The Cincinnati Enquirer
If you're planning to attend the Reds' Opening Day game against Pittsburgh today, you may have some questions before leaving home. Such as:
Q: I want to go but don't have a ticket. What should I do?
A: Expect to pay a lot. The game is sold out. Jeff McDonald, public relations director for 721-SEAT, says it will be hard to find a ticket through a ticket company or on the street for less than $75 - even those with a $10 or $15 face value. He says fans should expect to pay $100 to $125 to get into the ballpark.
Q: Can I park at Great American Ball Park?
A: Not unless you've got a prepaid pass with your ticket package. There are more than 20 public parking lots within walking distance, though - including from Pete Rose Way west of Paul Brown Stadium to Pete Rose Way east of Interstate 471, and from Seventh Street downtown to Covington Landing. Plan to pay $10 to $15. Then, if you find a spot for less, you'll be really happy. Keep in mind, the game starts during the workday (assuming some folks remain on the job during this unofficial "holiday"), so downtown is going to be crowded and there will be fewer spots available than for regular-season night games.
Q: How soon can I get in the place?
A: Gates open at 1:30 p.m. The Reds' batting practice will end at 2 p.m. Then the Pirates take their swings from 2 to 2:40 p.m. The Reds take infield from 2:40 to 2:50 p.m., and the Pirates take infield from 2:50 to 3 p.m.
Q: So when can I - I mean my kids - get autographs?
A: Fans can be along the railings between Sections 111 and 113 and Sections 133 and 135 until about 3 p.m., when players leave the field. Good luck.
Q: How much is dinner going to cost?
A: If you want to go (relatively) cheap (regular hot dog, fries, 24-ounce drink), it'll run you $9.50. Add a chocolate fudge sundae and you're talking $12.50. There are several sandwiches that come with fries for $7, including the always popular fried bologna; that's without a beverage. A 20-ounce draft beer is $5.25 and a 16-ounce plastic bottle is $5.75. Yes, there are several ATMs at the ballpark if you need them.
Q: What if I want to eat at the Machine Room?
A: The new restaurant in left field will open at 1:30 p.m. today. You must have a ticket to the game to eat and drink there on game days. It's going to be a little pricier than the concession stands. Chicken wings are $7.95.
Q: Can I bring my own snacks?
A: Sure. But drinks have to be in unopened plastic bottles. No glass. No aluminum. And no alcohol. Small soft-sided coolers, backpacks, bags and purses can be brought in (they can't be bigger than 16 by 16 by 8 inches), but expect them to be searched.
Q: What should I go see at the park when I first get there?
A: Everything. Check out the mosaics inside the main entrance and the spacious concourse on the third-base side. Wander to right field and check out the Sun/Moon Deck and the home run smokestacks up close. Locate the bullpens. Just be in your seat by 3:15 p.m.; that's when the pregame festivities are scheduled to begin.
Former president joins honored list
With former President Bush throwing out the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day, it marks the fourth consecutive year a politician has been awarded the honor. A look at the past 10:
2002: Gov. Bob Taft.
2001: Sen. Mike DeWine.
2000: Gov. Bob Taft.
1999: Country music star Loretta Lynn, throwing to fellow recording star Kenny Rogers.
1998: Linda Vester, native Cincinnatian and anchor of NBC's News at Sunrise, throwing to weatherman Al Roker.
1997: Gov. George Voinovich.
1996: Former Reds manager Sparky Anderson, the team's all-time winningest manager in total victories and winning percentage.
1995: An elephant from the Cincinnati Zoo presented the ball.
1994: National League President Leonard Coleman.
1993: Pituka Perez, wife of former Reds star Tony Perez.
OPENING DAY IN CINCINNATI
10-1 loss spoils Opening Day
Poll: Grade the stadium
New ballpark adds to thrill
Opening Day warms our soul
Parade map and street closings
Going to the game? Get there early
Answers to other fan questions
Public art project swings into action
ABOUT THE REDS
Fans unwrap new park, team
In new ballparks, Casey's a big hit
Reds in slump as they open new park
Rose has lost little support from public
GREAT AMERICAN BALL PARK
Fan verdicts mostly raves
A clubhouse to call his own
Ballpark ready to go after smooth test runs
Reds ticket sales off to sluggish start
Reds fans welcomed by hotels
Small, minority, women-owned contractors got share of ballpark
Luxury seats steal home from telecasts
Banner flyers grounded and grumbling
A-Rod, Texas upstage Anaheim
Games with backdrop of war
Cone wins spot in Mets' rotation
Lentz cruises to his first Mini-Marathon victory
Tranter takes fourth straight women's title
Senator addresses walk participants
Heart Mini-Marathon top results
Syracuse crushes Oklahoma for spot in Final Four
Horns only No. 1 to advance
Estill's return would solidify veteran UK lineup
Somebody's time to shine has come
Orangemen's Boeheim has chance to avenge smarting loss
One No. 1 seed, one repeater in Final Four
Has deciding NCAA game already been played?
Marquette has inspiration on the bench
NCAA tournament notebook
NKU's effort leaves coach with tears of pride
Women: UConn, Purdue advance in East
Love roars to TPC win with closing 8-under 64
Meunier-Lebouc denies Sorenstam bid
Cyclones open ECHL playoffs at Peoria
Newman gambles for lead, beats Little E
Carter sticks it to Knicks with 28
Agassi wins sixth Key Biscayne title
Monday's prep sports schedule
PLAN YOUR DAY
Monday's sports on TV, radio
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