- First off, the Great American Ballpark is named after the Great American Insurance Company. Who knew that, as I sure did not. It has a capacity of 42,059 with field dimensions of 328 ft, 404 ft, and 325 ft (Left to Right).
- The Reds designed this stadium for the fans. There are many different activities that were designed for kids to enjoy the place such as having a bouncy bounce area, a place where you can test the speed it takes you from running from home to first base, learning the different grips to throwing different pitches, cocking the speed you throw the ball, among many other different things. I have to admit, while these features are great, it reminds me a lot of a minor league park in that they focus on the fun rather than the game of baseball. Overall, it is great to have if you are bringing young kids to the game or if you need to get away before or during the game.
- A majority of the stadium was built using money that was collected from the taxpayers. In 1996, they added .5% to their local sales tax which contributed 300 million to the overall stadium. The bill was around 365 million, which left the Reds having to cover about 65 million themselves. The money they made in 1996 as also used during the construction of the new stadium (Paul Brown Stadium) for the Cincinnati Bengals (can't recall how much he said this stadium cost to build).
- I found this pretty cool. The Reds built their new park literally next to their old park, known as Riverfront Stadium. The two were literally only 26 inches apart. As they were closer to completing the stadium, the guide said the outfield wall and the new park were practically touching and they had to cut holes in certain parts out of area so that they could work on the new park. After the season ended, the old park was torn down and they was able to complete the rest of the stadium. The edge of the concession stand area is the same place where the right field wall used to be which is pretty amazing.
- A view of the press box. There are four levels to this which are the most (i think) in the majors. The tour guide said the writers tend to love this place. He said on a normal game, the first row is barely 3/4 of the way filled. When the Yankees and Red Sox are in town (which is pretty rare) not only are the four levels filled, but they end up having to use an overflow room in the back in which many of them have to look at the TV's in order to see the games. He said the beat writers following the team are given a preference and a generally in the first few rows. For those of you who didn't know, the great Hal McCoy was recently "let go" from the Dayton Daily News. The guide said while it was sad to see him go (hes a great guy they say), he said he can understand why the company did it as it is very expensive for him to cover the team.
- They have a gorgeous stadium I have to admit. In centerfield there is this tugboat thing that is used for group outings. There are two smoke stacks that erupt fireworks after a player on the Reds hits a HR and after each game that they win.
- The dugout was pretty cool. The guide threatened my life if I touched the grass though on the field.
- They have a Tornado Shelter downstairs next to the visiting clubhouse.. Wonder if they have that in New York.
- Wanted to note the layout of the luxury seats. The Reds also have a moat surrounding the seats like the Yankees do, but not these seats only extend to the area behind home plate. Those tickets cost 250 dollars a seat as opposed to the 2,600 dollar seats for Yankee tickets. There is a restaurant behind these seats for fans in this section which is smilier to that of the new Yankee Stadium. I still don't understand why people would go to a game to sit in a restaurant, but that is besides the point I suppose.
Overall, a fun time. My goal is to be able to see every single stadium at some point in my life. I wasn't able to tour Shea Stadium which I am now disappointed about but I heard that I wasn't missing much as Shea was considered to be a dump. I recommend you all to check out the Great American Ballpark if you ever have a chance. The tour was only 13 dollars and it is great to be able to see different parts of the stadium that you aren't able to do as a fan in the crowd. The only downside of this tour was that they didn't let you check out the clubhouse which was something they let you do at Yankee Stadium. For 350 million or so, the Reds did build themselves quite a nice ballpark.