The Cinergy of Riverfront Stadium

May 8th, 2010
by Byron Bennett

Riverfront Stadium was home to the Cincinnati Reds from June 1970, through the end of the 2002 season.

Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati Ohio (Fas Foto, Inc.)

The stadium literally fronted the Ohio River, hence the name.

Riverfront Stadium Along the Ohio River as Seen from Kentucky (R.C. Holmes)

Riverfront Stadium was renamed Cinergy Field in 1996, thus replacing a terrific, classic stadium name with a terrifically awful stadium name.

Cinergy Field Sporting a Vinyl Banner

The Electric Glow of Cinergy Field

While Cinergy Field may have been a “cookie-cutter,” multi-use stadium, it still housed major league baseball, making it a special place.  The ground was still hallowed, even if it was neon-green.

The Green Plastic Grass of Cinergy Field

The stadium, although generic, still could seem majestic as the lights came up and the sun went down.

Cinergy Field With Scripps Building Looming Over Stadium

In 2001, a large portion of the stadium structure and seating bowl behind center field was removed to allow construction of what would become Great American Ballpark.

The Left Field Corner Before Making Room for Progress

The Center Field Wall and Stadium Structure Behind it Was the First to Go

As can be seen in the following photographs, the new ballpark rising behind center field dominated the landscape.

Left Field Corner with Stadium and Seating Removed

The same was true for right center field.

Great American Ballpark Under Construction Behind Cinergy Field

Construction of the new ballpark required that the outfield fence be moved in several feet.

Cinergy Field's Version of the Big Green Monster

Outside the ballpark, the old stadium seemed almost to merge with the new one under construction.

The Old and the New

Other aspects of the ballpark, however, remained as they had been for 30-plus years.

Well-Worn Seats

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The Blue, Green, and Red Seats of Cinergy Field

The Last Rainout

Ironically, Great American Ballpark, built next to and atop Cinergy Field’s former site, pays tribute not to that stadium, but to Crosley Field.  “Crosley Terrace,” in front of the entrance to the new ballpark, includes statutes of former players.

Crosley Terrace at Great American Ballpark

The plaza also includes a recreation of Crosley Field’s famous left field berm (that later was extended to include center and right field as well), which ran over top city sewer lines that straddled the left field wall.

Crosley Field Berm Looking Toward What Was Deep Center Field

The Red’s Hall of Fame and Museum sits in the location of the former outfield.

Reds Hall of Fame and Museum Located on Hallowed Ground

Riverfront Stadium/Cinergy Field is now just another lost ballpark.  But for those who attended games there, it certainly is not forgotten, even if there is no plaque marking its former location .

Gone But Not Forgotten

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Posted in Ohio ballparks, Riverfront Stadium | Comments (5)

  • Avatar Daniel says:

    I have heard that in 2011 they have installed 2 plaques at the riverfront stadium site. One to commemorate the former location of home plate and one to show the location of the bengals goal posts. I have not looked for them yet but I believe they are on the ground level of a parking garage in the area. And also there is a white rose bush on the south side of the reds hall of fame building commemorating where Pete Rose’s hit #4,192 landed.

  • Byron Bennett Byron Bennett says:

    Hello Daniel – Thanks for the update. Glad to hear they have marked these historic spots (including #4192). I will be sure to look for them next time I am in Cincinnati.

  • Avatar Steve says:

    I went to several games at Riverfront as a kid and happened to be in Cincinnati to find these plaques. There is a first base one that is in a restaurant/brewhouse. The home plate one is down an elevator in a parking garage which makes no sense. I also believe the plate is turned the wrong way. I wonder if these are the right locations as the area was blacktopped over for an event in 2006.

  • Byron Bennett Byron Bennett says:

    Hello Steve

    Thanks for the info. I personally haven’t been back to Cincinnati to look for the plaques you mention, but hope to at some point. If you have any pictures you would not mind sharing, please let me know. DBS

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