Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Sensory Room, Stage In Stands Among What's New At GABP

Ann Thompson
Reds President Phil Castellini leads the media on a tour of what's new at GABP, also explaining COVID protocols.

Digital tickets, cashless food and a new no-backpacks rule aside, there are some other surprises for fans beginning Opening Day at Great American Ball Park.

Covid-19 regulations prohibit anybody on the field except players, coaches and the grounds crew, so entertainment has been moved to the stands. There's a stage along the third baseline.

Credit Ann Thompson / WVXU
Retired Reds Broadcaster Marty Brennaman has used this stage. It will get more use because of the COVID restrictions on the field.

Seating is in pods this year with only 30% of attendance in the ballpark allowed. The pods are with two, four or six people and each pod is six feet apart.

During a tour of GABP Monday, Reds President Phil Castellini told WVXU and other media everything will be cleaned regularly. "I would just say that one of the products we're using is Microban, it's a P&G product."

Credit Ann Thompson
Seats are zip tied where no fans will sit.

Masks are required inside the ballpark. Castellini says fans will get constant reminders through signage and on the PA system.

Reds Say They Are First In MLB With Sensory Room

There's now a sensory room as part of the "Family Zone."

It's a place where kids can take a break, according to Dr. Joseph Bailey, TriHealth's pediatric medical director. "The lights are dim. There are soft couches, or soft areas for seating. There are some enclosed areas for those kids who need to feel safe."

Trihealth's Dr. Joseph Bailey, pediatric medical director, stands inside the Sensory Room at GABP.

These bubble tubes are designed to have a calming effect in the Sensory Room

Also part of the Family Zone is a nursing room and outdoor play area.

What About The Food?

Reds Chef Gary Davis may have outdone himself with the "S'mores Fry Box." It's French fries toped with chocolate sauce, M&Ms, marshmallows and a crispy peanut chip. 

"I know a lot of people are like 'Oh my god, what are you doing? Why would you do such a crazy thing?' But this was something I thought of," Davis says. "We have to do something different. We gotta come out of the box. We have to start something or do something that nobody's really thinking about." 

Credit Ann Thompson / WVXU
Spicy Chicken sandwiches, S'mores Fry Box, and Wicked Nachos highlight food items at GABP this year.

The chef also showed off his "Wicked Nachos" and a spicy chicken sandwich.

You can experience all beginning Opening Day Thursday when the Reds play the Cardinals beginning at 4:10 p.m.

Ann Thompson has decades of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting.