Tens of thousands of baseball fans will make their way Downtown and to the Great American Ball Park on Thursday, March 28, to watch the Reds take on the Pittsburgh Pirates. The game will be preceded by the 100th Findlay Market Opening Day Parade (starts at noon), which is fittingly taking place at the kick off of the 150th season of professional baseball in Cincinnati.
To make this year’s Opening Day is enjoyable for all, fans are encouraged to plan ahead and keep the following traffic tips in mind.
- Know where to go
- Get there early
- Plan ahead
- Use public transportation, when possible
Know Where to Go
It is recommended that fans coming to the game take advantage of the many convenient parking facilities located throughout the Riverfront and downtown areas and walk to the ballpark.
A map illustrating parking and access alternatives for Opening Day is attached and more information is available on the Cincinnati Reds website: cincinnati.reds.mlb.com
Motorists are encouraged to use the following routes into downtown Cincinnati:
- From I-75 southbound – use the Freeman Avenue exit to Mehring Way to the Riverfront
- From I-75 northbound – use the Fifth Street exit in Cincinnati, then right onto Central Avenue to the Riverfront
- From I-71 southbound – use the Reading Road exit to Eggleston Avenue to the Riverfront
- From I-471 – Use the Third Street exit to the Riverfront
Motorists are reminded that using GPS to get to Great American Ball Park does not provide the best route to the various parking facilities available.
Get There Early
People from all over will be coming to enjoy the game. Fans getting downtown early will have a better chance of finding premium parking in Riverfront lots and avoiding delays from heavy traffic.
Before you leave you can take advantage of ODOT’s website designed to provide motorists with real-time travel information. Ohgo.com allows motorists to plan their trip so they can get where they’re going safer, faster, and easier. Additional information is available at: http://www.ohgo.com/dashboard/cincinnati .
Use Public Transportation
As an alternative to driving, fans are encouraged to use public transportation to obtain quick and convenient access to the Great American Ball Park. Metro will maintain service but may alter downtown stops due to the Findlay Market Parade. The Cincinnati Bell Connector streetcar service will begin at the conclusion of the parade. For complete bus information, call Metro at 513-621-4455 weekdays from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., or visit www.go-metro.com.
For fans south of the Ohio River: The Southbank Shuttle, operated by the Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK), will transport fans from Northern Kentucky to Great American Ball Park. For more information about the Southbank Shuttle as well as the Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky, contact TANK at (859) 331-TANK or visit www.tankbus.org.
Findlay Market Parade
There will be several street closures near the Findlay Market and in the Central Business District to accommodate the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade on March 28, including the parade route which is:
- Race Street, from Liberty Street to Fifth Street
- Fifth Street, from Race Street to Sentinel Street
The roads around Findlay Market close at 8:00AM; the roads along the parade route will begin to close at 11:15AM and will reopen following the parade. Game fans and downtown workers are encouraged to plan for these street closures, find their parking spots early, and use public transit where available.
“Due to the street closures that will be in place for the Opening Day Parade, motorists should try to avoid traveling across downtown between 12:00 PM and 3:00 PM,” said Dennis Lechlak, City Traffic Engineer for the City of Cincinnati. “As we have done on past Opening Days, Police Officers will be positioned along the parade route and around the riverfront area to assist with traffic.”
Parking is available in the many lots north of Third Street. Parking is also available along East Pete Rose Way, Eggleston Avenue and near Sawyer Point. Additional parking lots are located north and west of Paul Brown Stadium. Cash parking will be available in riverfront surface lots in the vicinity of Paul Brown Stadium and the Great American Ball Park on a limited first come, first served basis. However, the Great American Ball Park Garage, the Central Riverfront Garage, and the East Garage will be reserved for Reds season ticket parking pass holders on Opening Day. The East Garage and the Central Riverfront Garage will have limited cash parking on a game by game basis for the rest of the season. Please note that construction sites in and around the riverfront and Central Business District are off limits for public parking. Sites will be clearly marked and secured, and anyone parking in these areas will be towed.
Parking for People with Disabilities
Access to the Great American Ball Park for people with disabilities is provided in two ways:
- The first is that a limited number of parking spaces for people with disabilities will be available at the East Garage, the Great American Ball Park Garage, and the Central Riverfront Garage.
- The second involves the use of a portion of Joe Nuxhall Way, which is reserved north of Mehring Way for dropping off and picking up people with disabilities who arrive in cars, vans and other vehicles with a capacity of 15 or less. Joe Nuxhall Way can only be accessed during games by traveling north from Mehring Way. (During Opening Day, this drop off point will be unavailable due to the closure of Joe Nuxhall Way.)
Tour groups who arrive by bus are strongly encouraged to use the Riverfront Transit Center for parking, loading, and unloading of their patrons. All buses that use the Transit Center must also park in the Transit Center. These tour groups should call ahead to reserve a parking spot for their buses prior to the game date and may do so by calling (513) 632-7527.
Once a reservation is made, the group will be sent specific directions as to which end of the transit center to enter for parking.
Typically, all buses will be directed to enter the Transit Center on the east side and exit from the west side. The eastern entrance to the Transit Center is located on E Pete Rose Way, west of Broadway. The Transit Center is best accessed from Southbound I-75 by using the Freeman Avenue exit and following Freeman Avenue to Mehring Way to E Pete Rose Way to the Transit Center entrance just west of Broadway.
From Northbound I-75 take the Ohio Fifth Street exit to south on Central Avenue to east on Mehring Way. From Southbound I-71, buses should use the Gilbert Avenue exit (due to the Third Street Exit being closed) to Court Street to Reedy Street to Eggleston Avenue to the E. Pete Rose Way.