Wednesday, November 7, 2012

On this date in Reds history: Cincinnati voters shoot down plans to build new stadium

November 7th, 1939 - Fresh off winning their first National League pennant in 20 years, a vote on a $6 million bond to help fund a new 60,000-seat stadium is executed. The results? 81,941 Cincinnatians against and 46,955 Cincinnatians in favor.

The plan was led by the Build Greater Cincinnati Committee with architect Charles Koch at the helm. In addition to the construction of the stadium, Koch also proposed a 15,000-seat auditorium to be used for basketball, hockey, boxing and conventions. The location of these facilities were to be nestled between Front Street, Broadway, Third Street, and Main Street. A glass roof was to cover the stadium in order for it to be utilized year-round while a 15,000-car parking garage was also to be built beneath the site.

The following excerpt is taken from Redleg Journal which is co-authored by Greg Rhodes and John Snyder:

"To say that Koch's plans were ahead of their time, is an understatement. The Astrodome in Houston, the world's first enclosed stadium, wasn't opened until 1965. Five years later, Riverfront Stadium/Cinergy Field became the first stadium built over a parking garage. The site for the proposed complex was in almost the exact location of the new ballpark being built for the Reds [Great American Ball Park], slated to open in 2003."

Aerial view of GABP & the remains of
Cinergy Field after its implosion
in December of 2002
A shot of the "cookie-cutter" stadium
in all its glory in 1980
A shot inside Riverfront

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