As one of the oldest baseball teams in history, the Cincinnati Reds started out as the Red Stockings in 1869 as the first professional baseball team. And they won their first 81 games in a row. Nowadays, they are playing against much more professional teams, but are still holding their own and have won quite a few championships since then including World Series Championships. The team has had some incredibly famous players such as Pete Rose and Johnny Bench.
Not only is the team memorable, but they also have some memorable mascots. Unlike most teams, the Reds have four mascots instead of just one. Gapper is a big furry red creature that loves baseball, and Mr. Redlegs is a seven-foot character with a giant baseball for a head, red legs, and a big mustache. Mr. Red is also a big character with a giant baseball head but doesn’t have the red legs. And Rosie Red is an adorable six-foot character with a big baseball head, lipstick, and long black hair.
The Cincinnati Reds and their four mascots make their home at the Great American Ball Park as they have since it opened in 2003. Located in the middle of Downtown Cincinnati with the Ohio River in the background, you will have a gorgeous view of Mount Adams and Northern Kentucky as well. And the food… you cannot beat the deals they have. The park even has two food stands that are “All-You-Can-Eat” chips, peanuts, popcorn, soft drinks, and five hot dogs for one low price. You won’t be going hungry at the Great American Ball Park, that’s for sure.
Depending on when you go to the game, who they are playing, and where you want to sit, Cincinnati Reds tickets at the Great American Ball Club usually range from under $15 to over $1,000. For example, in recent years, you could get an upper box seat for about $12 during the regular season, but you will typically pay more than $300 for post-season tickets no matter where you sit.
Surrounded by I-71, I-75, I-471, and US-50, you will not have any trouble finding the Great American Ball Park. However, you will run traffic in Downtown Cincinnati if you do not plan accordingly. Make sure you get to the park early and avoid the major roads and highways during rush hour. The Ohio River bends itself through the Cincinnati several times drawing out the state line between Kentucky and Ohio. Crossing bridges and even between the two states is part of normal travel in the region.
You’ll only be five miles from the Cincinnati Zoo to the north and less than two miles from the Krohn Conservatory and the Cincinnati Art Museum to the northeast. In fact, you can find plenty of points of interest in the area you should not miss while you are in town.
The best thing to do if you are driving your RV to the game is to plan way ahead of time. The Great American Ball Park area has prepaid parking for recreational vehicles in the Tri-State Parking Lot. This is just across the river over the Taylor Southgate Bridge in Kentucky. If you are driving another vehicle, there are over 25 general parking lots in and around the park to consider. Some of these can be reserved, which is the best choice to make sure you have a spot.
Whether you are coming from somewhere in the Cincinnati area or over the river in Kentucky, you can find several options for getting to the Great American Ball Park. Queen City Metro is the main public transportation system and reaches the most areas with more stops than the others. The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) is also a great choice with 50 different routes in the city. And the Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK) has 100 different bus routes that run from Kentucky to Cincinnati. Taxis and ride-sharing apps are also popular choices.
Unfortunately, there is no place to camp at the Great American Ball Park when you come for a Cincinnati Reds game. However, you can find over 10 campgrounds within 30 miles of Reds Stadium where you can stay. You’ll be able to choose from many different amenity packages, and you can just leave the rig at the campsite and take public transportation to the park, so you don’t have to worry about parking.
In fact, there are more than 300 campsites all together with various amenities from primitive to luxurious. East Fork State Park is 25 miles to the east with plenty of kid-friendly hiking with seasonal hookups.
In addition, there is the Lebanon / Cincinnati NE KOA about 35 miles to the northeast with over 100 sites that can accommodate RVs up to 75 feet long. Most of their sites have full hookups, cable television access, and nearby showers and restrooms. They also have a playground for the kids, a dog park for the pooch, and many other bonuses like a pool, jump pad, and gaga pit. Make sure you book your spot early because they fill up fast during game season.
You will be walking wherever you want to go at the Great American Ball Park since they do not have shuttles or golf carts to help you get around. Luckily, they do have three escalators and seven elevators to assist you if needed. You can find the elevators by Sections 135, 127, 121, 110, and 101. The escalators are in the Kroger Fan Zone and by Gapper’s Alley. Wheelchairs and strollers are welcome but must not block access to walkways or other seats.
Summertime in Cincinnati is hot so pack summer clothes. Most people wear tee-shirts or tank tops with their favorite player’s name on them and jeans or shorts. It is important to wear comfortable shoes since there are no shuttles or carts in the park. And a Cincinnati Reds baseball hat is part of the usual attire as well since it keeps the sun off your face while supporting the team.
The best thing for you to bring to carry your gear is a clear backpack 16 inches or smaller. In fact, it is best not to bring any bag because they slow you down at the gate. But if you have stuff that you need to bring, a backpack is best since you don’t need your hands to carry it. Toss in a camera, your phone, wallet, tickets, and ID as well as any other important items. Check the Cincinnati Reds website for items you cannot bring in with you.
Bring some suntan lotion or spray with a hefty SPF to protect your skin. Be sure to use it before you head to the park and then toss it in your bag to bring with you because you will need to reapply if you sweat it off. You’ll also need water, but the only thing you are allowed is a sealed bottle of water. No glass or cans. Sunglasses are a great idea to keep the sun out of your eyes as well.
No cooking of any kind is allowed at the Great American Ball Park. No tailgating is allowed, so you will either have to eat what is served at the park (they have a plethora of choices) or wait until you get back to the campground. If you stay at a campground with utilities, you will be able to cook indoors or out. But if the campground is primitive, you will either need to use your generator, cook outside on a campfire grill if they have one, or bring your own camp stove.
Less than a mile from the park, you can find a sports bar, Japanese restaurant, fine dining establishment, as well as a pizzeria that you can walk to if you want. If you want a different type of food, take a trip further into town for Korean, Belgian, Italian, Greek, and a Mediterranean Restaurant. There are also quite a few fast food joints, cafés, and burger places. You can find just about anything you can imagine in Cincinnati.
The Great American Ball Park boasts over 50 concession stands with a huge variety of foods and drinks. From cake to cheesesteaks and smoothies to smoked chicken, you will be amazed at the choices at this park.
Reds Stadium has “All You Can Eat” stands with unlimited chips, peanuts, popcorn, soft drinks, and up to five hot dogs all for one low price. There are two of these stands; one behind Section 144 and the other behind Section 428. You have to purchase a special pass at the game as it is not included with your ticket.
n addition, Retail Row has a whole group of different merchandise vendors selling souvenirs all along the row from the front gate to Gapper’s Alley.
Every fan is screened before coming into the park for safety reasons. You will need to remove any metal objects from your pockets like phones and keys before going through a metal detector. If you set off the detector, they will use a handheld detector as well. All items you carry in such as backpacks, bags, and purses will be searched before entry as well. Do not bring glass, drugs, weapons, drones, or anything else on the list of items not to bring. You can find this list on the Cincinnati Reds website.
You can count on hot weather during a Reds game if you go anytime after March. The average highs from April until August range from low 80s to lower 90s. However, the lows in April and May can drop into the upper 50s this close to the river, so you will want to bring a jacket or hoodie if you are going during the spring. Rain and thunderstorms can happen anytime in Ohio, so make sure you are prepared with rain gear in the RV.
The Great American Ball Park has several first aid stations staffed by Tri-Health in case of illness or injury. The medical staff is licensed by Good Samaritan and Bethesda North Hospitals, so you will be in good hands if you need medical attention. These stands are located near Sections 411, 125, and 110. If they cannot treat your issue, they will provide transportation to the nearest hospital, which is about a mile away.