CLEVELAND -- Progressive Field will be fit to burst on Wednesday night for the American League Wild Card Game at 8:07 ET on TBS. More than 42,000 fans are expected to pack the ballpark, and the Indians are hoping every last one of them comes to the game sporting red clothing.
Through a press release on Monday, the Indians encouraged game attendees to "Rock Your Red" on Wednesday as the Indians play their first postseason contest since 2007. White rally towels, sponsored by Progressive Insurance, will be given to every fan who comes out to watch the Tribe battle for a spot in the AL Division Series. The Indians' opponent will be determined by Monday's tiebreaker between the Rays and Rangers.
"Our players have said repeatedly that our fans' passion drives them on the field," club president Mark Shapiro said in the press release. "Let's 'Rock our Red' on Wednesday to push them to a Wild Card victory and show the nation that this is a Tribe Town!"
Progressive Field's gates will open at 6 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Before fans are allowed to enter, however, a number of events will take place near the ballpark. SportsTime Ohio's "All Bets Are Off," the "Mike Trivisonno Show" and WMMS' "The Alan Cox Show" will all broadcast live between various times and at different locations. At Gateway Plaza, Budweiser will open its Build-A-Bar outfit at 4:30 p.m. and a U2 tribute band will perform at 5:30 p.m.
Local singer Dan Polk is set to sing the national anthem, while Indians Hall of Famer Andre Thornton will throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
"I don't doubt that this place will be electric," manager Terry Francona said on Monday. "I think fans have been dying for that. I think it'll be fun. Fun means winning in front of your home fans. So hopefully that's what happens.
"We have some preparation to do to get there and we have two days to do it, but it's an exciting time."
Mark Emery is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less