Cincinnati Reds Ballpark Tour

I will admit to not knowing much about the Cincinnati Reds before we went on the ballpark tour. The Big Red Machine was a little before my time, I thought Pete Rose was kicked out of baseball for PED use (still shocked he was kicked out for gambling while repeated drug offenders, ARod anyone, get to stay in the game). My only real exposure to the Reds was seeing a girl with a Reds hat and thinking it was cute and watching the Home Run Derby and All Star Game this year. As I mentioned in yesterday's post, we had the opportunity to stop in Cincinnati for a few hours and since the Reds were out of town we decided to take a tour of the ballpark.

It's been a good baseball year for us, and the season is far from over! This is the third field we were able to stand on (past visits to Bisons & Indians). It's going to be hard to top those numbers next year! 

The Great American Ballpark was opened in 2003, replacing Riverfront Stadium which stood from 1970 until the end of the 2002 season. The ballpark underwent a $5 million dollar upgrade to prepare for the All Star Game this year which included upgrading the consession stands and bar areas. None of them were open since this wasn't a game day but I am very interested to see the self serve beer tap at work. 

I am so impressed by the ballparks that are adding space for little leaguers to play and this Bob Evans sponsored field is a great one. There seems to be a shift in attending games and it's moving towards being more family oriented. And that's not to say that groups of rowdy guys are going away but I will say this, when I was a kid going to games, the adults were rude (cussing, acting a fool, getting into fights, etc.), the rowdy guys today are nothing like they were 20-30 years ago. I'm extremely happy to see the fans of the games become more respectful about the fact that there are little ones in attendance and I'm sure it helps that everyone is posting their pics to social media!

 A view of the front entrance from the upper concourse. Our tour guide told us that each of the players chosen for the Crosley Field (the home of the Reds from 1912-1970) imaginary ball game was voted on by the people of Cincinnati. The only stipulation was the player had to play their entire career on the Reds during the Crosley Field years. Pictured are Joe Nuxhall, Ernie Lombardi, Ted Kluszewski and Frank Robinson.

The first of two clubs we toured, The Handlebar at the Riverfront Club. I loved the little touch of the handlebar moustache on the backs of the chairs! The Riverfront Club is a restaurant located on the third level, access to this club also gets you a seat outside to watch the game as well. They hold large conferences and even weddings here when the Reds are not playing (Don't laugh, if I knew you could get married at a ballpark I would have been married at Fenway). 

The Riverfront Club has spectacular panoramic views of the ballpark and the waterfront, including the Roebling Suspension Bridge! 

This is the view from the seats you get as a guest of the Riverfront Club. Not too shabby, but my favorite view is this one...

The view from the Press Box! The glass windows open on game days and not only do they have to watch the game to report on it, they have to watch for baseballs! There are dents everywhere in the drywall from the stray balls.

I Instagrammed and Tweeted this photo to the Reds, telling them I'll be their social media girl if they ever need one! Wouldn't you just love this to be your office? 

So we all know Pete Rose is loved in Cincinnati and we also know that he is not allowed to be inducted into Cooperstown or the Reds Hall of Fame. But it looks like those sneaky architects found a way to do it anyway. On the top of the smokestacks, which are meant to honor the steam boats that have used the Ohio River since the 1880's, they have placed seven bats on each stack. Can you do the math? 7+7=14, the number of Charlie Hustle himself! Apparently the architects where questioned by MLB and they denied the number had anything to do with Pete Rose. They said it was a visual thing choosing odd numbers. Yeah right.  

The second club we were able to tour was the most expensive one in the ballpark, the Mercedes-Benz Diamond Club. Of which, I was totally busted by the husband for taking a selfie in front of it. 

I sent this photo as a snapchat (I still don't get snapchat) to the oldest since he was not able to join us. I knew he would like seeing a custom Reds pool table. Frankly, if he had been with us he never would have left the table!

There is a lot of seating in the Diamond Club but no seat is better than this one. It is the furtherest away from the food being served but it is beside the walkway the Cincinnati Reds use when going to and from the field! Can you imagine sitting here and waving to the players!  

With admission to the Diamond Club you get one of the comfiest seats in the ballpark and they are right behind homeplate! Our tour guide told us these are the most expensive seats in the ballpark at around $250 a game. I'd like to point out that these seats are still cheaper that a Dodgers game. 

Extremely controversial owner Marge Schott (owner from 1984-1999 banned by MLB from 96-98, eventually selling her shares in 99) believed in keeping ticket prices and concession stands low. She believed that anyone, no matter how much they made, should be able to afford to take their family to a game. There are still seats in this ballpark that sell for $5 and certain vendors sell hotdogs for $1. It was the only good thing she believed in, she was wrong on everything else. 

Just enjoying the view that the players get. A few short weeks ago it was the All Star Game and some of the greats of baseball stood here (I wonder if Bryce Harper stood here ;)

Just a random selfie of me and AMH sitting in the dugout. While the sky was overcast it was hot and humid. We basically sat in the dugout to cool off. 

One last look at the field. It's crazy to thing of the players walking up to bat with all the lights and tv's and screaming fans in the stands. I'm nervous just thinking about it!

One of the gentlemen on our tour was a huge Reds fan and asked to see their clubhouse entrance. Since there was no one around, we all headed over to see what it looked like. It is quite an impressive facade considering how subdued the visitors one is...

Oh it makes me giggle!

Last two things I wanted to share are the two beautiful mosaics that grace the front entrance concourse area. The one above depicts the Big Red Machine that won back to back World Series titles in 1975 & '76.

The other mosaic is of the 1869 Red Stockings who were the first professional baseball team. The mosaics are 16 feet by 10 feet high and impressed everyone on our tour. They really are breathtaking, it's just incredible to think that it's tiny pieces of glass tile making up this huge picture.

So there you have it, a nice tour of the Great American Ballpark, home of the Cincinnati Reds. Even though I have already toured the park, I would love to come back for a game. Cincinnati is such a beautiful city and they are very supportive of their Reds.

What ballpark tours have you been on? Leave some links, pics, whatever, I'd love to see where everyone else has been this year!