Outside of the team’s on-field performance, this has still been the most high profile year for the Cincinnati Reds’ Great American Ball Park. All the improvements in recent years have been done with an eye towards hosting this year’s MLB All Star Game.
I think I’ve said this in past reviews of GABP, but I really didn’t like the park when it opened. While I was okay with it not being a retro amusement park with baseball on the side like some of the parks of this building era, there just wasn’t a lot to identify with; no sense of place. It was certainly a step up from the Riverfront Stadium days, but lacked a certain energy. It was a bland iteration of the modern ballpark.
However, with an eye towards hosting those marquee events, the club has made improvements nearly every year since its’ 2003 opening and turned a park in the middle of the MLB pack into one of baseball’s hidden gems. It has become one of the better takes on the modern stadium experience with improved connections to the city and a strong acknowledgement of the team’s history. You can read my review of the 2015 edition of Great American Ball Park at Stadium Journey.