Indians notebook: Twists added to 2008 ticket plan

Andy Call

By ANDY CALL

Repository Sports Writer

CLEVELAND 

Indians fans may need to learn to plan ahead next summer.

The team announced its ticket plan for the 2008 season on Monday. It includes at least modest price increases across the board, but also added two new twists.

Fans who purchase tickets on the day of the game will pay more, as will fans who purchase tickets for weekend games and those against high-profile opponents like New York and Boston.

Indians Vice President of Sales and Marketing Vince Gregovits said in a statement released by the club that the system was implemented “in an effort to find that delicate balance between the need to keep ticket prices affordable for our fans and the need to generate revenue to build and sustain a championship caliber team on the field.”

Cleveland’s player payroll is expected to jump from $60 million to at least $73 million next season. The Indians are also in the process of negotiating a contract extension with Cy Young Award winner C.C. Sabathia.

Bleacher seats, which cost $14 in 2007, will cost $16 when purchased in advance next season and $18 on the day of the game. Field box seats, $46 in 2007, will jump to $50 and $55.

The 31 “premium” games include those against the Red Sox and Yankees as well as those on weekends after June 13. Bleacher seats for those dates are $18 and $20, field box seats $60 and $65.

Fans who purchase season tickets will realize considerable savings. The team is also offering “six-packs,” packages of discounted seats for sets of six home dates.

Five added to roster

The Indians prepared for next month’s Rule 5 draft by adding five players to their 40-man roster.

The team purchased the contracts of left-handers Scott Lewis, Reid Santos and Tony Sipp, right-hander Adam Miller and catcher Wyatt Toregas. Those additions bring the 40-man roster to 39.

Miller is the top pitching prospect in the Cleveland organization. Lewis, the left-hander from Ohio State, struck out 121 in 135 innings at Double-A Akron. Santos limited Eastern League hitters to a .223 average. Sipp, who struck out 284 in 219 innings over his first three minor-league seasons, missed all of 2007 after undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery. Toregas was limited to 86 games by injuries, but hit .250 with 16 doubles and six home runs.

New uniforms

The Indians have dumped the navy blue sleeveless vests and silver trim and added a cream-colored alternate uniform for next season.

Cleveland will wear its “retro” alternate uniform on Opening Day as well as home games on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. The 1940s look will eliminate the name of the player from the back of the jersey.

The Indians will also wear a solid navy blue cap with a red block “C,” taken from the uniforms of the early 1900s.

Reach Repository sports writer Andy Call at (330) 580-8346 or e-mail andy.call@cantonrep.com