Great American Ball Park

Great American Ball Park is a baseball stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. It serves as the home stadium of the Cincinnati Reds of Major League Baseball (MLB), and opened on March 31, 2003, replacing Cinergy Field (formerly Riverfront Stadium), the Reds' home field from 1970 to 2002.[7] Great American Insurance bought the naming rights to the new stadium at US$75 million for 30 years.[8][9][10]

Great American Ball Park
Great American Ball Park in 2013
Address100 Joe Nuxhall Way
LocationCincinnati, Ohio
Coordinates39°5′51″N 84°30′24″W
Public transit Connector at The Banks
Red Bike
Parking850 spaces
OwnerHamilton County
OperatorCincinnati Reds
Capacity43,500 (2021–present)
42,319 (2008–2020)
42,271 (2003–2007)
Record attendance44,599 (2010 NLDS, Game 3)
Field sizeLeft Field – 328 ft (100 m)
Left-Center – 379 ft (116 m)
Center Field – 404 ft (123 m)
Right-Center – 370 ft (110 m)
Right Field – 325 ft (99 m)
Backstop – 55 ft (17 m)
SurfacePerennial Ryegrass
Broke groundAugust 1, 2000 (2000-08-01)
OpenedMarch 31, 2003 (2003-03-31)
Construction costUS$290 million
($427 million in 2021 dollars[1])
ArchitectHOK Sport
Project managerParsons Brinckerhoff, Inc.
Structural engineerGeiger[2]/THP Ltd.[3]
Services engineerM-E Engineers, Inc.[4]
General contractorHunt Construction Group, Inc.[5]
Main contractorsRLE Construction, Inc.[6]
Cincinnati Reds (MLB) (2003–present)


Planning and funding

In 1996, Hamilton County voters passed a ½% sales tax increase to fund the construction of new venues for both the Reds and the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League (NFL).[5] According to the lease agreement, the Reds owed $2.5 million in rent annually for years 1–9 to Hamilton County, and owe $1 annually for years 10-35 of the contract.[11] The Reds and the Bengals had previously shared occupancy of Riverfront Stadium, but by the mid-1990s, they complained that the multi-purpose stadium lacked amenities necessary for small-market professional sports teams to compete and each lobbied for venues of their own.[12] Nearby Paul Brown Stadium broke ground in 1998 and was opened on August 19, 2000.

Design and construction

Great American Ball Park was built by the architectural firms HOK Sport (now Populous) and GBBN at a cost of approximately US$290 million. It is located on the plot of land between the former site of Riverfront Stadium (currently, The Banks mixed-use development) and Heritage Bank Center (previously, U.S. Bank Arena, previously Riverfront Coliseum). The limited construction space necessitated the partial demolition of Cinergy Field. It was fully demolished on December 29, 2002.[13] MSA Design [14] has been the Official Architect of the Cincinnati Reds since 2009.

2015 All-Star Game

The ballpark hosted the 2015 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. The Reds put in $5 million for improvements, which included two new bars and upgraded concession stands.[15]


A view of Great American Ball Park, including The Gap.

The original address of Great American Ball Park was 100 Main Street. However, after the death of former pitcher and longtime broadcaster Joe Nuxhall in 2007, the address was changed to 100 Joe Nuxhall Way. A sign bearing Nuxhall's traditional signoff phrase "rounding third and heading for home" is located on the third base side exterior of the park. The Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum is adjacent to Great American Ball Park. In honor of Crosley Field, the Cincinnati Reds' home park from 1912 to June 1970, a monument reminiscent of the park's infamous left field terrace was built on the main entrance plaza on Joe Nuxhall Way; statues of Crosley-era stars Nuxhall, catcher Ernie Lombardi, first baseman Ted Kluszewski, and outfielder Frank Robinson are depicted playing an imaginary baseball game.[16]

The Gap. A 35-foot-(10.7-m)-wide break in the stands between home plate and third base called "The Gap" is bridged by the concourse on each level (see photo). Aligned with Sycamore Street, it provides views into the stadium from downtown and out to the skyline from within the park.

The centerfield "smokestacks"

Power Stacks. In right center field, two smokestacks, reminiscent of the steamboats that were common on the Ohio River in the 19th and early 20th centuries, flash lights, emit flames and launch fireworks to incite or respond to the home team's efforts. When the Reds strike out a batter, fire blows out of the stacks beginning with the 2012 season (previously, steam was spewed out following a strikeout). Fireworks are launched from the stacks after every Reds home run and win. The seven baseball bats featured on both smokestacks symbolize the #14 of Pete Rose.[17][18] On May 15, 2015, a part of the top of the right smokestack caught on fire during the 6th inning of a Reds game, caused by a loose propane valve, causing smoke to be blown across the field, several sections of seats to be evacuated, and the Cincinnati Fire Department being called to put it out. No one was injured.[19]

The Spirit of Baseball. A 50-foot-by-20-foot (15 x 6 m) Indiana limestone bas relief carving near the main entrance features a young baseball player looking up to the heroic figures of a batter, pitcher and fielder, all set against the background of many of Cincinnati's landmarks, including the riverfront and Union Terminal. Local designers and artist created the piece between 2001 and 2003 with concept, design and project oversight / management by Berberich Design. The illustrative artist was Mark Riedy, the sculptors of the scale model used for fabrication were Todd Myers and Paul Brooke with fabrication by Mees Distributors.

The Mosaics. Just inside the main gates off the Crosley Terrace are two mosaic panels measuring 16 feet (4.9 m) wide by 10 feet (3.0 m) high. The mosaics depict two key eras in Reds history: "The First Nine", the 1869 Red Stockings who were the first professional baseball team in history with a record of 57–0 in their first season and "The Great Eight", the famous Big Red Machine that won back-to-back World Series in 1975 and 1976. The mosaics were created between 2001 and 2003 with concept, design and project oversight / management by Berberich Design. The illustrative artist was Mark Riedy. These mosaic panels are made of opaque glass tiles and were produced in Ravenna, Italy by SICIS.

The Panoramas. Panoramas of downtown Cincinnati, Mt. Adams, the Ohio River and Northern Kentucky are visible from most of the park.

View from behind home plate.

The Scoreboard. At 217 feet 9 inches (66.37 m) wide, the scoreboard from Daktronics is the sixth largest in Major League Baseball, and the 15th largest in the United States out of all LED screens. The Reds paid $4 million to install a new, LED scoreboard and HD video screen in time for the 2009 season. The scoreboard did not add any size from the previous, but added HD quality. The scoreboard clock was originally a replica of the Longines clock at Crosley Field,[20] but has since been modified.[21]

The Toyota Tundra Home Run Deck. If a Reds player hits the "Hit Me" sign located between the Power Stacks located in right field, a randomly selected fan will win the red Toyota Tundra pickup truck located on top of an elevator shaft approximately 500 feet (150 m) from home plate beyond the center field fence, which is valued at approximately US$31,000.

Crosley Terrace.

As a nod to Crosley Field, the Reds' home from 1912 to 1970, a monument was created in front of the main entrance to highlight the park's famous left-field terrace. Bronze statues of Crosley-era stars Joe Nuxhall, Ernie Lombardi, Ted Kluszewski, and Frank Robinson (created by sculptor Tom Tsuchiya) are depicted playing in an imaginary ballgame. The grass area of the terrace has the same slope as the outfield terrace at Crosley Field.[16][20]

4192 Mural. A three-piece mural on the back of the scoreboard in left field depicts the bat Pete Rose used for his record-breaking 4,192nd hit and the ball he hit in 1985. This was replaced with new banners in 2015 as part of the All-Star Game upgrades.

Great American Ball Park at night

Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum. Located on the west side of Great American Ball Park on Main Street, the Hall of Fame and Museum celebrate the Reds' past through galleries and extensive use of multimedia. The Hall of Fame has been in existence since 1958, but did not previously have a building.

Riverboat Deck. A private party area located above the batter's eye.

Center Field. The dimension of 404 feet (123 m) in center field is a tribute to the same center field dimension in the Reds' previous home, Riverfront Stadium.

Riverfront Club. A glass encased restaurant on the third level of the stadium that serves upscale food and has views of the field and the river.

Rose Garden. Adjacent to both the stadium and the Reds Hall of Fame is a rose garden that symbolizes Pete Rose's record-breaking 4,192nd hit. It was strategically placed here because the ball landed around this area in Riverfront Stadium. The garden is visible from a stairwell in the hall of fame displaying the number of balls that Rose hit.

Screen renovations for the 2009 season

Great American Ball Park on May 23, 2016, for the Reds vs. Seattle Mariners

After the 2008 season, all of the scoreboards in the park were replaced by new HD video displays. The Reds signed a ten-year contract with the Daktronics company of Brookings, South Dakota, and also contracted with Sony for the HD video cameras and production equipment, operated from a renovated control room. A team of 25 people are responsible for the content of the displays.

The previous displays were installed by the Trans-Lux company when Great American Ball Park was built. However, Trans-Lux went bankrupt, and the team could not find replacement parts. "We were just limping through, hoping the old scoreboard would make it to the end of the 2008 season", said Reds spokesman Michael Anderson.[22] Jennifer Berger, Reds senior director of entertainment, events and production said that the team would assume the responsibility of the cost of maintaining the displays; the fans would not have to bear the brunt of paying for them. The team expected to save money in the long term due to the displays' increased energy efficiency.

Fan amenities

Nursing Suite. For the 2015 season, Great American Ball Park became the first MLB ballpark to feature a suite designed exclusively as a place for mothers to feed and care for their babies.[23] Reds COO Phil Castellini, a father of 5, says he felt compelled to do his best to provide a worthwhile solution after stadium officials told him an increasing number of women were asking where they could nurse their children at the ballpark.[24] The suite has 5 glider chairs, diaper-changing stations, a restroom, a kitchenette, refrigerator, lockers, and televisions showing the game. It's located on the Suite Level near the Champions Club elevators.[25]

Notable non-baseball events


Date Artist Opening act(s) Tour / Concert name Attendance Revenue Notes
August 4, 2011 Paul McCartney DJ Chris Holmes On The Run Tour 41,256 / 41,256 $4,158,146 This was his first Cincinnati appearance in 18 years.
June 28, 2014 Beyoncé
On the Run Tour 37,863 / 37,863 $4,250,931 [26][27]
July 19, 2014 Jason Aldean Miranda Lambert
Florida Georgia Line
Tyler Farr
Burn It Down Tour 39,196 / 39,196 $2,632,614
June 16, 2018 Luke Bryan Sam Hunt
Jon Pardi
Morgan Wallen
What Makes You Country Tour TBA TBA
August 4, 2018 Zac Brown Band Leon Bridges Down the Rabbit Hole Live TBA TBA
September 10, 2021 Billy Joel Billy Joel In Concert TBA TBA
July 15, 2022 Def Leppard
Mötley Crüe
Joan Jett
Classless Act
The Stadium Tour 34,877 / 34,877 $4,729,190 The show was initially scheduled for July 2, 2020, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other events

  • On October 31, 2004, President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush held a campaign rally in Great American Ball Park.
  • On April 27, 2008, a memorial service for Staff Sergeant Keith Matthew Maupin was held at Great American Ball Park.

Milestones and notable moments

Opening day (March 31, 2003)

Statistic Player(s)/Team
First game vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
First hit Ken Griffey Jr. (a double)
First home run Reggie Sanders, Pirates
First Reds home run Austin Kearns, later in the same game
First ceremonial first pitch George H. W. Bush
First at-bat Kenny Lofton (a ground out)

Other firsts

Statistic Details Date
First grand slam Russell Branyan July 21, 2003
First playoff game Game 3 NLDS October 10, 2010
Fastest pitch ever Aroldis Chapman zipped a fastball past Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen that registered 106 mph on the Great American Ball Park scoreboard.
However,'s Pitch/FX tracker clocked the throw at 105.
April 18, 2011
Clinching division Home Run vs. Houston Astros by Jay Bruce September 28, 2010
First inside-the-park home run by the Reds vs. Toronto Blue Jays by Drew Stubbs June 17, 2011
Longest home run Outfielder Adam Dunn hits the longest home run in Great American Ball Park history against José Lima and the Dodgers. The distance was 535 feet. The ball landed in the Ohio River. August 10, 2004
1,000 hits Second baseman Brandon Phillips records his 1,000th hit with a home run against the Cleveland Indians July 1, 2011
All-Star Game Hosted American League @ National League July 14, 2015
No-hitter Reds pitcher Homer Bailey pitched the first no-hitter in the history of Great American Ball Park, beating the San Francisco Giants 3–0. July 2, 2013
First no-hitter by a visiting pitcher Jake Arrieta no-hit the Reds while pitching for the Chicago Cubs, who won 16–0.
(This was the most lopsided no-hitter in Major League Baseball since Aug. 4, 1884, when the Buffalo Bisons' Pud Galvin threw an 18-0 no-hitter against the Detroit Wolverines.)
April 21, 2016

Attendance records

Bold indicates the winner of each game.

Highest attendance at Great American Ball Park
RankAttendanceDateGame resultNotes
1 44,599October 10, 2010Reds 0, Phillies 32010 NLDS, Game 3
2 44,501October 9, 2012Reds 1, Giants 2 (10)2012 NLDS, Game 3
3 44,375October 10, 2012Reds 3, Giants 82012 NLDS, Game 4
4 44,142October 11, 2012Reds 4, Giants 62012 NLDS, Game 5
5 44,049March 28, 2019Reds 5, Pirates 32019 Opening Day (regular season record)
6 43,878March 30, 2018Reds 0, Nationals 22018 Opening Day
7 43,804April 3, 2017Reds 3, Phillies 42017 Opening Day
8 43,683April 4, 2016Reds 6, Phillies 22016 Opening Day
9 43,656July 14, 2015National League 3, American League 62015 Major League Baseball All-Star Game


  • Ticket windows: 25
  • Concourse widths: 40 feet (12 m)
  • Escalators: 3
  • Passenger elevators: 14
  • Public restrooms: 47 (20 women, 20 men, 7 family)
  • Concession stands: 28
  • Parking spaces: 850
  • Club seats: 4,235
  • Suites: 63


  1. 1634–1699: McCusker, J. J. (1997). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States: Addenda et Corrigenda (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1700–1799: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1800–present: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved April 16, 2022.
  2. "Paul E. Gossen - Experience". Archived from the original on 2016-09-19. Retrieved 2012-05-30.
  3. Contacts for the Great American Ballpark/Reds Stadium (DL)
  4. Mayers Electric Helps Revive the Cincinnati Riverfront
  5. Great American Ball Park
  6. - Great American Ball Park
  7. "Reds Ballparks". Retrieved 30 March 2015.
  8. "About Us – Great American Insurance Group". Retrieved 30 March 2015.
  9. Durgy, Edwin (18 Oct 2011). "Former Forbes 400 Member And Cincinnati Reds Owner Carl Lindner Dies At 92". Forbes. Forbes, LLC. Retrieved 30 March 2015.
  10. Rofé, John (30 June 2000). Cincinnati Business Courier Retrieved 25 January 2022. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. "Great American Ball Park".
  12. Cincinnati.Com: Great American Ball Park
  13. Pilcher, James (December 30, 2002). "Stadium Goes Down in 37 Seconds". The Cincinnati Enquirer.
  14. "Home".
  15. "Great American Ball Park undergoes array of upgrades". MLB. MLB. 24 March 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  16. Pahigian, Josh, & O'Connell, Kevin. "The Ultimate Baseball Road Trip, 2nd: A Fan's Guide to Major League Stadiums". P. 201. Lyons Press, 2012. ISBN 978-0-7627-7340-4
  17. Riedel, Charlie (April 3, 2007). "Stars, surprises part of memorable opening day". USA Today. Retrieved September 3, 2014.
  18. Newcomb, Tim (August 8, 2014). "Ballpark Quirks: The Gap highlights Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved September 3, 2014.
  19. "Smokestack fire at Great American Ball Park put out during game". ESPN Inc. 16 May 2015. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  20. Leventhal, Josh (2006). Take Me Out to the Ballpark. P. 69.
  21. "Sony and Daktronics Pitch Ultimate HD Experience At Cincinnati Reds Great American Ball Park".
  22. Bishop, Lauren (April 3, 2009). "Reds Pump Up Scoreboard". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved April 4, 2009.
  23. Serico, Chris (30 March 2015). "Game-changer: Major League Baseball team creates in-stadium nursery for moms". Today.
  24. Rovell, Darren (30 March 2015). "Reds debut room for nursing moms". ESPN. ESPN Inc.
  25. Murray, Sydney (30 March 2015). "Great American Ball Park opens nursing suite".
  26. Howze, Mercedes J. (June 30, 2014). "Review: Jay Z and Beyonce brought the heat (literally) in Cincinnati". New Pittsburgh Courier. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
  27. Kern, Jac (June 30, 2014). "REVIEW: Jay Z and Beyoncé at Great American Ballpark". Cincinnati CityBeat. Retrieved July 5, 2014.


  • Leventhal, Josh, Take Me Out to the Ballpark: An Illustrated Tour of Baseball Parks Past and Present. Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, 2006. ISBN 978-1-57912-513-4
  • Stupp, Dann, Opening Day at Great American Ball Park. Sports Publishing L.L.C., 2003. ISBN 1-58261-724-4
Events and tenants
Preceded by Home of the
Cincinnati Reds

2003 present
Succeeded by
Preceded by Host of the
Civil Rights Game

2009 2010
Succeeded by
Preceded by Host of the All-Star Game
Succeeded by
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