It’s easy this close to Opening Day to feel the excitement building towards the commencement of another long-awaited baseball season. The vast majority of us who attend games have watched the evolution of the establishment where our beloved Cincinnati Reds have played since 2003. Every year has seen occasionally modest (e.g. new concessions) and sometimes extravagant (the multi-million-dollar giant HD screen in left field), and this year will be no different. And the combination of additions / subtractions make this one of the potentially more extravagant years we’ve seen.
The press release earlier this evening tells the tale, and the following is a recap of those changes:
Reds Press Release
3/28/2013 6:03 P.M. ET
New at Great American Ball Park in 2013
Reds enhance fan experience with expanded food, retail and other ballpark attractions
• Renovated Team Shop – The renovation of the Reds Team Shop by Majestic on Crosley Terrace includes new entrances, additional check-outs, improved customer flow and more floor space to showcase an even larger selection of official and authentic Reds gear.
• Crosley Terrace Expansion – Fencing has been removed to increase the size of Crosley Terrace, while new gates welcome fans to the new Kroger Fan Zone. A patio has been added for bands and entertainment. Fans can leave the ballpark to visit the Team Shop and Reds Hall of Fame at a dedicated re-entry gate.
• Budweiser Bowtie Bar – Built over the visitor’s bullpen in right field, the Budweiser Bowtie Bar will serve Anheuser-Busch draught and bottled beer on this popular gathering spot for fans holding any type of ticket while they watch the game. The bar features a 43-foot-wide Budweiser script sign. The three-tiered area also includes group seating for 54 to 90.
• Kroger Sweet Spot – Popular candy products from Mars Chocolate, Nestle, Hershey and Wrigley are just a few of the sweet treats in this new grab-and-go style store located on the third base Terrace Level concourse. In addition to Swedish Fish and Oreos, fans will find snacks, beer and soft drinks including the new Coke Freestyle Machine, which is a touch screen soda fountain that allows users to dispense more than 100 individual brands and flavors.
• Frisch’s Big Boy – The Frisch’s Big Boy himself will greet fans entering at Gapper’s Alley as Frisch’s Big Boy Restaurants join other iconic Cincinnati foods being served in the ballpark. Frisch’s Big Boy Meals will be offered at branded concession stands near sections 119 and 130.
• The Machine Room Grille – A retractable glass wall that opens the Machine Room to the ballpark is one of the many upgrades. New menu items include Fried Pretzel Sticks, Churros, the Deli Delight (pastrami on rye with Russian dressing, swiss cheese, and sauerkraut) and the Wharf (beer battered tilapia, shaved cabbage, sliced cheddar, smoked caper aioli on a toasted bun.) Also new, the outside patio has been converted to an all-inclusive covered dining area for groups of up to 75 guests.
• Mercedes-Benz Diamond Club – Wider and more comfortable seats is just one of the upgrades fans will experience at the newly rebranded Mercedes-Benz Diamond Club. The most exclusive area in the ballpark, the Mercedes-Benz Diamond Club features an upscale, all-inclusive dining experience and gives fans unprecedented proximity to the field while watching the game in luxury.
• Renovated Luxury Suites – More than half of the 50 ballpark luxury suites received an offseason makeover with upgraded furniture and décor. A new party suite, the Rex Goliath Super Suite, is perfect for entertaining a group of 40 to 60 guests, and is available on a single game basis.
• Commemorative Cup Series – A series of commemorative player cups will be available for all 32-ounce soft drinks at concession stands around the ballpark. Players featured in 2013 will be Jay Bruce, Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto.
• New Ballpark Turf – A new grass infield and outfield was installed during the offseason. The perennial ryegrass sod was grown locally at farms in southeastern Indiana. The previous turf had been in place since 2007.
Reds Hall of Fame & Museum
• Signature Reds exhibit – Highlighted by the display of autographs from virtually every player to wear a Reds uniform since 1920, Signature Reds presented by Dinsmore & Shohl LLP immerses visitors in the world of autograph collecting while taking them on an unforgettable journey through over a century of Reds history.
• Joe Morgan exhibit – Featuring game-used equipment, rare photographs, memorabilia and never-before-seen items from Joe’s personal collection, the Joe Morgan exhibit highlights the player who many historians consider to be the greatest second baseman in the history of the game. The exhibit is part of a season-long celebration of Joe’s great career that culminates with the dedication of the Joe Morgan Statue on Saturday, Sept. 7, prior to the 1:05 pm Reds vs. L.A. Dodgers game.
The list is an impressive one, so be prepared to take in the “new” GABP in its 10th anniversary season like you’ve not seen it before … because a lot of you won’t have seen before this year.
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