Cincinnati Reds’ Great American Ballpark opens family zone focused on health and inclusivity


Though fans aren’t able to watch games from the stands at the moment, baseball stadia and MLB organizations have continued to evolve the ballpark experience to attract more modern-day sports fans.

To attract more modern-day sports fans, venues have been curating designated areas that focus on incorporating flexible and social gathering spaces that engage fans ranging from die-hard to the casual spectator. Recently, Nelson Worldwide and MLB’s Cincinnati Reds partnered with TriHealth to create a space unique to the current MLB experience, focused on promoting healthy choices and ensuring the universal wellbeing of fans of all ages.

The TriHealth Family Zone is located on the third deck of the stadium, on the view level in the right field corner of Great American Ball Park. Overlooking the Ohio River, the Banks Entertainment District and Cincinnati Skyline, this area leverages incredible views of the areas surrounding the stadium. Formerly underutilized, the space now serves as a feature area of respite where families can go to unwind and engage in several one-of-a-kind experiences. Upon entering the gateway to the Family Zone, guests are greeted with ‘Gapperville’, a playful neighborhood cityscape dedicated to one of the Reds’ beloved mascots. Whimsical colors and animated details create an immediate impact while honoring the existing architecture. Cutting through this experience the reconditioned flooring is a combination of materials comprised of green field turf adjacent to an undulating band of blue resembling the waters of the Ohio River tying the experience together throughout the Family Zone and its natural surroundings.

The Family Zone is broken up into a combination of indoor and outdoor interactive spaces. The outdoor section features a kid’s play area, family focused concession stand, beer and wine bar, large two-seat swinging benches that overlook the river, miniature batting cages, and relaxing lounge spaces for the whole family. Adjacent to the outdoor areas, the interior experiences are designed to resemble the color, character, and fun of the beloved Reds mascot Gapper, including MLB’s first sensory room experience, mother’s nursing suite, and indoor reading and activity room. The exterior walls that define the perimeter in the concourse are articulated with a 3D cartoon cityscape painted to that character and fun of Gapper himself, while leveraging a comfortable residential feel. Spacious and luxurious, the mother’s nursing suite room is equipped with a private restroom for mom, comfortable rockers, and calm lighting that is meant to be relaxing for both mothers and their infants. However, the most unique part of the TriHealth Family Zone is its sensory room.

The first of its kind in MLB, the sensory room at the Great American Ballpark is a therapeutic space designed to promote self-organization and positive change for individuals with learning difficulties, developmental disabilities, or sensory impairments. Baseball games are often filled with high energy situations, and as such, the sensory room was designed to reflect a sense of calm. The room is furnished with changeable colored lighting, individual pods with crash pads, interactive bubble tubes, lounge space and sensory tactile activities. The entire space was designed with soft surface materials to ensure safety. Individual pods provide extra space allowing children to escape to a space that is both quiet and dark for a calming experience.

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About Author


James has been Editor of Stadia since 2018 having worked at print and digital magazines and websites around the world covering everything from lifestyle to sport, technology, motoring, and more. He also edits Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International.

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