Citing issues with Progressive Field‘s aging building automation system, the Cleveland Indians are hoping to land approval for a replacement project.
On Wednesday, the Indians went before the board of the Gateway Development Corporation to make their case for funds for the replacement of the ballpark’s existing building automation system (BAS)–which regulates the facility’s lights, heating, and cooling. When discussing the issue with the board, Indians chief information officer Neil Weiss noted that the current system dates to the ballpark’s 1994 opening and has aged to the point where it malfunctions several teams a week.
No action was taken on the request Wednesday, as the board–which handles major capital repairs in excess of $500,000 at Progressive Field–will further review the proposal before issuing a final vote. More from Cleveland.com:
The county pays for repairs from revenue from the “sin tax” on beer, wine, liquor and cigarettes, which in 2018 generated about $13.9 million. County Council in August also raised the bed tax by one percentage point to free up revenues to support, in part, a sports facilities fund.
The building automation system was described by Weiss as the ballpark’s “nerve center” that regulates lights, heat and air-conditioning for interior spaces at the ballpark, including a service level used by employees and the team’s administrative offices.
When functioning correctly, the system allows for timers to be set so those systems turn on automatically at the appropriate times. Such systems generally last 10 to 12 years, but Weiss said the current system was installed when the ballpark was built in 1994.
The malfunctioning system means lights can sporadically turn on in the middle of the night, or lights fail to come on when workers need them, Weiss said. The system must be re-booted every time it fails, potentially affecting the movement of workers and supplies, and resulting in higher energy costs.
A new system is expected to cost over $1.6 million, and the Indians are hoping to begin the replacement process in 2020.