I have decided that every time I go to an MLB game for the first time at a ballpark this season, I will post my review of each ballpark in a blog. I am someone who likes to visit ballparks from around the MLB whenever I get the opportunity. The ballparks themselves are attractions worth seeing. So far I have visited three different ballparks for this season and I will be writing up my reviews shortly. Taking in my first ballgame of the season, I drove 110 miles down I-71 from my home in Columbus to Cincinnati to watch the Reds play during the first Saturday of the season.
There is plenty of parking in downtown Cincinnati. The lots around the ballpark are $10-$20, but much cheaper parking can be found further into downtown at $5, and I parked at the Newport at the Levee shopping center across the Ohio River and walked across the Taylor-Southgate Bridge for only $3. There is plenty to do there before and after the game making it a great place to park.
As for public transportation options, there are lots of bus routes on SORTA that take you to downtown Cincinnati, where the park is a short walk from the transit center.
What's Outside the Ballpark:
Outside the main gate (behind home plate), there are some statues of famous Reds players that played during the Crosley Field era. Behind center field is a riverboat wheel. This ballpark is located just next to the US Bank Arena.
What's Inside the Ballpark:
The biggest feature visible from the seating areas of the stadium are the riverboat stacks out in right-center field. There is the gap in the main seating area to allow those in the bleacher seats to see downtown albeit be in a limited view. There is also the Reds museum that is quite neat as it shows off a lot of history for the Reds. This museum is worth a visit while you attend the game.
Where I Sat:
I sat in section 523, which is directly behind home plate. From there, you get a nice view of the Ohio River and you can see the cities of Newport and Covington right across from the river. The Taylor Southgate bridge is also visible from the seat out to the left.
Home Run Fanfare:
When the Reds hit a home run, fireworks are shot out of the smoke stacks and more fireworks are shot out in right field as well. The horn of a riverboat is sounded. The song played during the home run is "Gone" by Montgomery Gentry.
I had a chili cheese Coney from the Skyline concession stand. It was really great stuff as Cincinnati is well known for its chili. The best chili in the world is certainly found here in Cincy.
Bringing Drinks Inside:
You can bring in any non-alcoholic beverage in plastic bottles as long as the container is in its original factory seal.
First or Third:
Third. You get to see more of the Ohio River and some of the bridges sitting on the third base side, while the view of the river from the first base side is partially obstructed by the US Bank Arena.
The Game: Reds 4, Phillies 3
It was a close game all the way through with the Reds winning on a walkoff RBI infield single by Paul Bako in the bottom of the 9th. And this one belongs to the Reds.
If you are driving to the game, park your car on the Kentucky side of the city. The walk over the Ohio River is quite nice and you will be able to get out faster. If you are not in a hurry, though, the Newport of the Levee is a great place to hang out before and after a game. It is the home of the Newport Aquarium which is unbelievable as this is the only place you will find a shark ray in the western hemisphere. There are also numerous restaurants and bars here.
The ballpark was quite disappointing for a newer ballpark. While the view of the Ohio River is nice and the museum adds a nice touch, not much is worth looking at from behind home plate as downtown is at my back. Instead of the skyline, I saw nothing but houses beyond the river. Let's just say that the architects behind the construction of PNC Park did their homework, but not so much with the guys designing this one. But I did like the riverboat decorations that the park had and the museum inside the stadium certainly added to my enjoyment. So I say I can recommend it, but not so much over the other ballparks.
3 (out of 5) Yaoi cat boys. Gapper could definitely use more cat ears if I say so myself since Who Dey has become an icon.
Miller Park, home of the Milwaukee Brewers
Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs
Oriole Park at Camden Yards, home of the Baltimore Orioles
Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins
Citizens Bank Park, home of the Philadelphia Phillies
Nationals Park, home of the Washington Nationals
U.S. Cellular Field, home of the Chicago White Sox
Angel Stadium, home of the Anaheim Angels
Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres
AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants
Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies
PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates
Oakand-Alameda County Coliseum, home of the Oakland Athletics
Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers
Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians
Great American Ballpark, home of the Cincinnati Reds