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GREAT AMERICAN BALL PARK FAN REVIEWS & EXPERIENCES

Submitted By: White Sox Fan Grade: A
Pros of the ballpark
: Great Park. Awesome interior and exterior. The Park is completely modern, yet at the same time remains true to the Reds Past. The Reds fans were friendly, but at the same time not afraid to shove their team pride in an opposing fans face, which is a good thing (I pity a fan who won't stick up for their own team in their own Park.)
Cons of the ballpark
: Ummm... As a White Sox fan I have to say their pregame intro was pretty dual. Not a major complaint and it may have changed since I was there. The food was..... they had other good stuff, but were the hot dogs made of tofu? It sure seemed like it. Additional Comments: Reds fans. You have Marty Brennaman. The guy who flat out told it like it is about the Cubs. Don't take that for granted.

 Submitted By: J. Smith Grade: A
Pros of the ballpark: For a city with the most baseball history than any other, this stadium certainly fulfills its purpose. This season is the 9th or 10th that it has been opened and every year you can feel the electricity. The seats are great from all over the ball park. The toothbrush style lighting (a Cincinnati first @ Crosley) and the Sun/Moon deck take fans back in time, while the kentucky blue grass shines in the outfield. The concourse are wide and spacious and filled with history, making them fell as a museum themselves.
Cons of the ballpark: Many critique the designers inability to choose between new age and old school. However, I feel they tried to incorporate too much history through too many distinct eras. I guess that's the problem when you have just about 150 years of history. Another con is the lack of premium seating, they is plenty of low cost seating ranging from the out field to view box seating, but little luxury seating. Overall its hard to complain about a stadium built for a club who could not obtain a .500 record for the first 7/8 years of its opening (hard to whine about the cheap looks of a park built on a small budget).
Additional Comments: Overall it fits the Queen city perfect. Almost as a living testament of what is happening to the city. Trying to connect its roots to its future. GABP is unique and far too many people will mistake the uniqueness as a failed decision between past and present. Besides look at the new Marlins park, now tell me how GABP is ugly!

 Submitted By: Will G. Grade: C
Pros of the ballpark: At first, I thought the red seats were excessive, but it gives a definitive look to the park (a plus, which I will address later). I'm guessing the seats may become a bit overbearingly hot during those steamy Cincy summers, but still a nice touch. The overall atmosphere is relaxing and conducive to a smaller city, with great views of the river and passing steamboats from the left field upper deck. The Sun/Moon Deck is a nice throwback to Crosley Field and the smoke stacks and smokestack-like light structures are a nice local touch. Seats are appreciatively affordable; back in '04, I was able to get lower bowl seats for half the price of many ballparks I've visited. Though the Reds Hall of Fame was not complete when I visited, it looked to be a promising tribute to the rich Reds heritage; I also like how it and the main gift shop were located outside the stadium. Along the River, there is a neat little puzzle involving a steam boat wheel that I could just never figure out, despite numerous tries (apparently, if you get the puzzle right, cool mist is supposed to be emitted from nearby stacks, which would have been welcome a hot September afternoon!) GABP is located close enough to downtown Cincy that it is walking distance from any hotel.
Cons of the ballpark: GABP lacks any distinctness outside of the red seats and "the notch" in the upper deck seating behind home plate that opens up slightly to downtown Cincy. The park feels like a low-grade blend of several older new parks, most notably, Jacobs Field in Cleveland. While the view of the river and into Kentucky is nice enough, you have to be in the upper deck to see it, which was a let down. I was particularly disappointed in the exterior architecture, especially the main entrance which is hardly awe-inspiring. I will allow that it blends in well with the low-key Cincy approach, but it just is bland no matter how you look at it and it seems like a suburban location even though it's adjacent to downtown Cincy. In short, it's a nice place to watch a game, but it lacks life and its own personality.
Additional Comments: Great American Ball Park is a place I will visit again, hoping the nearby area will have had time to undergo construction so that it's not the dirt pit I found it to be when I visited several years ago. However, like Miller Park in Milwaukee, it fails to really take advantage of its small, working class location and produce an intimate, almost minor league atmosphere that foregoes several levels of seating that rarely are used and big city amenities (large scoreboard, sky boxes). The result is a park that tries to copy the classics (The Jake, Camden Yards), fails to do so and worse, becomes mundane and unmemorable in the process.

 Submitted By: Matt Grade: B
Pros of the ballpark: A great ballpark to watch a game and enjoy the view. This ballpark dose a great job bringing the historical Cincinnati smoke stacks into the ballpark. The smoke stacks are a treat to see when a homerun is hit or a strikeout is made and even better if the REDS WIN !! Also under the smoke stacks they have a mist zone for those hot days. So you can get out of the heat but still watch the game
Cons of the ballpark: The smoke stacks block your view of left field if your sitting up top in center field. Also this ballpark doesn't have a great team shop at all... You have a better selection of reds items at a local BIGGS!
Additional Comments: If the team on the field can get a winning record and get
into the playoffs this will be electric place to see a ballgame.

 Submitted By: J. Turano Grade: C
Pros of the ballpark: In a very nice area of the city, right next to the football stadium. Decent view no matter where you sit. Right next to Reds Hall of Fame, which is one of the neatest exhibits I have seen. The home run smokestack is a cool amenity.
Cons of the ballpark: The park itself left me flat. It is just simply missing something. There was nothing special about it. From the food, to the decor, its just sort of there. They missed the mark by not showcasing the river, which is just beyond right field.
Additional Comments: All in all, a good place to go once, just to see it, but that's about it. I wasn't necessarily disappointed, but I definitely wasn't impressed.

 Submitted By: A.Lopez Jr Grade: B
Pros of the ballpark: Good views from every seat except for one area (see cons). Reds history is not forgotten here, its on the walls and the great Reds players have food concession stands named after them. I love the Home Run
smoke stack which also smokes for strike-outs, it gives Cincy its own identity. The light towers have a unique shape to them also. I like the old Longines looking clock on the scoreboard also. Third base side of the concourses was huge unlike the first base side which is odd. Food stands are everywhere and ushers are very helpful.
Cons of the ballpark: Obstructed view seats behind the Pepsi home run smoke stack in center field. The scoreboard graphics are not too great at all. First base side of the concourses was cramped. Needs more sound effects and more scoreboard games for the fans. Souvenir shops are the worst I have seen at any park, I mean they got some Reds hats, balls, and a few Reds players jerseys and thats it. No games either for the fans like a batting cage or speed pitch. Lastly they have plenty of places to get food but the lines seemed to move slowly.
Additional Comments: Seems like something is missing and I cant put my finger on it. I couldn't tell if they wanted to go modern, retro, or old school with this park. If it weren't for the home run smoke stack it would really not be great at all, but that stack robs people in the center field
stands of views toward left field. Its better to look at than Cinergy Field and I'll rank it again in another year when all the construction is done on the old Cinergy Field site. I'd recommend sitting in the upper deck behind home cause it looks nicer from up there cause you see the river and other things. Sorry this park is not better than PNC Park, Camden Yards, Comerica Park, or Jacobs Field, at least not in 2003.

 Submitted By: William Folmer Grade: A
Pros of the ballpark: I love this park. After sitting in numerous different seats thru the few seasons it has existed and walking around the park many times I have discovered there is not a bad seat in the place.  My favorite seats have to be the FSN Club. In the club you can be waited on hand and foot and still have a great baseball experience. This park gives you a great view of the game and the city and is a wonderful add for the city of Cincinnati.
Cons of the ballpark: I was disappointed in the Reds not building a larger park. When, not if, the Reds return to glory hopefully there is enough standing room only space. There is a huge group of Red's fans that would definitely come out and watch the team if they were playing better. This did however appear to be the case. The large concourses do seem to be plenty large enough, but it would still be good if they had more seats available. I am also disappointed that I haven't heard of plans to have an All-Star game here, very disappointing.
Additional Comments: I am very impressed on how the parking is laid out. After a ballgame the parking clears very fast. This is a great job of thinking by the urban planner responsible for designing the new riverfront.

 Submitted By: Jeff Nix Grade: B
Pros of the ballpark: Great view of river, city, and past history.  This stadium is still growing with the addition of hall of fame which will include a gift shop (someone else pointed this out as a con, but will be fixed with the completion of the new building which is located by homeplate entrance).
Cons of the ballpark: I do agree with the statement that there is something missing from this stadium, and I too can't put a finger on it.  The best guess I have is it seems the crowd just wasn't into the game?  The lights in the stadium are a copy of Jacobs Field, so they lose again in the battle of Ohio.
Additional Comments: I got my ticket for free, as someone was giving a bunch away right by the home plate entrance.  They were upperdeck seats behind homeplate, which allowed nice view of river.

 Submitted By: Roger Weber Grade: A
Pros of the ballpark: Great American Ballpark is not the typical new park. Many architects don't like it because it doesn't flow beautifully structurally. However I like that aspect of it. Each portion of seats is different, and there really are no bad seats. There are interesting aspects such as the notch, a break in the seats down the third base side so people in the park can see downtown. The scoreboard is good and informative, and the river view is nice. I also, unlike many others, like the celebration machine modeled after a steamboat. There is a wide variety of food, and two restaurants in it.
Cons of the ballpark: The first deck is simply too big and too gradually sloped. There are 40+ rows and if somebody tall sits in front of you, you can't see. The scoreboard, although good, is tucked in the corner so that the left field foul pole sometimes obstructs the view. The concourse gets very crowded in the lower deck, but hopefully when the ballpark is totally finished, that will be improved.
Additional Comments: Overall, it is a nice ballpark to visit, and a nice change of pace from all the green seats. (It has red seats). If you can, sit in the upper deck. There is more space and the river view is great.

 Submitted By: Marc Grade: A
Pros of the ballpark: Cincinnati is the oldest major league baseball city and their new ballpark won't let you forget it.  There is the (under construction) statutes of famous Reds.  The huge dedication memorial outside the ticket windows.  The mosaics inside the front gates with the 1869 Reds facing the Big Red Machine.  The souvenir stands are named after the Reds former parks.  Oh yeah, and there isn't a bad seat in the house - you feel right on top of the action, even halfway up the upper deck.
Cons of the ballpark: Getting to the upper deck takes awhile and parking is kind of a mess - its a looooong walk past the Cinergy crater.  Also, the smokestacks in right center are cute and I understand the significance, but honestly it kills the view of the river.
Additional Comments: Finally a corporate name I can agree with.  I must also comment that this is the only park where the vendors ask every time how much ice you want in your pop.  Also, stand in "the notch" on the third base side - its a great view of the game and downtown Cincy.

 Submitted By: Kevin Gabbard Grade: B
Pros of the ballpark: The sight lines were incredible. The bowl of the stadium gave the feel of being in the front row irrespective of seat. The historic elements, statue of "big klu" and big red machine mosaic, left chills for this avid reds fan.
Cons of the ballpark: The upper levels were not as intimate of an experience as lower levels. Obviously, that is a universal feeling at
all stadium but more pronounced at the GAB. Finally, NO ORGAN MUSIC. NO ORGAN MUSIC.
Additional Comments: Has anyone heard of a ballpark w/o ORGAN MUSIC!

 Submitted By: Steve Grade: B
Pros of the ballpark: I like the intimacy of the ballpark and the Red seats. I really like the sun/moon deck, and I LOVE the riverboat stacks in the outfield. I also like the bleacher section in left. The main scoreboard is top notch. Speaking of notch.....nice touch. Great video presentation to welcome visitors and great video during home team lineups. I love the views from the $5 seats. Nice touch on Crosley Plaza, with the statues and banners.
Cons of the ballpark: Cincinnati, the home of professional baseball, really had an opportunity to do something special here, but fell well short. Cost overruns from Paul Brown Stadium cut into the project, so they had to use "value engineering" which translated means "more concrete."
I can't believe the front entrance actually looks like Riverfront. WHY???There is way too little brick and way too much concrete! Jacobs Field pulls off the white steel look nicely, but not this place. No elegance whatsoever outside. Inside, there is way too much concrete on the facades. The batter's eye in CF is absolutely atrocious! It is so out of place. Please shoot the organ player if he plays during player introductions again. He covers up the rock and roll music. The Reds ought to invest in Black paint, and turn all the white steel into black steel.
Additional Comments: None.

 Submitted By: Todd Grade: A
Pros of the ballpark: The place has a really fun atmosphere. It reminds me of an overgrown minor league park and I think that is a good thing. It is very focused on being fan friendly. There are lots of places to stroll around and have a beer or stand and watch the game or take in the views of the city and the river. It is a vast improvement over Cinergy/Riverfront. Very intimate seating and great sight lines.
Cons of the ballpark: The park isn't completely finished yet so it is hard to say, but the positioning of the scoreboards is odd---if you sit in left field there really isn't a good scoreboard for you to look at. Also, the fun of the park is kind of deflated by the fact that the ownership doesn't seem committed to winning baseball.
Additional Comments: None.

 Submitted By: Mike McDow Grade: B
Pros of the ballpark: Wide concourses! Good eats at pretty decent prices. Good location on the Ohio river...wish we could see one of the older bridges with more history and character rather than the one in view of the bridge just past left center field. I do love the Sun/Moon Deck in right field! It's definitely retro as it tried to duplicate the one at old Crosley Field. The green field looks awesome against the all red seats...nice touch!
Cons of the ballpark: I wonder if a view of the beautiful Cincy skyline would have been better than the view of other side of the river in which you just see the green rolling hills of northern Kentucky.  Another critic stated they were sure what was trying to be accomplished with this park whether it is retro, modern or whatever...well, I wonder too. Many subtle things though remind me of Riverfront...a place real Reds fans loved even though it was a cookie-cutter all-purpose cement bowl. I wish though GABP had some more color/brick/stone rather than the bland white everywhere...then again, it is Ohio and you know what Jacobs Field looks like. Should be more ornamental Reds history displayed other than just around the home plate entrance.
Additional Comments: An enjoyable place to watch a ballgame! Great fans!!

 Submitted By: PJ Grade: A
Pros of the ballpark: Although a bit plain on the outside, it is absolutely gorgeous once you get inside. Every seat is red-very cool, and different than the other new parks (green or dark blue seems to be the norm). Spacious concourses and loads of food and beverage choices (bratwurst sandwich was outstanding!). Great view of the river and northern Kentucky. Parking wasn't too bad, parked about three blocks away, only cost $7.
Cons of the ballpark: As I said it's gorgeous on the inside, but a bit plain on the outside (although the Crosley Terrace is very nice). Directly west of the ballpark is still a major construction zone, so when that's completed it'll look much nicer. Also as much as I loved those bratwurst I don't think I could afford to eat them everyday!(2 brats + large Pepsi was $13) But I suppose food is expensive everywhere.
Additional Comments: The park isn't perfect, but it's advantages far outweigh it's faults. The Reds have a home they can be proud of for years.

 Submitted By: Marc Grade: B
Pros of the ballpark: I liked the Sun/Moon Roof bleacher seats in right field. It was the closest I think I have been in a Major League park. The view of the Ohio River is great either in the upper deck seating behind home plate or walking along the back of the stadium.
Cons of the ballpark: The upper deck seating seemed somewhat very far from the field of play compared to newer parks in Pittsburgh and Houston. Reminded me of Riverfront Stadium seating. I also wish there was a little bit more flare in the interior of the stadium, perhaps bringing back the outfield steep from Crosley Field would have been a great touch.
Additional Comments: After fans having spent the last 32 years at Riverfront, this is a truly great place to watch and experience a baseball game in Cincinnati. The area will only look better once construction west of the stadium is completed for the 2004 season.

 Submitted By: Matt A. Grade: A.
Pros of the ballpark: The seats, being red not green like many of the new ballparks that have opened and are really close to the field. The concourses are huge, filled with Reds history and pictures. Excellent views from nearly anywhere in the ballpark.
Cons of the ballpark: None.
Additional Comments: This ballpark is one that is sure to become one of the best in baseball. It has amenities that would suit anyone. The setting right in downtown Cincinnati, makes it a great place to visit.

 Submitted By: Jason Gibson Grade: A.
Pros of the ballpark: The stadium was obviously built with the fans in mind. Everywhere you look there is a nod to reds history, right down to the concession stands that are named things like :Pete's Pizza" or Davey's Dogs." all the seats are aimed toward the infield which makes viewing the game a lot more comfortable. I sat in the upper deck and still felt like I was right on top of the game. I also enjoyed the playing of play by play over loudspeakers outside the stadium.
Cons of the ballpark: The only cons would have to be the exterior of the park which is a little dull compared to other parks ( There is still construction left to do, so this might change(, and the retired jersey numbers of displayed in the park need to be bigger and in a better location.
Additional Comments: None.

 

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