If the Indians clinch the World Series on Tuesday night, before a hometown crowd at Progressive Field, in Game Six against the Chicago Cubs, there is going to be one helluva party. A really, big, really raucous one, filled with all the pent-up energy of fans who’ve been waiting since 1948 for another World Series championship title.
And Elida native Kelly Dredge is in charge of coordinating it. You can imagine how busy she is.
“Can I call you back?” she told The Lima News early Monday afternoon. “I’m in the middle of a permit meeting that’s really important.”
Dredge, a 1996 graduate of Elida High School and a 2000 grad of Bowling Green State University, is used to managing and organizing sporting events. After college, she worked at IMG, the global sports event and talent management company, running tournaments for the Women’s Tennis Association. She’s planned events for the San Francisco 49ers. She’s also worked for the racing bike company Cannondale.
Her job with the Indians is as assistant director of live experiences. It’s a new position in the Tribe’s front office. She came on board in August.
“I’m in charge of on-field entertainment. That’s everything except for the baseball game,” Dredge, 38, said by phone from Cleveland. “That’s the national anthem singers, the color guard, the scoreboard operations room, as well as special events.”
Special events have become much more special since the Indians entered the postseason. They’ve included watch parties, hosted at Progressive Field, where, for $5, fans can watch the Tribe’s away games on the ballpark’s big video screen.
“Last night,” Dredge said of the Cubs’ 3-2 victory over the Indians at Wrigley Field on Sunday, “we had over 25,000 people in the ballpark, just engaged and cheering. We planned it like a regular season game. We had our promotions team handing out T-shirts. We had our mascots interacting with the crowd, we did our famous hot dog race during the fifth inning, we had a DJ out in Gateway Plaza. We had rally towels.”
“The whole place was going nuts,” she added.
Dredge understands. She’s an Indians fan, just like her mother, a Cleveland native. She appreciates her front row seat to franchise, baseball and Cleveland history.
“I feel so grateful for the opportunity,” she said. “It’s been amazing. The people within the organization are the best I’ve worked with in sports. I feel extremely lucky.”
Just like a long-suffering Indians fan would, she paused when asked about plans for a World Series championship parade and party.
“We don’t want to jinx it, but yes, we’re working on pulling together a potential post event, if the team should win,” she said, slowly. “If we clinch, it will be a huge, huge celebration in Cleveland, starting at Progressive Field. Progressive will be the heart of it all.”
She laughed when asked how she organizes an event that big in scope, that enormous in energy and excitement and jubilation. It seems like trying to organize a lightning strike or make a to-do list for joy.
“You do it one float at a time,” Kelly Dredge said.
Reach Amy Eddings at 567-242-0379 or Twitter, @lima_eddings.