|Team: Cincinnati Reds||Opening Day: June 30, 1970|
|Capacity: 52,952 (1970) 39,000 (2002)||Dimensions: LF 330 (1970) 325 (2002) CF 404 (1970) 393 (2002) RF 330 (1970) 325 (2002)|
|Surface: AstroTurf 8 (1970-2000), grass (2001-2002)||Closing Day: September 22, 2002|
|Razed: December 29, 2002||Cost: $48 million|
|AKA: Riverfront Stadium (1970 - 1996)|
Although the Reds kept something the same by moving their home plate from Crosley Field to their new stadium on the Ohio River, a lot was about to change for them. This was the dawning of the Big Red Machine and they would go on to five World Series in twenty years, winning three of them. This was a big change from the intimate setting of their old haunt, moving into what writer Michael Gershman called a "Concrete Doughnut." These were the 1970s and a string of round, dual use (football and baseball) stadiums were being built in Atlanta, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Pittsburgh. It may not be so ironic that although these parks are less than 40 years old, the only one that will be in use during the 2004 season will be St. Louis, and that is set to be demolished in 2005.
Infielder Richie Hebner summed it up best when he said, "I stand at the plate in the Vet and I don't honestly know whether I'm in Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, St. Louis, or Philly. They all look alike."
Even though this was the third "concrete doughnut" built, this park had a lot of firsts. It was the first park with an entirely artificial infield, except for the dirt patches where the bases and home plate are. It was the first park with metric measurements on the outfield walls. Game 1 of the 1970 World Series was the first game played on artificial turf. It is also the first, and only, ballpark to host the World Series and an All Star Game its inaugural year.
This park sat on top of its own parking garage. Second base was where Roy Rogers', the Singing Cowboy, house was. In 2001, in order to make room for the new Great American Ballpark, part of the outfield seating was removed and the AstroTurf was replaced with natural grass.
Reds retired numbers are (in numerical order and the years they were retired):
© 2003-17 Paul Healey. Pictures of structure © its owner.