Riverfront Stadium: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Riverfront Stadium
Riverfront stadium.jpg
Riverfront Stadium in 1992
Former names Riverfront Stadium (1970-1995)
Cinergy Field (1996-2001)
Location 201 East Pete Rose Way, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Coordinates 39°5′48″N 84°30′30″W / 39.09667°N 84.50833°W / 39.09667; -84.50833Coordinates: 39°5′48″N 84°30′30″W / 39.09667°N 84.50833°W / 39.09667; -84.50833
Broke ground February 1, 1968
Opened June 30, 1970
Closed December 12, 1999 (NFL), September 22, 2002 (MLB)
Demolished December 29, 2002
Owner City of Cincinnati
Surface AstroTurf 8 (1970–2000)
Grass (2001–2002)
Construction cost $45 million
Architect Heery & Heery
Capacity 1970-2000
52,952 Baseball
59,754 Football

2001-2002 - 39,000
Field dimensions 1970-2000
Left field - 330 ft (100 m)
Left-center field - 375 ft (114 m)
Center field - 404 ft (123 m)
Right-center field - 375 ft (114 m)
Right field - 330 ft (100 m)
Backstop - 51 ft (16 m)

Left field - 325 ft (99 m)
Left-center field - 370 ft (110 m)
Center field - 393 ft (120 m)
Right-center field - 373 ft (114 m)
Right field - 325 ft (99 m)
Backstop - 41 ft (12 m)
Cincinnati Bengals (NFL) (1970-1999)
Cincinnati Reds (MLB) (1970-2002)
The stadium seen from above in 1980.
December 29th, 2002 Implosion
The Riverfront Stadium site in June, 2006. This photo was taken from the western concourse of Great American Ball Park. A small portion of the Riverfront Stadium site is now occupied by the Reds' Hall of Fame and Museum and Main Street, which was extended when the new park was built. The Cincinnati Bengals' Paul Brown Stadium is in the distance.

Riverfront Stadium, later known as Cinergy Field, (2002) was the home of the Cincinnati Reds National League baseball team and the Cincinnati Bengals National Football League team. Located on the Ohio River in downtown Cincinnati, the stadium was best known as the home of "The Big Red Machine," as the Reds were often called in the 1970s. Construction began on February 1, 1968 and was completed at a cost of less than $50 million. On June 30, 1970, the Reds hosted the Atlanta Braves in their grand opening, with Hank Aaron hitting the first ever home run at Riverfront. Two weeks later on July 14, Riverfront hosted the 1970 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. This game is best remembered for the often-replayed collision at home plate between the home-grown Pete Rose and catcher Ray Fosse of the Cleveland Indians.

In September 1996, Riverfront Stadium was renamed "Cinergy Field" in a sponsorship deal with Greater Cincinnati's energy company, Cinergy Corporation. In 2001, to make room for Great American Ball Park, the seating capacity at Cinergy Field was reduced to 39,000. There was a huge wall in Center Field visible after the renovations, to serve as the batter's eye. The stadium was demolished by implosion on December 29, 2002.





Riverfront was a multi-purpose, circular "cookie-cutter" stadium, one of many built in the United States in the late 1960s and early 1970s as communities sought to save money by having their football and baseball teams share the same facility. Riverfront, Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Jack Murphy in San Diego, Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, Shea Stadium in New York, RFK Stadium in Washington, D. C., and Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia all opened within a few years and were largely indistinguishable from one another; in particular, it was often confused with fellow Ohio River cookie-cutter Three Rivers Stadium by sportscasters because of the two stadium's similar names and similar designs.

The site on which Riverfront Stadium sat originally included the 2nd Street tenement birthplace and boyhood home of cowboy singer and actor Roy Rogers, who joked that he was born "somewhere between second base and center field."

Big Red Machine

Riverfront Stadium during a Cincinnati Reds game vs. the Chicago Cubs on May 23, 1988.

Riverfront Stadium quickly earned a place in Cincinnati's century-long baseball tradition as the home of one of the best teams in baseball history. The World Series had visited the Reds' previous home, Crosley Field, just three times in its final 31 years, (1939, 1940, 1961) but it came to Riverfront in its first year (1970) and a total of four times in the stadium's first seven years, with the Reds winning back-to-back championships in 1975 and 1976. The World Series would return in 1990, with Cincinnati winning the first two of a four-game sweep of the Oakland Athletics at Riverfront.

Baseball purists disliked Riverfront's artificial turf, but Reds' Manager Sparky Anderson and General Manager Bob Howsam took advantage of it by encouraging speed and line drive hitting that could produce doubles, triples and high-bouncing infield hits. Players who combined power and speed like Joe Morgan, Pete Rose and Ken Griffey, Sr. thrived there. On defense, the fast surface and virtually dirtless infield (see photo) rewarded range and quickness by both outfielders and infielders, like shortstop Dave Concepción who used the turf to bounce many of his long throws to first. Catcher Johnny Bench and first baseman Tony Perez played here. The artificial turf covered not only the normal grass area of the ballpark but is usually the "skinned" portion of the infield. Only the pitcher's mound, the home plate area, and cutouts around first, second and third bases had dirt surfaces. This was the first stadium in the majors with this "sliding pit" configuration. The new stadiums that would follow (Veterans Stadium, Royals Stadium, Kingdome, Metrodome, Skydome) would install sliding pits as the original layout, and the existing artificial turf fields in San Francisco, Houston, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis would change to the cut-out configuration within the next few years.

Riverfront hosted the MLB All-Star Game twice. First in 1970 with President Richard Nixon in attendance, and again in 1988.

Professional football

Despite Cincinnati's love of baseball, it was the prospect of a professional football team that finally moved the city to end twenty years of discussion and build a new stadium on the downtown riverfront. After playing for two seasons at Nippert Stadium on the University of Cincinnati campus, the Bengals built on the Reds' success in the stadium's first year when they recorded their first winning season and first playoff appearance in 1970, just their third year of existence.

Perhaps the most memorable football game at Riverfront was the AFC Championship on January 10, 1982. The game became known as the Freezer Bowl and was won by the Bengals over the San Diego Chargers, 27-7. The air temperature during the game was −9 °F (−22.8 °C) and the wind chill was −59 °F (−50.6 °C), the coldest in NFL history. The win earned the Bengals their first of two trips to the Super Bowl (XVI) while playing at Riverfront.

Riverfront Stadium hosted the 1988 AFC Championship, as the Bengals beat the Buffalo Bills 21–10 to advance to their second Super Bowl appearance.

During the Bengals' tenure, they posted a 5-1 record in playoff games played in Riverfront Stadium, with victories over the Buffalo Bills (twice), San Diego Chargers, Seattle Seahawks, and Houston Oilers. Their only home playoff loss came to the New York Jets.


When the Bengals moved to Paul Brown Stadium in 2000, the Reds were left as Cinergy Field's only tenant. Prior to the 2001 baseball season, the stadium was remodeled into a baseball-only configuration, and the artificial surface was replaced with grass. To allow room for the construction of Great American Ball Park (which was being built largely over the grounds the stadium already sat on), a large section of the left and center field stands were removed and the distance to the fences was shortened by five feet. The new Great American Ballpark and old Riverfront Stadium were 26 inches apart at its closest point during this time. Consequently, in its last years, the stadium achieved an openness and a degree of aesthetic appeal that it had lacked for most of its existence. In the Reds' final two seasons in the stadium, ongoing construction on Great American was plainly visible just beyond the outfield walls while the team played their games.



The logo the Reds used in 2002 for their final season at Riverfront Stadium/Cinergy Field.



  • Dittmar, Joseph J. (1997). Baseball Records Registry: The Best and Worst Single-Day Performances and the Stories Behind Them. McFarland & Company. ISBN 0-7864-0293-8
  • Munsey & Suppes (1996–2004). Riverfront Stadium. Ballparks.
  • Smith, Ron (2000). Riverfront Stadium. The Ballpark Book. The Sporting News. ISBN 0-89204-703-8
  • Riverfront Stadium Opens. BaseballLibrary.com.

External links

See also

Preceded by
Nippert Stadium
Home of the
Cincinnati Bengals

Succeeded by
Paul Brown Stadium
Preceded by
Crosley Field
Home of the
Cincinnati Reds

Succeeded by
Great American Ball Park
Preceded by
RFK Stadium
Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum
Host of the All-Star Game
Succeeded by
Tiger Stadium
Anaheim Stadium
Preceded by
Jack Murphy Stadium
Mile High Stadium
Host of AFC Championship Game
Succeeded by
Miami Orange Bowl
Mile High Stadium


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address