The Great American Ball Park

The Great American Ball Park is located on the beautiful banks of the Ohio River in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. The park is home to the Cincinnati Reds, baseball's oldest professional franchise. This is the story of how the Great American Ball Park came to be.

The story starts in 1996 when Cincinnati voters approved a half cent per dollar sales tax increase to build separate stadiums for the Reds and the NFL's

Cincinnati Bengals, which had been sharing Riverfront Stadium, later named Cinergy Field, since its construction in 1970. Like any big project discussions lasted for years but in 1988 it was decided that the Great American Ball Park would be built on the waterfront and placed between Cinergy Field and the U.S. Bank Arena. Construction began in August 1, 2000 and by the end of 2002 the old park would need to be demolished before the new park could be finished. On December 31, 2002 at 8:00 a.m. in front of 25,000 spectators Cinergy Field collapsed and in 37 seconds was nothing more than a pile of rubble.

The Great American Ball Park was completed in early 2003, just in time for the 2003 season. Some of the major features of the park include a 35ft break in the stands known as "The Gap", the Power Stacks that gives tribute to the great steam engines that once traveled the Ohio River. The Power Stacks are used for celebrating strike outs, home runs, and wins by emitting lights, smoke and fireworks. Center field measures 404 feet a tribute to Cinergy Field. The park also houses the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum as well as many other monuments and memorials. The Great American Ball Park will seat 42,036 as 25 tickets windows, 28 concession stands, 47 public restrooms, 3 elevators and is located at 100 Joe Nuxhall Way Cincinnati,OH 45202. The parks name comes from the Great American Insurance Group which owns the naming rights.

The first official game was played on March 31, 2003 to a sold out crowd of 42,343. The first pitch was thrown by former President George H. W. Bush. The first hit was a double by Ken Griffey Jr. and the first home run was hit that first game by one time Reds player Reggie Sanders. To the disappointment of the fans the Reds lost to the Pirates 10-1.