Cincinnati Reds continue to change guest experience

(Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /

After a handful of fan injuries across MLB, the Cincinnati Reds decide to extend protective netting behind home plate.

Zack Cozart spoke and eventually the Cincinnati Reds listened.  The All-Star shortstop advocated for extending the protective netting further down each baseline after a girl was hit early in the season at Great American.  The Reds finally decided to do it, after seeing former Red Todd Frazier hurt someone in New York.

Currently, the netting extends from behind home plate to the beginning of each dugout.  For 2018 the netting will extend to the far end of each dugout.  More teams are moving in this direction.

The thought is that this doesn’t appreciably change the fan experience.  It does, but both for good an bad.  The good is that fans are less likely to be injured by afoul ball, while they also lose some interaction with the ballplayers due to the netting.

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Cozart always has his family sit behind netting or in the upper deck.  His family, though, doesn’t come to a game in the hopes of having a player flip them a ball as he returns to the dugout.  It will be a whole new game in that regard for the bad, regardless of whether the overall decision was correct.

The Cincinnati Reds consistently change the fan experience at Great American Ballpark for the better.

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Prior to the 2017 season, the Reds made several changes that proved successful during the season.  GABP has been home to pour your own beer.  They also have opened marketplaces, but this year’s changes weren’t quite as easy.

The biggest success was the Cheeto’s popcorn stand.  While the kettle corn stand smells the best, nothing is quite as tasty as buttery popcorn covered in Cheeto’s powder.  Standing just to the right of the main gate, it was definitely a highlight change this season.

That was the highlight for the regular fans, but there was also something for those with more expensive tickets, continuing the trend of separating fans.  The Reds redesigned Scouts Alley.  They added an upgraded concession area and more interactive displays.

The Reds also re-branded the large suite down the left field line to match Jack Casino.  It took two standard suites and combined them to be available for 30 people groups.  It is the largest suite on the field level.

Next: The Reds are becoming the 1990s Braves

The Reds may not have the best product on the field right now.  However, they are consistently trying to make the fans feel more comfortable.  Soon the team will have improved enough to be worthy of the stadium upgrades.