Along the banks of the Ohio River in downtown Cincinnati sits the second ballpark the Reds have called home and the site of the 2015 MLB All-Star Game. Great American Ball Park is one of the city’s crown jewels as it has revitalized the area along the riverfront and is the home to baseball’s oldest franchise, the Cincinnati Reds. It opened on March 31, 2003 when the Reds battled the Pirates in front of over 42,000 fans. Great American Ball Park replaced Riverfront Stadium that sat directly west of the ballpark. Riverfront Stadium was a multipurpose stadium that opened in 1970 as the home of the Reds and Cincinnati Bengals (NFL). It was a typical cookie-cutter stadium that could be found in just about every other city. In the 1990s both the Reds and Bengals wanted new separate modern stadiums after sharing Riverfront Stadium for nearly three decades. In 1996 Hamilton County voters approved a bond to increase the sales tax to fund stadiums for both teams. Two locations for a new Reds ballpark were proposed: Broadway Commons and an area between Riverfront Stadium and US Bank Arena, known as the ‘wedge’.
It took over a year for officials to determine where to construct the ballpark. Reds officials were concerned about the cost of land at Broadway Broadway Commons whereas the land along the river was owned by Hamilton County. In November 1998, citizens ended the question of where the ballpark would be built, voting to have it constructed along the riverfront. However, this did not end the stadium debate in Cincinnati. Owner of the Reds, Marge Schott, threatened to move the team to Northern Kentucky if the team did not receive a better lease agreement than the Bengals. Reds and city officials agreed to a lease and groundbreaking for the ballpark occurred on October 4, 2000. In order for construction to begin, 14,000 seats had to be removed from the outfield of the Reds’ former home, Riverfront Stadium. For two years, Reds fans were able to watch the new ballpark rise beyond the outfield of Riverfront Stadium. Great American Insurance bought the naming rights to the ballpark for $75 million over 30 years; thus the stadium was named Great American Ball Park.
Tenant: Cincinnati Reds (MLB)