My family had not been to Cincinnati since the Reds were in the old Riverfront Stadium. This summer we made another pilgrimage to a Reds game.
We had watched a lot of games on TV, but it just does not do justice to the stadium itself. As always traffic at rush hour in Cincinnati can be tough, so give yourself extra time to get to the stadium. There are several parking areas around the stadium as well. We wasted some time trying to get closer to the field and looking for a cheaper lot. We wound up in the parking deck at the location of the old stadium (between the football and baseball stadiums) for $12. We did find that the deck ran underground a ways to the stadium. It was a really short walk to the entrance. The 2nd night we went straight here.
Tickets are a lot more expensive than in the past. There are a lot of seating options. We sat in the sun deck in right field the first night- great view. Tickets here were $30. The 2nd night we got bleacher seats in front of the giant scoreboard for $18.
The stadium is very clean and easy to get around. There are a lot of things to do, but one of the biggest reasons that I did not give a five star rating is because of the price. For a family of five, tickets themselves add up. The concessions were a shock. We planned to eat dinner at the game, but wound up trying to snack. The cheaper items were popcorn and hot dogs- about five bucks each. Some sandwiches were over $10. Again, for a family of five this was an incredible expense. One thing I appreciate, which we learned from the first night, is that the park allows you to bring a small soft sided cooler into the stadium. We did this the 2nd night and saved a lot of $. There are rules for the cooler- no restaurant food, no canned drinks, no opened bottles, clear sided bottles only. We packed sandwiches and snacks and saved a lot of dough. Even minor league parks don't allow this.
There were so many things to do around the field, we didn't get to them all. There are plenty of picture opportunities- Reds Hall of Famer Statues, Big Red Machine Murals, you can get along the field for some player pics during batting practices. There is a nice, but a little expensive gift shop. We had hoped to visit the Reds Hall of Fame, but it was not included in the ticket price- again some more money to spend. There are a lot of little things that make your trip very enjoyable. We were able to get a free certificate for our boys commemorating their first Reds game. Autograph opportunities are along the baseline fences prior to the game. One of my boys spent both nights here, but only got one autograph. There is a lot of competition.
During the game, the stadium provides a lot of little extras as well- a huge scoreboard/videoboard for replays, fan cams, stats etc. The "Riverboat" in centerfield which spews flames when a Reds' pitcher records a strikeout. If you're lucky to see a Reds homerun, watch for the fireworks!
The stadium is located right on the river in Cincinnati- a beautiful location. The city has embraced the location here as well, with a thriving downtown area. All in all, we had a great experience and hope to return again soon.
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