Over the first week of the season, my wife graciously let me drive up to Cincinnati to catch a couple of Mets/Reds games at Great American Ballpark for my 3rd anniversary. It might be the only park I'll end up getting to in 2009 considering it is the closest MLB city to Atlanta (Tampa is the other one and I've already been to that) and my schedule is up in the air. Next year it's either the Cell or Kauffman.

The funny part is, when it comes to new stadiums and these "reviews" I have read from places like ESPN and ballpark guides, they have put Cincinnati down as one of the worst "new" stadiums around. I failed to see why they did. Great American Ballpark is a BEAUTIFUL PARK! It is in a nice area and parking is relatively cheap and fairly close to the park. The stadium doesn't have that look like the other stadiums have with brick facades on the outside and doesn't have the greetn seats with a skyline overlooking in the outfield on the inside, but after a while, it all becomes the same old, same old park. I thought how the Reds did Great American Ballpark was great. I loved the red seats they had (some of the most comfortable seats I've ever sat in) and the fact they had cupholders was a big plus in my book. I really dug the new riverboat out in centerfield on top of the batter's eye. It gave more character as well as the smokestacks.

One upgrade from last year I was told was their new HD scoreboard out in LF. It isn't as big as Turner Field's one, but it is perfect for that stadium. The out-of-town scoreboard got a boost with the situation spot like so many others are going to. It still had some kinks to work out, but overall, it was fine.

The ONLY blip I had about the park was the food. I tried the Skyline Chili Dog and it tasted terrible. I love hot dogs and I love Cincinnati Chili, but it just did not mesh well with me.

One recommendation for anybody going to Cincinnati is go to the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum. They have an exhibit of Crosley Field that is a must for any ballpark chaser. But they had so many other things. I spent two hours in there and I wished I could have stayed longer before the game started.

Overall of the 13 ballparks I have visited, I would say Cincinnati is ranked third on my list behind Camden Yards and Comerica. Definitely a must-visit.

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Comment by Tim on April 17, 2009 at 8:38pm
I thought the outside was OK. It does get overshadowed large in part by Paul Brown Stadium. Same thing in a way with Ford Field & Comerica in Detroit. I kinda got tired of the brick exterior. I mean it's great, but in a way, it's too much the norm now. I think it will look better once whatever they'll put on top of Riverfront gets built.
Comment by Madura Family on April 16, 2009 at 8:13pm
The one charm GABP seems to be missing is a feel for the stadium itself, from the outside, unless you're on the river. It's so tucked away due to 2 buildings. The Reds Hall of Fame and where they sold tickets which looked like it housed the corp offices for the team.

Once inside we loved it.
Comment by Tim on April 16, 2009 at 3:16pm
my dog fell apart from the bun. I did like the idea of real cheese though (something not found in Atlanta). I love the idea of Chaser Guides.
Comment by Craig (17) on April 15, 2009 at 7:30pm
p.s. We are going to open up the Chaser Guides next month to allow members to make comments, suggestions, feedback, etc.
Comment by Craig (17) on April 15, 2009 at 7:28pm
Thanks for your review, Tim. I couldn't agree with you more! However, I am a little biased...being a die hard Reds fan! Call me crazy but I do have to say that I enjoyed the Skyline Chili Dog. It hit the spot along with a Reds victory!
Comment by Tim on April 15, 2009 at 6:44pm
You'll get your bang for the buck at GABP, that's for sure. I loved almost every second of it.
Comment by Jack (6) on April 14, 2009 at 10:54pm
I have heard the negative reviews about Great American Ballpark as well so glad to hear you liked it. Thanks, I'll remember to be careful with the skyline chili. :)


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