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Thread: 10 years of Great American Ball Park

  1. #1
    It's showtime! RedEye's Avatar
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    10 years of Great American Ball Park

    This is a topic that has interested me for some time, so now that the place is 10 years old, I thought it would be interesting to revisit the venue and discuss it as a group.

    When GABP opened in 2003, I can remember the regime talking about how it was a revivification of Crosley Field and how it would have charm built-in with the gap to the city, the riverboats, the smokestacks and what not. If memory serves, most people liked the place well enough when it opened, and almost all agreed it was an improvement on Riverfront Stadium / Cinergy Field -- although this wasn't exactly a ringing endorsement. Folks liked the sight lines and the intimacy of the field and basically thought it was a nice venue for watching the game. "Experts" on architecture were less enthused, and thought it compared unfavorably to the other "new old-style" parks in Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Cleveland. Some thought the Pepsi smokestacks were gaudy and that the whole structure should have either been placed elsewhere or facing the opposite direction. I kind of agreed with some of these criticisms; though I was excited to have a new place to watch the game, GABP just didn't seem to have the charming ambiance I'd found in its peer parks.

    Nowadays, the place is growing on me a lot. The Reds Hall of Fame, the statues of famous players outside and the completion of the Reds-Bengals riverfront after years of construction have added a lot of appeal. I also think there has been a fair amount of "touching up" inside the park, which now looks a lot cleaner and more polished to me -- some of the exposed cement behind home plate, for instance, has now been painted over (others can likely comment more on this aspect). Finally, I don't know whether it's just me getting old, but those elements that I first thought tacky -- like the Pepsi smokestacks -- have grown on me over the last decade, as I watch players like Bruce, Votto and Phillips literally grow up on the field, and as I myself age in the process. I would imagine that putting a few World Championship banners up would make the place look even better, of course.

    So what are your thoughts about the Reds (relatively) recent home? Did you like it then? Do you like it now? What do you see in its future? Of course, feel free to post pics from any moment in the decade of GABP as well. This should be a thread to commemorate recent history as well.
    Last edited by RedEye; 06-10-2013 at 09:03 PM.

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  4. #2
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    Re: How is Great American Ball Park aging?

    Wow...I am shocked that it is 10 years old already.

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  6. #3
    Moderator Plus Plus's Avatar
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    Re: How is Great American Ball Park aging?

    I love the park, but they really need to refurbish the bat-and-ball mural that faces the east side of the park (towards US Bank arena). That thing is super washed out.
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    RaisorZone Raisor's Avatar
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    Re: How is Great American Ball Park aging?

    How is it aging? One day at a time.
    "But I do know Joey's sister indirectly (or foster sister) and I have heard stories of Joey being into shopping, designer wear, fancy coffees, and pedicures."

  8. #5
    It's showtime! RedEye's Avatar
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    Re: How is Great American Ball Park aging?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raisor View Post
    How is it aging? One day at a time.
    Literalist

  9. #6
    nothing more than a fan Always Red's Avatar
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    Re: How is Great American Ball Park aging?

    Crosley Field (1912-1970) 58 years
    Riverfront/Cinergy (1970- 2002) 32 years
    GAPB (2003-2013) 10 years, so far.

    I love the new, 10 year old park, it's a wonderful place to watch baseball. It still feels brand new to me, and I'm sure it will last the rest of my life.

    There's not a bad seat in the park. Of course, I'm a guy who remembers obstructed view seating at Crosley (behind poles that held the upper decks).

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    Re: How is Great American Ball Park aging?

    GABP is nice and clean but boring and nothing special. I wish the park was built under the new ownership and built before PBS so it could have been special.
    I was in the ORG once, best 6 months of my life.

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    Re: 10 years of Great American Ball Park

    It has always been a good place to watch a game but was designed somewhat on the cheap and with architectural challenges arising from the decision to build it on a site where there was insufficient room.

    On the question asked - how it is aging - two points are important to me.

    1. Current ownership constantly seeks to improve the place. Consider all of the new things that have been added: the centerfield boat, improved food/beverage options and quality, new areas in right field and in the club section, new things for kids...trying to move the place forward prevents it from moving backwards.

    2. While this does not relate to the physical plant of the stadium, the opening of all the bars/restaurants at the Banks (finally) and the riverfront park have dramatically improved the overall experience of attending a game. For years there were two big drawbacks of immediately outside the park: no bars/restaurants and a huge dirt hole. Now, the dirt hole has been replaced with things to do, so it's a double improvement. I have to think it's unusual for the surrounding area of a stadium to improve so much a decade in.

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    Re: 10 years of Great American Ball Park

    My biggest gripe is that I don't feel connected to the city while inside like the parks in Pittsburgh and St Louis.

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    KungFu Fighter AtomicDumpling's Avatar
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    Re: 10 years of Great American Ball Park

    I think it is a very nice stadium but it is in a terrible location. The Banks is a big improvement but the ballpark is still basically on an island by itself instead of being surrounded on all sides by interesting things to see and do. Parking is horrendous.

    The park and the Hall of Fame are very nice but it should have been put in a better location with room for parking and room for more restaurants, bars and other activities to be built nearby. Cincinnati squandered a great opportunity to revitalize a much larger area when they decided to shoehorn the ballpark into a tiny, inaccessible place on the most expensive land in the county and far away from most of the people who are still paying for the stadium (the taxpayers of Hamilton County, most of whom live 5-20 miles to the north).

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    Member Tom Servo's Avatar
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    Re: 10 years of Great American Ball Park

    Even if you don't like the GABP, you would have to admit it could always be worse.

    "Since I've been with the Reds in 1989, we've never had a farm system this loaded," Bowden said. "If we were the New York Yankees and had unlimited dollars, we could have traded for Colon, (Jeff) Weaver, Rolen, (Cliff) Floyd, (Kenny) Rogers and Finley and gotten them all -- and still held onto our top five prospects. That's an amazing statement."

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    Re: 10 years of Great American Ball Park

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Servo View Post
    Even if you don't like the GABP, you would have to admit it could always be worse.

    It could be worse, but I'm not sure what that amazing dolphin sculpture has to do with that?
    They don't think it be like it is, but it do.
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Schuler View Post
    He has also taught me that even when the Reds win it is important to focus on the fact that they could have lost.

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    Re: 10 years of Great American Ball Park

    Quote Originally Posted by Wonderful Monds View Post
    It could be worse, but I'm not sure what that amazing dolphin sculpture has to do with that?
    That thing is the Aroldis Chapman of aquatic sculptures. #lethimstartandputthatdolphinthinginthelouvre

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  23. #14
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    Re: 10 years of Great American Ball Park

    I'm a good gauge with a once a summer trip to the park for 2-3 games. I think the GABP experience is much better now than it was in the early years. It's one of my favorites now. The seats and sitelines really are tremendous from virtually any seat in the house. The mezzanine level and split upper deck views are tremendous. I've noticed the continuous improvement over the past few years.

    Parking is a piece of cake compared to most parks. As long as you park over by P&G and are willing to walk a few blocks. $2. Done.

  24. #15
    KungFu Fighter AtomicDumpling's Avatar
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    Re: 10 years of Great American Ball Park

    Quote Originally Posted by oregonred View Post
    Parking is a piece of cake compared to most parks. As long as you park over by P&G and are willing to walk a few blocks. $2. Done.
    That is the problem. If you have elderly family members or a fat, lazy wife then you won't be going to many Reds games.

    At the old stadium you could park right under the stadium, take a couple escalators and you were at your seat. Nowadays you have to take a long hike up hills, steps and city streets in the blazing summer heat just to get to the ballpark. There are a LOT of people who simply don't want to do that.

    Personally I don't mind the walking, but I have family members and friends who just don't want to do it and they don't go to games because of it. I guarantee you the parking situation and the remoteness of the stadium is costing the Reds millions of dollars per season in lost ticket revenue.

    They could have selected a location where getting to the ballpark wouldn't be such a chore. It takes a lot more time and effort to get to a game than it used to. I will never understand why they chose to shoehorn a ballpark into an inaccessible location with no room for parking garages and very little space for restaurants/bars and other activities.

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