Great American Ball Park,
When Great American Ball Park first opened in Cincinnati in 2003, a group of local architects…who were not likely baseball fans…tore the design to pieces in their analysis of it.
They complained about the lack of continuity in design, the orientation of the ballpark towards the river and not the Cincinnati skyline, and too many non-essential elements added. They even claimed that it was not as well designed as its predecessor, Cinergy Field (formerly Riverfront Stadium).
In my recent visit to Great American Ball Park, my foremost impression is that it is one of the more functional, fan-friendly ballparks in the major leagues. There are virtually zero obstructed view seats (unless you count seats that can’t see the big scoreboard, and even the number of those are small), the seating bowl and seats are well-angled towards home plate, the lower level is steep enough that you can see over the person in front of you, and they even managed to create a mezzanine section with the “Gap” near third base.
In other words, I have no desire to see a ballgame with an architect, especially if he or she thinks that Cinergy Field had a superior design.
Riverfront Stadium saw some of baseball’s greatest moments, no doubt about it, but it was the epitome of cookie-cutter, one of the best known concrete artificial turf donuts that were conceived in the 1960s and by the 1980s were already being frowned upon. I will take issue with anyone who tells me that any stadium where a football team regularly plays is better than Great American Ball Park. Especially if they’re architects!
And Great American Ball Park is an affordable ticket, is easy to get to, and has a great array of Cincinnati food choices. In other words, it’s an improvement over Cinergy Field in just about every imaginable way.
So pay no attention to architects. Great American Ball Park is a fantastic baseball experience, and Ballpark E-Guides is here to help!
Great American Ball Park Seating: I’ve included a piece about the effect of the “Gap” on the upper level seating at Cincinnati’s ballpark.
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Complete Guide to
Great American Ball Park