland Guardians.)
- Fat Head’s Brewery: Grab a beer and one of their famous “Headwiches” — giant sandwiches roughly the size of your head.
- The Brew Kettle: Another place to grab a beer and some food during the game.
And note: About half the concession stands inside Progressive Field are going cashless in 2023! Signs will denote which ones will only accept credit cards, Apple Pay, and Google Pay. And some of the in-seat vendors who sell snacks and drinks will also be cashless – look for the ones wearing yellow!
Good to know: You’re allowed to bring your own food and (non-alcoholic) drinks into Progressive Field, too! As long as you’re not sitting in a suite or other premium seating area, you can bring your own food and avoid the stadium concessions altogether.
Parking at Progressive Field
Reserved parking at Progressive Field is very limited. It may be available as an add-on when purchasing your ticket, but don’t count on being able to park at the stadium itself.
Progressive Field is in downtown Cleveland, though, and there are many garages and surface lots within a block or two. These garages/lots fill up quickly on game days, and the “special event pricing” sometime gets crazy! (Garage prices above $40 are not uncommon, especially for popular games.)
You might have better luck reserving parking nearby using SpotHero. It’s a good idea to reserve your parking in advance to save up to 50% off drive-up prices.
If you’d prefer to use public transportation and skip downtown parking altogether, you can take the Red, Blue, or Green RTA light rail lines to Tower City Center and walk about five minutes to Progressive Field.
Special events and ballpark days
Throughout the season, there are a number of special events and ballpark days that occur at Progressive Field that can enhance your gameday experience.
Some of these special events include:
- Dollar Dog Nights: Enjoy $1 hot dogs while supplies last; 2023 dates include May 26, June 9 and 23; July 3 and 21; August 4 and 18; September 1 and 23.
- Phantom Fireworks shows: An evening fireworks spectacular over Progressive Field; planned for May 26 and 27; June 9, 10, and 23; July 3, 7, 21, and 22; August 4, 5, 18 and 19; September 1, 2, and 23.
- Free Shirt Friday: Select Friday games, usually limited to the first 12,500 fans.
- $2 Pregame in the District: Enjoy discounted drinks before the game.
- Kids Fun Day: Exciting activities for the Guardians’ littlest fans.
You can find a full schedule of events on the Guardian website.
Are Guardians games good for kids?
Along with planned Kids Fun Days at the ballpark, and the chance to meet Slider and watch the hot dog races at every game, Progressive Field also offers special options for families with kids.
You can get kids game tickets (12 and under) for regular season games starting at $10 with the purchase of an adult ticket (max of 2 kids tickets per adult). These tickets are for the dedicated Family Deck, which is an area specially designed for families.
The Family Deck is home to the Smucker’s Kids Clubhouse, with interactive activities, play areas, photo ops, and more.
(Family Value Packs of tickets are also available for Sunday-Thursday games. More info here.)
Pre-game and post-game logistics
Before the game
All gates open 1 hour prior to game time for Sunday through Thursday games, and 1.5 hours prior to game time for Friday and Saturday games.
If you want to have time to eat some food and browse the team shop before the game begins, it’s a good idea to arrive at least 20 minutes before the entrance time.
This will give you time to park, walk to your entrance, and get through the ticket control and bag check, which can sometimes have long lines.
Progressive Field has the following entrances:
- Progressive Field Left Field Gate
- Progressive Field Right Field Gate
- Progressive Field Infield Gate
- Progressive Field Gate A
- Progressive Field Gate B
- Progressive Field Gate C
- Progressive Field Gate D
Depending on your seat, you’ll enter at one of these gates.
Note that fans are only allowed to bring small bags not exceeding 16”x16”x8” into Progressive Field. Larger manufactured diaper bags or medical bags are also permitted.
After the game
When it comes to post-game logistics, how long it takes to leave Progressive Field and how bad traffic will be if you’re driving can vary depending on the weather, game outcome, planned events, etc.
For a major losing game where people started to leave early, it won’t be difficult to get out of Progressive Field. But for close games or winning games, there may be a lot of congestion at the end of the game. Prepare for an extra 30 to 45 minutes when leaving.
If you’re looking for bars near Progressive Field where you can celebrate after the game, these are some popular nearby bars you can walk to that stay open late:
- The Clevelander Bar & Grill
- Thirsty Parrot
- Wild Eagle Saloon
- City Tap Cleveland
- Flannery’s Pub
Hotels near Progressive Field
If you’re coming from out of town or want to spend the night in Downtown Cleveland after a game, there are many hotels to choose from near Progressive Field.
Some of the best hotels near Progressive Field are:
- Hilton Garden Inn Cleveland Downtown
- Kimpton Schofield Hotel
- Metropolitan at the 9
- Residence Inn Cleveland Downtown
Each of these hotels is within a couple of blocks of Progressive Field so you can walk to and from the game in just a few minutes.
Will you be going to any Cleveland Guardians games this year?
Amanda was born and raised in northeast Ohio, and has always been a fangirl of the state. Now, she wants to share her love of Cleveland with the world, highlighting all the best things to do, see, and eat in the CLE. She’s been running Cleveland Traveler since January 2019.