The Cincinnati Reds were the first major league baseball team to be organized as a professional organization, and their stadium, Great American Ball Park, is located in the heart of downtown Cincinnati, OH on the meandering banks of the Ohio River. Cinergy Field (formerly known as Riverfront Stadium), which served as the Reds’ home field from 1970 to 2002, was succeeded by this stadium when it opened in March 2003. It now serves as the home stadium for the Cincinnati Reds of Major League Baseball (MLB). The naming rights to the new stadium were purchased by Great American Insurance for a total of US$75 million for 30 years.
In 1996, voters in Hamilton County approved an increase in the county’s sales tax of 0.5 percent to support the construction of new stadiums for both the Cincinnati Reds baseball team and the Cincinnati Bengals football team, both of which compete in the National Football League (NFL). By the leasing agreement, the Reds owed Hamilton County $2.5 million in rent annually for the first nine years of the lease, and they owe $1 annually for the tenth through the thirty-fifth year of the deal. Both the Cincinnati Reds and the Cincinnati Bengals had previously shared occupancy of Riverfront Stadium. However, by the middle of the 1990s, both teams began to complain that the multi-purpose stadium lacked the amenities that were necessary for small-market professional sports teams to compete. As a result, both teams began to lobby for venues that were exclusively theirs. The nearby Paul Brown Stadium began construction in 1998 and opened to the public in August of the following year.
The Great American Ball Park was designed by HOK Sport and GBBN, two prominent architecture firms, and was constructed at a cost of roughly 290 million United States dollars. It is situated on the parcel of land that was formerly occupied by Riverfront Stadium and is now occupied by The Banks, a mixed-use development. It is near Heritage Bank Center (previously, U.S. Bank Arena, previously Riverfront Coliseum). Because of the restricted amount of room available for construction, Cinergy Field had to be partially demolished. On December 29, 2002, it was completely razed to the ground. Since 2009, MSA Design has held the position of Official Architect for the Cincinnati Reds.