CLEVELAND — For the first time since officially announcing plans to change their 106-year-old nickname, the Cleveland Indians have begun asking fans what they would like to see in the club's new identity.
The organization recently asked for fan input via the website MLB.com/CLETeamName, and select individuals who provide their identity, email address, and other details are being sent a survey about the topic. The survey does not include any potential nicknames and specifically discourages suggestions. Rather, it asks how people feel about the name change and what type of characteristics they would like to see in the new moniker.
For example, one question was, "As you consider your ideal new name for the franchise, what are the most important attributes that a new name should convey?" Participants are then asked to pick as many of the following as they choose (or none at all), and can also provide their own qualities:
Other questions include how much the name should be tied to Cleveland history, and the team also inquires about whether or not they should keep the current red, white, and blue color scheme and the "Block C" logo. Fans are also asked about the ballpark experience and ticket prices.
The Indians released the following statement to 3News:
"We can confirm that we sent a survey regarding the name change out to our fans. This fan-solicited feedback is just one portion of a multi-phase process that we vowed to take when we decided to embark on a new name in December. Future decisions will continue to take time due to the complexities of the process. Fans who want to be involved in our process moving forward are encouraged to register under the ‘Fan Involvement’ tab of our website (MLB.com/CLETeamName)."
Cleveland's Major League Baseball Club has been named the "Indians" since 1915, but began discussing a change last summer amid ongoing protests against racial injustice and after years of accusations that the team's identity was itself racist. The decision to dump the current name was made in December, with owner Paul Dolan writing, "We believe our organization is at its best when we can unify our community and bring people together."
The team will still be known as the Indians through the 2021 season as officials determine what the new name should be. "Spiders," the name of the city's 19th century National League franchise, is currently the favorite among Vegas oddsmakers.