Field - 330 ft
Left-Center - 387 ft
Center Field - 400 ft
Right-Center - 370 ft
Right Field - 330 ft
Backstop - 60.5 ft
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 July 14, Riverfront
hosted the 1970 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.
In 1996, the stadium was renamed "Cinergy Field" in a
sponsorship deal with greater Cincinnati's power company, Cinergy
Corporation. It was demolished by implosion in December 2002.
Riverfront was one of a number of multi-purpose, circular stadiums
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. Such stadiums were derisively called "cookie
cutter" stadiums. Riverfront, Busch Stadium in St. Louis,
Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Three Rivers Stadium in
Pittsburgh, and Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia all opened within a few
years and were largely indistinguishable from one another.
to Riverfront Stadium!
If you have Google
Earth installed, click here
to be "flown" to the site of Riverfront Stadium. (If you
do not have it installed, get
it from Google. It allows you to view virtually anywhere on
Earth in 3D using satellite imagery.)
The site on which the stadium sat originally contained the birthplace and
boyhood home of cowboy singer and actor Roy Rogers.
Big Red Machine
Riverfront Stadium quickly earned a place among its peers and 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 once in its final thirty years, 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
Baseball purists disliked Riverfront's artificial turf, but Reds'
Manager Sparky Anderson 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 Concepcion who used
the turf to bounce many of his long throws to first. Catcher Johnny Bench
and outfielder Tony Perez also played here. The artificial turf covered
not only the normal grass area of the ballpark but also what 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
Riverfront (when it
was still called that) from the seats on
the first base side in 1992.
research by Jim Herdman & David Vincent
Courtesy of Retrosheet.
Riverfront hosted the MLB All-Star Game in 1970 (then-President Richard
Nixon was in attendance) and 1988. It was also the site of the first two
games of the 1990 World Series, both won by the Reds on the way to a
four-game sweep of the Oakland Athletics.
Despite Cincinnati's love of baseball, however, 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 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.
The most memorable football game at Riverfront was probably the
American Football Conference 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 (-23 °C);, but the wind chill was -59 °F (-51 °C), the coldest
in NFL history. The win earned the Bengals their first of two trips to the
Super Bowl while playing at Riverfront.
When the Bengals moved to Paul Brown Stadium in 2000, the Reds were
left as Riverfront's only tenant. Prior to the 2001 baseball season, the
stadium was remodeled into a baseball-only configuration. A large slice of
the left and centerfield stands was removed, and the distance to the
fences was shortened by five feet to allow room for the construction of
Great American Ball Park, while the artificial surface was replaced with
grass. Thus, during its last couple of seasons, the stadium achieved an
openness and a degree of aesthetic appeal that it had lacked for most of
First stadium to have its entire field covered by AstroTurf,
except for the cutouts around the bases and pitcher’s mound.
First Presidential Visit: Richard Nixon, July 14, 1970 (All-Star
First upper deck home run: Tony Perez, August 11, 1970.
First World Series game ever played on artificial turf: October 10,
First Pitcher ever to pitch a no-hitter and hit two hruns in the
same game: Rick Wise, June 23, 1971.
Hank Aaron ties the all-time home run record with number 714: April
First stadium to display Metric distances on the outfield walls
(100.58 meters down the lines, 114.30 to the alleys, 123.13 to
Highest season attendance, 2,629,708: 1976.
First rain checks issued: August 30, 1978.
Pete Rose was believed to have broken the all-time Hit record with
number 4192: September 11, 1985. (Rose actually broken the record a
few days earlier in Wrigley Field; Ty Cobb's number of hits had been
First player ever to be caught stealing four times in one game:
Robby Thompson, June 27, 1986.
Longest Home run, 473': Mark McGwire, May 5, 2000.
First Touchdown: Sam Wyche, September 20, 1970
First Field goal: Horst Muhlmann, September 20, 1970
Corey Dillon breaks the single-game rookie rushing record with 246
yards: December 4, 1997.
Our sites have always been by you and about you. If
our TV Forums or our Technology & Science forums, you'll find literally thousands of messages from fans
of 1970s TV shows, survivors of hurricanes or aircraft accidents, etc. from all over the world sharing their memories, asking
questions, making comments. Our baseball section is new, but don't let
that stop you from sharing
your memories of the first game you went to, your favorite player, a
now-forgotten stadium, etc. Of course you can also ask questions, post
trivia, tell the world what you think of Barry Bonds, or just read what
others are saying.
Logos and team names may be trademarks of their respective franchises or leagues. This site is not recognized, approved, sponsored by, or endorsed by Major League Baseball nor any sports league or team. Any marks, terms, or logos are used for editorial/identification purposes and are not claimed as belonging to this site or its owners. Any statistical data provided courtesy of Retrosheet (see credits).
Notice from Retrosheet:
The information used here was obtained free of
charge from and is copyrighted by Retrosheet. Interested
parties may contact Retrosheet at 20 Sunset Rd.,
Newark, DE 19711.