Wednesday, June 12, 2013

FIELDS OF DREAMS - Great American Ballpark, Cincinnati, Ohio

The Great American Ballpark on the banks of the Ohio River in Cincinnati is home to the oldest professional baseball team in America, the Reds, dating back to 1869.  The team that is, not the stadium.  The ballpark opened in 2003 and replaced the cookie-cutter like Riverfront Stadium, a dual-purpose football and baseball facility.  Baseball legends such as Pete Rose, Frank Robinson, and Johnny Bench have worn the uniform but did not play in this park.  More modern players such as the recently retired Ken Griffey, Jr., Scot Rolen, Joey Votto, and Bronson Arroyo have.  Here are the stats:

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia
Eric Kilby under CC-BY-SA license
Opened: 2003
Surface: Perennial Ryegrass
Construction cost: $290 million
Capacity: 42,271
Field dimensions: Left field - 328 ft; Left center - 379 ft; center field - 404 ft; right center - 470 ft; right field - 325 ft.
Home team: Cincinnati Reds (National League - MLB) 2003 - present
Events attended: 1 game

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Good access but it would be nice if there were an accessible entrance from the river side.  There are several places you can walk up to the entrance level but they all have stairs.  There is on lobby by the left field foul pole with an elevator but it is closed to the public on game days.  A large accessible plaza is at home plate where you can pick up tickets from the will call booths.  The concourse is open so you can still keep tabs on the game when you go for snacks.
Wheelchair locations are at the top of the field level, at the top of the club level, mid level on the upper deck, one spot in the front row behind the plate, mid level in the outfield bleachers, and a section halfway up the bottom level behind home plate...these are probably the best wheelchair spots in the stadium.

Ticketing is fairly easy, just call the box office at 877-647-REDS.  We had no problem getting seats for the wheelchair and two companions.  Ticket prices start at $6 and go up to over $300, not including the suites, due to dynamic pricing. 

There is not a lot of good public transit to the game.  There is a local shuttle, $1.50, that cruises around the stadium area every 20 minutes or so and connects with Covington/Newport across the river in Kentucky.  It is easy to walk across the bridge from Kentucky and the downtown location makes it convenient to hotels there.

Many lodging choices are available.  The most lively area is across the river in Kentucky where many hotels, restaurants, bars, and attractions are available.

Food choices are minimal here.  Hot dogs, burgers, pizza, popcorn, and nachos are the staples.  Very few alternative choices are here.  The beer selection on tap is vast and inexpensive.

If it had better food and transit options, this stadium would be in our top five.  It's still a very nice stadium, several notches above our home stadium in Anaheim.

Copyright 2012 - Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved
Updated for 2013

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