The Great American Ball Park is the replacement for Riverfront Stadium, which served as the home to the Cincinnati Reds for 32 years. Construction started on August 1st, 2000, and the facility opened on March 31st, 2003. The cost to build this venue was $290 million and was funded mostly by a half-percent sales tax increase, which was passed by a taxpayer vote from the citizens of Hamilton County.
Great American Ball Park is situated by the Ohio River in downtown Cincinnati, close to the border of Ohio and Kentucky. Paul Brown Stadium is nearby, home to the Cincinnati Bengals, whose venue was built using the funds from the same tax increase. The two teams used to share Riverfront Stadium, which was one of the causes that spurred the new facilities.
Great American Insurance Group purchased the naming rights to this stadium until the year 2033. When they hosted the All-Star game in 2015, there were $5 million worth of renos, focusing mostly on alcohol and food service. The road attached to the stadium was renamed Joe Nuxhall Way, after the eponymous pitcher and broadcaster. This ballpark was designed to give fans a view of the Ohio River, downtown Cincinnati and Mount Adams.
Cincinnati Reds Stadium
After a disastrous first decade of the millennium, the Reds turned it around with a pair of National League Central Division titles in addition to a wild card berth. However, the Reds have returned to the basement of their division, posting a losing home record in 2015 after earning a 44-37 mark during the 2014 season, which didn’t save them from a sub-.500 campaign.
Great American Ball Park is considered to be one of the most batter-friendly environments in Major League Baseball due to short home run distances. The 2015 MLB Park Factors list Great American Ball Park as a top ten facility in terms of the rate of run production, as well as home runs, hits and walks. Oddly, this field is ranked last in triples production while creating a higher than average rate of doubles.
One of the most noticeable features of this venue are the smoke stacks located slightly right of center field. The smoke stacks themselves were upgraded before the 2012 season. Prior to 2012, the stacks would billow smoke whenever a strikeout was recorded. Afterwards, the stacks would release fire instead. On May 15th, 2015, the right stack caught fire, which resulted in smoke descending on the fans and players. Interestingly, because of the Pete Rose ban on anything MLB-related, the Reds aren’t able to honor one of their best players, with the exception of 14 bats in the smoke stacks, which refers to the jersey number of Charlie Hustle.
Date Opened: September 25, 1911
Construction Cost: $650,000
Architect: James McLaughlin
Ballpark Type: Jewel Box
Capacity Attendance: 37,673
Playing Surface: Kentucky Bluegrass
Previous Cincinnati Reds Stadiums
Huntington Avenue Grounds
Other Major Events
2015 MLB All-Star Game
The 2015 MLB All-Star game took place on July 14th, watched by 43,656 fans in attendance. The American League beat the National League by a score of 6-3. Mike Trout won the All-Star MVP for the second straight year, while Pete Rose was allowed to take part in the All-Star festivities.