CLEVELAND, Ohio – For the first time in 52 years, Cleveland has a chance to win a sports championship at home.
On Tuesday, the Cleveland Indians will take on the Chicago Cubs at Progressive Field in Game 6 of the World Series, giving the team the opportunity to bring the city its first home-won championship since the Browns defeated the Baltimore Colts in 1964. The Indians, who will play Game 7 in Cleveland on Wednesday if necessary, have not won a championship at home since 1920.
For a city that has rallied behind the scrappy Indians team, expect crowds downtown this week.
From across the country, world, Indians fans converge on Cleveland
The Indians will play at 8:08 p.m. Tuesday – and Wednesday, if necessary – and the Cleveland Cavaliers will face off against the Houston Rockets at the Q next door at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Gates at Progressive Field will open at 6 p.m. both days; the Q will open at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The Cavs game, originally scheduled for 7 p.m., was moved up an hour at team owner Dan Gilbert’s request. He estimates the basketball game will over by the second inning and plans to show the Indians game on the Humongotron at the Q after the Cavs game ends.
CLE, we fought hard to move @cavs tip to 6pm tomorrow so you wouldn’t be torn. @cavs game should end by 2nd inning. Can’t wait, @Indians!
— Dan Gilbert (@cavsdan) October 31, 2016
“We really anticipate people will stay downtown to watch that,” said Linda Krecic, spokeswoman for the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority. “So, we’ll have both venues emptying out at the same time…hopefully, emptying out to celebrate a victory, as well.”
RTA is planning for crowds like those seen downtown Oct. 25 when Game 1 of the World Series and the Cavs home opener – and banner raising and ring ceremony – took place on the same night. That night, RTA transported about 25,000 people on its Red Line alone.
“The problem comes when everybody tries to leave at the same time,” Krecic said. “With Game 1, everyone did leave at the same time. There is going to be a backup, a traffic jam of people.”
During Game 1, lines for the trains snaked through Tower City to the walkway to the Gateway Plaza, leaving many passengers frustrated, waiting more than an hour for a train out of the city.
“What will help this time is that we will have additional staffing to provide communication to people waiting,” Krecic said.
While RTA was transporting people as fast as they could – a maximum of 7,000 to 10,000 people per hour – on the rail lines, part of the problem was confusion about where there were delays.
Passengers waiting for the better-flowing Blue and Green Lines were caught in the same bottleneck in the walkway as those waiting for the Red line, which was at capacity. Krecic said RTA hopes better communication will move people through Tower City to the Rotunda (for the Green and Blue Lines) and to Track 7 (the temporary platform for the Red Line).
As it did for Game 1, RTA will be adding an extra car to each of its trains, meaning the Red Line will be running three-car trains and the Blue and Green Lines will be running two-car trains. Trains will be running at 10-minute intervals.
RTA pledged at the beginning of the World Series to extend its train service until an hour after each game ends, including away games, to accommodate fans attending both games and watch parties. That includes the Green Line, which typically shuts down at 9 p.m. The change does not impact the Waterfront Line, which stops running at 7 p.m.
To help cut down on wait times, RTA is encouraging passengers to use its mobile app, which allows riders to board the train without waiting in line at ticketing kiosks. During Game 1, about 350 people used mobile passes, Krecic said.
RTA also will continue to sell $5 cash-only round trip World Series commemorative passes, and will have extra workers available to help passengers. RTA also sells a regular all-day pass for $5.50.
There is free parking available at a number of RTA stations, including the Green Road Station.
Free parking may be helpful for those coming downtown for the Indians and Cavs games. While parking in Cleveland was at normal special event prices during most of the World Series, for Game 1 some lots were charging as high as $100. And, with the Indians looking to get a championship win at home, it’s likely crowds will be closer to Game 1 levels.
Parking prices out of the park for World Series, Cavs home opener
The Gateway East parking garage will be closed on Tuesday to all daily and monthly parkers. The garage only will accept Cavaliers and Indians game-day passes, not monthly passes or cash, for parking.
“The final two games of the World Series are expected to draw large crowds that may cause traffic delays in the downtown area,” the city said in a news release.
The Division of Police will institute parking bans on the following streets from noon to 2 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1 and Wednesday, Nov. 2. to help with traffic flow:
- Prospect Avenue from Ontario Street to East14th Street.
- Huron Road from Ontario Street to Prospect Avenue.
- Bolivar Road from East 9th Street to East 14th Street.
- Carnegie Avenue from East 9th Street to East 14th Street.
- East 9th Street from Superior Avenue to Carnegie Avenue.
- East 4th Street from Huron Road to Prospect Avenue.
World Series schedule
- Game 6: Cubs at Indians, 8:08 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1
- Game 7: Cubs at Indians, 8:08 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2