Monday, June 18, 2007

Ballpark Review - Great American Ballpark

Stadium: Great American Ballpark – Cincinnati, Oh.
Team: Cincinnati Reds, National League
Built: 2003

Stadium Rank: 2 out of 5. This may make no sense at all, but I really don’t have a good impression of this place, and I’ve been here twice. Nothing is especially memorable, good or bad. The view of the Ohio River was pleasant, but not spectacular. Same with the entrance, concourses, and beer selection. The worst feature is a huge, black box of a restaurant in center field. This thing sticks out like a clown at a funeral. To make matters worse, they built this ridiculous paddle boat on top of it. Its like some sort of party deck. Must be new this year because I can’t find a picture of it to save my life. Sure, it’s a fine place to take in a game, don’t get me wrong. But now I understand why its never mentioned as one of the new “must-see” ballparks like the ones in Pittsburgh, San Fran, Baltimore, Cleveland…and so on.

Atmosphere: 4 out of 5. Had a charming small-town feel. For whatever reason, it really didn’t feel like I was in a major league ballpark, and I say this as a complement. The ushers actually wipe down your chair when he escorts you to your seat. That was different. Everybody was pleasant…even the heckling was good natured. The seats (and fans) are plastered in red, a nice reprieve from the baseball green puked on most stadiums.


  • The beer selection was pretty standard except they brew their own “Red Machine Red” in the stadium. Don’t get it….tastes like watered down Lienies Red. Minus .5
  • Rivers + Summer = Bugs. Lots of bugs. Lots of huge bugs. Minus .5
  • The bullpens are accessible from the outfield concourses for everyone to see. Heckling ensued. I got half the Rangers bully to turn and look after yelling: “I bet you wish you guys still had Francisco Cordero!!!” Good times. Add 1
  • Hanner especially enjoyed the “chill zone” in the OF. You know, one of those continuous mists of water. He could have watched the whole game from that spot. Hanner sweats a lot. Add .5
  • Texas (25-42) vs Cincinnati (26-42). Record wise, it was the absolute worst possible game the baseball gods could have given us. Minus .5
  • Some guy named M. Belisle gave up 7 earned. That’s always fun. Add .5

Final tallys: Stadium got a 2, Atmosphere a 5 and plus 0.5 for miscellaneous stuff.

Overall: 6.5 out of 10. Not as bad as old Riverfront (I’m guessing), but as good as some other new parks.

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