Riverfront Stadium (Cinergy Field)

Riverfront Stadium, later known as Cinergy Field, was a staple of Cincinnati’s sports and cultural landscape for over three decades. As the home of the Cincinnati Reds, this stadium witnessed some of the most memorable moments in baseball history and played a significant role in the evolution of ballpark design in America.

Stadium Facts about Riverfront Stadium (Cinergy Field)

  • Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Opened On: June 30, 1970
  • Closed On: September 22, 2002
  • Home Team: Cincinnati Reds (National League)
  • Stadium Nicknames: N/A
  • Dimensions: Left Field – 330 feet, Center Field – 404 feet, Right Field – 330 feet
  • Capacity: Originally around 52,000, expanded to 56,000
  • Attendance Record: 56,393 (October 21, 1976, World Series Game 4)
  • Surface: AstroTurf (1970–2000), Grass (2001–2002)
  • Architect: Heery & Heery
  • Owner: Hamilton County, Ohio

The History

Riverfront Stadium was part of the wave of “cookie-cutter” multi-purpose stadiums built in the 1960s and 1970s, designed to accommodate both baseball and football. It was opened in 1970 as a modern facility, replacing the aging Crosley Field. Riverfront Stadium became a hub of sporting activity in Cincinnati, serving as the home of the Reds and, for a time, the Cincinnati Bengals of the NFL.

The stadium’s closure in 2002 was part of a broader trend toward more specialized and retro-classic ballpark designs. Its demolition made way for the construction of the Great American Ball Park, the current home of the Reds.

Design and Features

Riverfront Stadium was characterized by its circular, multi-use design, typical of the era. This style was efficient for hosting both baseball and football games but often led to a less than ideal experience for baseball-specific audiences. Its initial layout included a symmetrical field and an upper deck that encircled the entire stadium, providing a uniform view from all angles.

One of the stadium’s key features was its artificial turf, which was a common characteristic of stadiums during that period. The turf allowed for easier maintenance and was more durable for multi-purpose use.


Throughout its existence, Riverfront Stadium underwent several renovations. The most significant change was the switch from AstroTurf to natural grass in 2001, a move that was part of a broader trend in baseball stadiums at the time.

Other renovations included updates to the scoreboard, seating modifications to better accommodate baseball games, and enhancements to the stadium’s facilities to improve the fan experience.


Riverfront Stadium’s facilities were reflective of its time, focusing on functionality and capacity. The concessions offered traditional ballpark fare, and the seating, though not as comfortable as modern standards, provided fans with a clear view of the field.

The stadium was known for its ample parking and easy access, making it a convenient venue for fans. While it lacked some of the amenities of newer stadiums, Riverfront Stadium was appreciated for its ability to host large crowds and major events.

Memorable Moments at Riverfront Stadium (Cinergy Field)

  • The Big Red Machine: The 1970s Reds team, one of the most dominant in baseball history, played at Riverfront.
  • 1975 and 1976 World Series: Hosting the Reds’ World Series victories.
  • Pete Rose’s 4,192nd Hit: Breaking Ty Cobb’s all-time hit record in 1985.
  • 1990 World Series: The Reds’ wire-to-wire season culminating in a World Series win.
  • Ken Griffey Jr.’s Homecoming: The return of Griffey Jr. to his hometown team in 2000.

Interesting Baseball History at Riverfront Stadium (Cinergy Field)

  • All-Star Games: The stadium hosted the MLB All-Star Game in 1970 and 1988, showcasing the best of baseball.
  • Record-Breaking Performances: The site of numerous individual and team records.
  • Transition to Natural Grass: Reflecting a shift in stadium preferences in MLB.
  • Hosting Playoff Games: Numerous postseason games, including several memorable moments in Reds history.

Non-Baseball Events

Beyond baseball, Riverfront Stadium was a multi-purpose venue that hosted a variety of events. It was the home of the Cincinnati Bengals until 1999 and also hosted large concerts, political rallies, and other major gatherings. The versatility of the stadium as a venue for both sports and entertainment events underscored its importance in the cultural and community life of Cincinnati.