Great American Ball Park Review
The staff and readers of Pro Baseball Fans are pleased to bring you our review of Major League ball parks. In Cincinnati, Ohio, we find Great American Ball Park, the home field for the National League's Cincinnati Reds. Great American Ball Park (GABP) seats up to 42,941 fans and replaced Riverfront Stadium/Cinergy Field when GABP opened in 2003. Great American Ball Park is named by Great American Insurance Agency, a insurance company with deep roots in Cincinnati. Just down the street in Cincinnati is Paul Brown Stadium, the home of the Cincinnati Bengals, and beside GABP is the U.S. Bank Arena.
Features of Great American Ball Park
Opening in 2003, Great American Ball Park had an advantage over many of the new age of ball parks that replaced the old multi-purpose concrete stadiums of the 1970's. While Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Baltimore and others opened the doors of their new stadiums before GABP opened at the start of the 2003 season, Cincinnati's Great American Ball Park was able to see many of the features that worked well in other cities. 19-inch seats, 47 bathrooms, 25 ticket windows and 28 concession stands are a few of the things that GABP got right, and like almost all of the new age of baseball parks, there does not seem to be a bad seat in the house.
For Cincinnati fans used to the old Riverfront Stadium/Cinergy Field style, Great American Ball Park is a sharp contrast. The round, cookie-cutter style of the past was removed and a fantastic view of the Ohio River and Newport, Kentucky will catch your eye as you look out over the right field seats. In fact, there's not another ball park in America where a mammoth home run could land in another state.
Known as a hitter's park, and one of the most generous hitter's parks in all of baseball, the left field fence measure 328 feet with a 12 foot wall while right field is just 325 feet with a 8 foot wall. Meanwhile, in center, the 8 foot wall measures 404 feet from home plate.
The Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame serves as the entrance on the 1st Base side of GABP while several fan attractions including a speed pitch, batting simulator, running game and other attractions for fans young and old are nearby. A nice eating area beside a small pavilion where bands entertain before many games is also located on the 1st Base side of the ball park as is a cleverly-placed "Rose" garden. The 3rd base side of the 100 level is mostly small concession stands, many named after past Reds players, as well as the main Team Shop at GABP. Center Field features the Cincinnati Bell Technology Pavilion, a private party area for Cincinnati Bell Technology Solutions to showcase their latest business ventures. In right center field is possibly the most impressive feature of the ballpark where the Pepsi Power Stacks resemble the steamboats that used to sail the waters of the Ohio River in the 19th and 20th centuries. When the Reds hit a homerun or win a game, fireworks shoot from the Pepsi Power Stacks into the sky above GABP.
The Crosley Terrace, an area in front of Great American Ball Park, remebers players from the Crosley Field days of the Cincinnati Reds and includes statues of Joe Nuxhall, Ted Klusewski, Ernie Lombardi and Frank Robinson.
Review & Photos by Luke Jernigan