Chronological Tour: Stop 240

Great American Ball Park

Main entrance to Great American Ball Park, Jul-2003.

Looking in at the main seating bowl from center field.

The park offers an expansive view of the Ohio River.

Quick Facts: Rating: 3 baseballs
Great American Ball Park, built by Hamilton County, Ohio, for the Cincinnati Reds in 2003, replaced Riverfront Stadium, one of the much-maligned “cookie-cutter” parks.

While the GAP, as it is sometimes called, breaks the original mold and as such is a vast improvement over Riverfront, there are levels at which it fails to excite.

The best part of the park is that it fixes the largest problems Riverfront had. While the old park was adjacent, on the riverfront, you couldn’t see the river because it was totally enclosed. This park, on the other hand, opens out to an expansive view of the Ohio River, at least from the upper deck. It also employs a grass field, something Riverfront only had in its last few seasons. And, echoing the city’s riverboat heritage, the park includes steam vents and a paddle wheel in the outfield.

On the other hand, the upper deck at Great American is fairly high compared to some other parks of recent vintage, particularly Pittsburgh’s PNC Park. That deck is also split by a break behind the third-base dugout that the designers said was put there to allow a view, however small, into the park from the neighboring streets and freeway. The break in the seating bowl leads to a break in the park’s continuity. In addition, a short black building in center field that houses cameras and an advertising display board looks completely out of place.

Game # Date League Level Result
592 Fri 4-Jul-2003 National MLB NY Mets 7, CINCINNATI 2
1347 Fri 22-Aug-2014 National MLB Atlanta 3, CINCINNATI 1, 12 inn
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This page updated 22-Aug-2014