Community Benefits Program


The Guardians are two months away from showcasing our first set of projects!

On April 8, the Guardians Home Opener will showcase the first three projects to go live at Progressive Field as part of a Ballpark Improvements Project that is several years in the making. The team is excited to unveil fan-facing amenities in the Upper Deck, as well as a new building on E. 9th St. to support our concessionaire’s ability to deliver food and beverage throughout the ballpark. Construction is on schedule and we are full steam ahead for Opening Day.

  • The Pennant District - Upper Deck, Right Field Will feature a new, open-air group outing area, which can host large groups or be divided into three smaller spaces to host more intimate events. Fans will enjoy sweeping views of the ballpark and downtown.
  • The Terrace Garden - Upper Deck, Left Field Socialize with friends on an outdoor patio similar to that of your favorite local brewery or restaurant. This energetic, upper left field destination will host a variety of seating/standing options, some with field views, and nearby food and beverage options. The beer garden is open and available, first come first serve, to anyone who has a ticket into the game.
  • New E. 9th St. Building A new main kitchen and commissary will support food and beverage across all outdoor seating sections at Progressive Field. This building (the floors below the new Pennant District) will be a major driver in improving your experience when you come watch a Guards game at Progressive Field.

Upcoming Workshop Dates

  • Estimating: How To Manage Project Costs - February 29,2024
  • Construction Technology: Bringing Technology and Innovation into Small Businesses - March 28,2024

If you’re interested in attending any of these workshops, please email your information to [email protected] and a registration link will be provided



The Cleveland Guardians are dedicated to creating a long-lasting impact in our city and beyond. We are cognizant of the unique position that we hold in our community, and are dedicated to utilizing that position to drive broad economic impact. Building upon the City of Cleveland’s 2013 Community Benefits Agreement with local business, civic, labor and trade organizations, we have set project goals for contracting with diverse businesses, hiring local and minority workers, expanding training programs and studying best practices for improving diversity and inclusion in the construction industry. We know that in order to contribute to long-lasting impact, we must continue to uplift and partner with underserved communities to help everyone in our city thrive.


Our organizational Mission is to "Win the World Series while Creating a Compelling Fan Experience." While that Mission is central to all our projects, including the planned Ballpark Improvements, so too is our Purpose: to “Unite and Inspire the City with the Power of Team.” We believe that a Community Benefits Program (CBP) will enable us to achieve our Mission while staying true to our Purpose.


In the course of the Ballpark Improvements at Progressive Field, we have a clear opportunity to further this commitment to our community through an inclusive and diverse supply chain and workforce that participates in modernizing our Ballpark for the next generation of Guardians fans. These projects are an opportunity for the Guardians to be a gateway to further uniting the City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County and Northeast Ohio by helping small businesses -- specifically minority, female and veteran owned -- scale and build the foundations that will allow them to be ‘prime’ and ‘go to’ firms on future projects.


Encouraging the hiring and training of tradespeople with both strong construction skills and diverse backgrounds empowers local contractors to operate differently and brings a more inclusive, multifaceted approach to our project needs. In parallel, these projects are ideal conduits for supporting existing apprenticeship and educational opportunities for young Clevelanders to learn and grow their architect, engineering, and construction-related skillsets ‘in the field.’ The Guardians, along with Project Management, Construction Management, Architecture, Design and Engineering firms will be intentional, prescriptive, and transparent about striving to meet and exceed all of the below-listed goals.


Through conversations with community leaders and industry experts, the Guardians and Project Management Advisor APB & Associates have aligned on a Community Benefits Program for our upcoming renovations, with a transparent communications plan (see below in Project Reporting Goal) to keep all stakeholders aware of progress.

Inclusion and Participation Goals

The Cleveland Guardians are committed to the growth and development of our small and diverse business community. To drive engagement with these firms, supplier diversity goals have been established for the project. To date (October 2023), approximately $78 million dollars of work has been awarded, of which 80% has been awarded to FBE/MBE/HBE/SBE/VBE companies. Current commitments by goal category are as follows:


Committed %

Committed $

# of Firms 

Female Owned 






*Minority Owned 






Hispanic Owned 






Small Business 






Veteran Owned 





* This may include, but is not limited to Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian; Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, Two or More Races, or other intersectional identities.

Community Review Group

Striving to meet and exceed the goals of this CBP is the Cleveland Guardians’ responsibility. Support from the community will play an important role in advancing our diversity and inclusion efforts. Therefore, a Community Review Group (CRG) will be established to ensure there is a regular forum for the Guardians’ Ballpark Improvements Project Team to receive feedback and transparently provide progress updates on all project objectives. The CRG will have a focus on racial, ethnic and gender diversity as it relates to contracting and workforce representation; inclusion and belonging; retention; and engagement on project related issues. The CRG concept is intended to build a coalition, share best practices around diversity and inclusion, and learn from peers and experts as the Guardians proceed with their Ballpark Improvements Project.

Anthony BattagliaExecutive Director, Career and College Pathways, CMSD
Jack BaumannDirector of Project Development, Independence Construction
Andrea BoydBusiness Advisor, Ohio MBDA Business Center
Andre BryanPresident, APB & Associates (and member of Project Management Advisory Team for the Guardians)
Doreen CannonPresident, Plumbers Local 55
Jenice ContrerasExecutive Director of the Northeast Ohio Hispanic Center for Economic Development
Curtis DanburgVP, Communications and Community Impact - Guardians
Jeff EpsteinChief Integrated Development Officer, City of Cleveland
Audrey GerlachVP of Economic Development + Chief of Staff - Downtown Cleveland Alliance
Matt GrimesHead of DEI - Guardians
Joe JonesCLE City Council, Ward 1
Ariane Kirkpatrick CEO, The AKA Team
Lenora LockettDirector, Department of Equity and Inclusion, Cuyahoga County
Lynn LittlejohnVP, Community Affairs and Development, Mortenson
Cindy LeitsonVP, Capital, Construction and Facilities, Cuyahoga Community College
Renee LigonDirector of Partnerships and Engagement - Team NEO
Marsha A. MockabeeCUL + President/CEO, Urban League of Greater Cleveland
Daniella NunnallyChief of Staff, Gateway Economic Development Corporation
Mayor Brad SellersMayor, Warrensville Hts.
Glen ShumateEVP, Construction Employers Association
Neil WeissEVP, CIO and Ballpark Ops, Guardians
Ken WilsonSenior Manager & Minority Business Growth, Greater Cleveland Partnership
Dave WondolowskiExec Secretary, Cleveland Building and Trades Council