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Friday, June 21
The Indiana Daily Student


No frills at Cinergy Field

I'm not going to call it Cinergy Field. The place where the Reds play -- and have always played -- is Riverfront Stadium and in this review, that's what I'm going to call it.\nWith that out of the way, I must say Ciner.......Riverfront has taken on a new look but still has the old feel: it's just not a good place to watch baseball.\nWith the new Great American Ballpark literally being built a few feet away, Cinergyfront underwent some minor renovations to accommodate the Reds' new home. When I say "minor," I mean removing 14,000 seats, replacing artificial turf with natural grass and moving the fences in to the point a little leaguer could take one off the wall.\nGone is the "cookie-cutter" shape that the stadium once plagued the Cincinnati riverfront with -- much like Three Rivers did for Pittsburgh and Veterans Stadium does for Philadelphia. Pittsburgh was the first to wise-up when they demolished their monstrosity of the '70s and replaced it with the beautiful PNC Park. Cincy is the next in line when they get rid of the Bengals/Reds old home and replace the view of several cranes and concrete pillars that fills the view from Rivergy to the picturesque scenery of the Kentucky side of the Ohio River.\nBut not all of the renovations done to Cinergy/Riverfront has been bad. The old saying "any improvement is a good one" can be directed to the renovations done to the home of the Reds. The new 14,000 seat hole stretching from left to right-center brings a much needed gust of wind across the stadium. The new grass field is not only more attractive than the green carpet your grandma used to have on her back porch, but it also makes it easier on the players physically (i.e., Barry Larkin's knees).\nThe most significant change is the field temperature. During the season, on-field temperatures could reach well past 110 degrees, but now, with the occasional gust of wind and grass playing field, you won't see many on the field and in the stands being treated for heat stroke.\nNow let's get to the important part -- the food. There's nothing like ball park food, and while Riverfront/Cinergy doesn't have the best, it's still ball park food. \nPrices are expensive, but if you don't want to fork out the cash, don't go to ANY ball game, or any professional sporting event for that matter. If you do decide to take out a small loan for a family of four, be sure to get the souvenir size cups. You'll be happy that you did, especially when you or a loved one goes away to college. All of my fine china supports my favorite sports organizations.\nNext is the parking. With the construction being done on the entire Cincinnati riverfront, traffic is horrible. If you are brave enough to venture out in your car, leave early. When a few friends and I went, we got to the stadium at 12 p.m. for a game with a 12:30 p.m. start time. Because all the cars going into the stadium were directed like cattle, we didn't get into the stadium until the bottom of the first.\nParking isn't as bad because of a huge parking lot on the west end of the stadium, but for you who have ventured to Riverfront before, be prepared for a lack of parking since the Bengals' new home, Paul Brown Stadium, took up half of what used to exist. \nI could go into the the quality of play at Riverfront, but the only people that come are there to see the visiting team anyway. Ticket prices have also remained fairly low compared to the crimes committed by the Yankees and others. You can still get seats for under $10, but bring tissues for the nosebleeds that you're sure to endure.\nOverall, Riverfront has improved from its original "disgrace to the game" state, but it's still an eyesore and a pain to attend. But who cares? It's still baseball. \nNext Week: Wrigley Field

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