Union Grounds served as the first home of baseball's original professional team. The park was located near the area now occupied by the Museum Center in the Union Terminal train station. Anchored by a grandstand called "Grand Duchess," the park could seat up to 4,000 fans.
The Reds headed two miles north from Union Grounds to erect Avenue Grounds, which featured a grandstand that could seat up to 3,000 fans. The ballpark was approximately four miles from the heart of the citys population, so horse-drawn streetcars and trains were a popular way to travel to the park.
Originally called American Park (in reference to Cincinnati's membership in the American Association), the park was renamed League Park (in reference to the National League) in 1890. The park featured a covered grandstand with leather-cushioned seats and open seats along the first- and third-base sides.
Palace of the Fans
Following a major fire, the Reds rebuilt the main grandstand of League Park in 1902. Today, baseball historians refer to the updated facility as Palace of the Fans. The park featured an illustrious grandstand with pillars and columns carved by hand, as well as 19 fashion boxes (much like opera boxes) and inexpensive field-level seating.
May 24, 1935: The first night game in MLB history at Crosley Field
Originally named Redland Field and renamed in 1934, Crosley Field was the first Reds ballpark to feature a double-decked grandstand. The facility, located at the corner of Western Avenue and Findlay Street, was the site of baseball's first night game and hosted Cincinnati's first World Series Championship team.
Riverfront Stadium was completed in June of 1970 at an approximate cost of $45 million. The new park covered more than 48 acres of real estate, and could seat more than 52,000 fans. The success of the Reds during the 1970s combined to create some startling attendance figures. The Reds topped the one million mark in season attendance only four times at Crosley Field, yet at Riverfront, the club has never failed to draw one million. In fact, the Reds drew more than two million fans for eight consecutive seasons from 1973 through 1980.
In September of 1996, Riverfront Stadium was renamed Cinergy Field. Also that season, Hamilton County Ohio voters approved a tax increase to build two new stadiums, Paul Brown Stadium and The Great American Ball Park, on the city's riverfront.
In preparation for the new ballpark, construction crews eliminated approximately 14,000 seats in left and center field at Cinergy following the 2000 season. This subtraction opens up the once circular stadium and provides fans with a view of the Ohio River, the Kentucky riverfront, and the Mt. Adams area. The Reds also decided to remove the Astroturf playing surface in favor of Kentucky bluegrass.
If construction timetables remain on track, Reds fans throughout the land should expect the new ballpark by the 2003 season.
Great American Ball Park
Located on the winding banks of the Ohio River in downtown Cincinnati, Great American Ball Park serves as the home of the Cincinnati Reds, baseball's first professional franchise. The ballpark officially opened for the 2003 season, making 2009 its seventh big-league season.
Although praised for its innovative features, breathtaking views and affordable seating options, Great American Ball Park also pays tribute to the Reds' rich history.
Crosley Terrace statues depict Reds legends Ted Kluszewski, Ernie Lombardi, Joe Nuxhall and Frank Robinson, while famous-dates banners remind fans of many historic moments in club history. Inside the park, the Italian-marble mosaics, the "toothbrush" light towers and the nostalgic Sun/Moon Deck are just a handful of features that give this modern marvel a truly historic influence.
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