As fans begin to file back into Major League Baseball stadiums around the country, many are looking forward to getting back to the familiar sights and sounds they were accustomed to before the COVID-19 pandemic kept fans out of those same stadiums during the abbreviated 2020 season.
When the Cleveland Indians hosted their home opener at Progressive Field on April 5, fans noticed some changes to the facility.
One change is the absence of the kosher hot dog stand that is usually found in the concourse.
Curtis Danburg, Indians vice president of communications, told the Cleveland Jewish News April 1
the decision was based on the lowered attendance mandates caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, the Indians are only allowing Progressive Field to operate at 30% capacity, which equals about 10,512 fans.
The Indians reviewed April 2019 food sales by location, removing opening-day sales from this comparison due to the fact the ballpark will not be at capacity in 2021, Danburg said. They then compared those locations to the new restricted seating manifest in order to determine which locations would be appropriate to open, based on previous sales volume.
According to Danburg, the kosher stand only sells about 79 hot dogs per game. Due to the lower sales generated at this location in April 2019 compared to other stands, the club opted to delay the opening of the kosher stand until capacity restrictions are lifted.
However, Danburg said this is only temporary and the club anticipates opening the kosher stand when the state allows for increased attendance at outdoor venues, including Progressive Field.
“Hopefully, this will be sooner rather than later, but we can only wait at this point,” Danburg said. “We understand the importance of this location to our fans. But along with the other 50% of the locations not open during this period, we needed to make choices that were driven based on prior demand from our fans.”