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View From my Seat

Smoke Stacks After HR

 
Bleachers
 
 
     
 
View from Upper Deck
Visitor's Bullpen
 
View From Outfield Seats
 

Surface: Natural Grass
Capacity: 42,941
Dimensions: Left 328 ft.  Center 404 ft. Right  325 ft.
Stadium Opened: 2003
Date of Visit:  April 22, 2008

Food:

  • Variety of concessions
  • Local Favorites: Skyline Chili and Montgomery Inn ribs
  • "The Machine Room Grille"- named in honor of the "Big Red Machine", is a sports bar/restaurant in the outfield.

Parking:

  • Public parking Garages and lots throughout the downtown area
  • Took me about a half hour of driving around to find somewhere to park...and I was there early. Hopefully, the Reds will have more parking options soon, as they continue to develop the area where the old stadium once stood.

Atmosphere:

Having never been to Cinergy Field, I have nothing to compare Great American Ball Park to, but I am going to assume that it is a major improvement. GABP is a beautiful park, which is located along the Ohio River. Fans have a great view of the river over the outfield fence. The city skyline is actually in the other direction, so other than the "gap" in the stands, there is no view of city buildings from your seat.

While in Cincinnati, I had the opportunity to take a tour of GABP. Luckily, I was the only person who was there for the tour, so I got my own private tour. On the tour, the historical signifcance of many aspects of the park were explained. Even the dimensions of the outfield have a meaning behind them (see Interesting Facts/Features). The Reds did a great job at portraying the history behind the team throughout the stadium. The Hall of Fame, located next to the stadium, was also well done. It was much bigger than I expected it to be, and contained many exhibits. Some of these exhibits were interactive. For example, one exhibit contained an umpire's mask in the wall, in which you were supposed to put your head in and see what its like to be in the umpire's "shoes" (well, "mask" in this case) as a pitch is thrown to home plate. You can them press either the "ball" or "strike" button located at the exhibit and you will be told if you made the correct call.

The amount of ushers at the stadium was incredible. If the tour guide had not told me that the stadium was "fan friendly", I would have assumed that these ushers would have prohibited anyone from entering an area that they did not have a ticket for. Fortunately, this was not the case.

Due to the number of concession stands and bathrooms, there are rarely lines. Therefore, as each inning ends, there is a massive rush of fans to one of these places. When I first saw this, I thought the fans were leaving early. I soon realized that it is possible to get up in between innings and get a hot dog and return to your seat and not miss a pitch. This lessens the amount of people "traffic" throughout the aisles during the game.

Overall, I thought this was an excellent park, which contained many of the features that make attending a baseball game more comfortable for the fans.

Restrooms:

  • Restrooms near every section.

Seating:

  • The red seats look classy
  • Very little foul territory, so most of the seats are close to the action

Interesting Facts/Features:

  • Reds Hall of Fame and team store just outside stadium

  • Stadium was built for baseball only, therefore all the seats are angled towards homeplate.

  • One of the largest scoreboards in MLB

  • Pepsi Power Stacks- located in Centerfield. The smoke stacks emit smoke and fireworks during key moments of the game.

  • The Mosaics- a tribute to two teams: 1869 Red Stockings, and the 1975 "Big Red Machine" team. The two pictures are located near the entrance to the stadium.

  • "Rounding third and heading home..."- appears on the outside of the stadium. This was a famous phrase of Joe Nuxhall, former radio announcer.

  • "Riverboat Deck"- for groups only. Located in Centerfield.

  • Crosley Terrace- The area near the main entrance to the park. It commerates a few famous Reds players. There are bronze statues of: Joe Nuxhall (pitcher), Ernie Lombardi (catcher), Frank Robinson (batter), and Ted Kluszewski (on deck). The grass even slopes up the way it did on the field at Crosley Field. There was no warning track, so the slope in the ground was the "warning".

  • Mascots- Mr. Redlegs and Gapper

  • "Great American" is an insurance company.

  • The field dimensions where chosen to commerate the past Reds' ballparks. Centerfield is 404ft with an 8 foot high fence, which was taken from Cinergy Field (Riverfront Stadium), left field is 328 ft., with a 12 ft. fence, like it was in Crosley Field, Right Field is 325 ft, which is the shortest distance allowed in MLB. The Reds wanted this for their left handed power hitters.

Overall Rating: 8

 

Questions? Comments? E-Mail me:amanda@baseballstadiumreviews.com