|Team: Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Buckeyes, Cleveland Bears||Capacity: 78,000 (1931) 74,483 (1989)|
|Opening Day: July 31, 1932||Closing Day: October 3, 1993|
|Dimensions: LF 375, CF 404, RF 370||Surface: grass|
|Architect: F.R. Walker of Walker & Weeks||Contractor: Osborn Engineering Co.|
|Owner: City of Cleveland||Cost: $3 million (1931); $5 million (1967 renovation); $3.6 million (1974 renovation)|
|AKA: Lakefront Stadium, Municipal Stadium|
Contrary to popular belief, Cleveland Municipal Stadium, otherwise know as "The Mistake by the Lake", was not built in a bid to host the 1932 Olympics. Los Angeles already had them. In 1903 a plan was laid to build a 25,000 person stadium for the Cleveland Indians to play in. In 1920 Osborn Engineering built a much bigger stadium for various events. A public bond of $2.5 million was issued by the City of Cleveland making this the first publicly financed stadium. The planned site was a tire and car dump located on the shores of Lake Eire. The Stadium as completed on July 1, 1931, with the first event taking place July 3, 1931, however, there was no baseball tenant. The City had built the stadium without signing the Indians to a lease and that gave the team a lot more leverage to decide upon their price. The first Indians game was July 3, 1932. The Indians played most of their weekday games at League Park and the weekend games at Cleveland Stadium. The team moved into Cleveland Stadium permanently in 1946. The NFL team the Browns also played here.
Not a whole lot of good came out of this stadium for the Indians. They had only one World Series appearance while they played here, compared to two already, at the Jake which opened in 1994. The stadium was so big that when 20,000 fans showed up, the stadium looked empty. Sluggers hated playing here. No one ever hit a ball into the center field bleachers. Joe DiMaggio hit number 56 the day before at League Park, then the Indians and Yankees played the next game in Cleveland Stadium and that was the game that broke the streak.
A few interesting notes are that Cleveland Municipal Stadium used to have $1 beer nights. Fans got so rowdy, that on June 4, 1974 they had to forfeit the game. Also, on September 23, 1949, Bill Veeck and the Indians buried their 1948 pennant in center field before a game, the day after they were mathematically eliminated from the pennant race.
Although the Indians moved away in 1994 to the much nicer and cozier Jacobs Field, the Browns continued playing here until 1995 when they moved to Baltimore. In November 1996 the stadium was demolished. Now it is the current site of the new Browns Stadium.
The Indians retired numbers, at Cleveland Stadium, are (in numerical order):
© 2001-17 Paul Healey.