Letters to the editor

Progessive earns the right to have name on stadium

DKS Editorial Board,

While I may agree with your principles in the first half of your editorial outlining the naming rights of Jacobs Field to Progressive Field (“The house that insurance built?”), I believe you have made more than a few incorrect assumptions in your second stance.

Progressive Insurance has been owned and operated in the greater-Cleveland area for more than 70 years, headquartered in Mayfield Village. Progressive has not only brought high levels of demand for IT and financial expertise to a shrinking workforce, but injected millions into the tax revenue stream of not only Mayfield, but surrounding areas through income and real estate taxes.

Due to a strategic reorganization and consolidation of its personal lines business, 371 corporate and IT individuals were involved in a reduction in force at Progressive several weeks ago. My close friend was one of them. Assuming a $60,000-average salary plus 26 percent for benefits and profit sharing, the RIF resulted in cutting more than $25.7 million in annual cost. The annual cost for the naming rights to Progressive Field is $3.6 million, or a meager 13.9 percent of the RIF; you can obviously see these two values are not equals for direct comparison.

While it does equate that 47.6, or 0.17 percent of Progressive’s total employee count, “sacrificed” their jobs to label the field in the name of a corporation who has given so much to the Cleveland area, I would suggest the DKS editors take into consideration the alternatives. The rights were on the open market to the highest bidder, and I would much rather have 70 years of Cleveland support and commitment represented than just another corporation hoping to have their name broadcast at a greater frequency.

Jeff Hester