Pro Sports Stadium Review: Great American Ball Park

The legions of fans of the Cincinnati Reds love their team and the ballpark where home games are played. That ballpark is known as the Great American Ball Park.

While the name sounds patriotic, it is actually a reference to the Great American Insurance Group, the parent company of the Great American Financial Group, the team’s majority owner from 1999-2005.

This handsome, all-American stadium opened its doors on March 31, 2003, a little more than twelve years ago. When it opened it replaced a much older stadium called Cinergy Field (formerly Riverfront Stadium). It was that original ballpark that spawned the famous “Big Red Machine,” a team staffed with several future Hall of Fame players, including Johnny Bench and all-time hit leader, Pete Rose.


The new ballpark opened with many amenities, interesting features and a seating capacity of 42,319. Dimensions on the field were then and are now reasonable. The left field foul pole is 328 feet from home plate. In right field, the distance is 325 feet. The power alleys are reachable, too, at 379 feet in left centerfield and 370 feet in right centerfield. Dead centerfield is four hundred four feet from the batter’s box.

This fun-to-visit ballpark provides fans with lots to see and do in addition to watching the game being played on the field. To begin, there is a section known as “The Gap.” It is a thirty-five foot breach in the stands between home plate and third base.

Interestingly, people outside the stadium can look through the breach and see the field while those on the inside can look outside the park and get a clear look at the downtown skyline.

Graphic via collegehill-oh

Another feature that pleases fans is the Power Stacks. Actually, these are two tall smokestacks located just beyond the right field wall that flash lights, emit flames and shoot off fireworks whenever the home team scores or a Reds pitcher strikes out an opposing player.

There is lots of artwork inside and outside the ballpark. The Spirit of Baseball is a fifty foot by twenty foot Indiana limestone bas relief of a young baseball player gazing up at older, heroic baseball players while city landmarks fill the background.

Large sixteen by ten feet mosaics can be found inside the front gate of the stadium. They represent and depict the two best eras in the history of the Cincinnati Reds.

A huge two hundred seventeen foot electronic scoreboard is a fan favorite and the fourth largest scoreboard in Major League baseball.

A Cincinnati Reds Museum celebrates the history of this baseball team and fine dining restaurants can be found at the ballpark’s Riverfront Club.

Add it all up and a visit to the Great American Ball Park provides fans with great baseball and entertainment opportunities that enhance the experience and send people home happy whether the home team wins or loses.

Graphic via baseballstadiumreviews


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