Friday, July 14, 2000

Stadium changes set for Aug. 1

By Dan Klepal
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Next month marks the beginning of the end for Cinergy Field.

        The initial stage of tearing down the 30-year-old stadium is set for Aug. 1. County officials have devised new parking areas and new ways into the stadium so they can beginning ripping out the plaza and parking areas east and north of the stadium.

        The demolition is necessary so crews can make room to build the new Great American Ball Park there.

        An Aug. 4 Reds game will be the first played at Cinergy after a portion of the stadium is turned into a construction site.

        “It will be the first game after we've changed traffic patterns and people's habits,” said Terry Evans, assistant facilities director for Hamilton County.

        Among the changes coming Aug. 1:

        • A surface parking area east of Cinergy Field, known as Lot 6, will close, along with the eastern third of Cinergy's garage and the eastern part of the stadium's plaza. Lot 6 is in the footprint for the new ballpark.

        • The remaining two-thirds of the Cinergy Field garage and plaza will be available for monthly parking only.

        John Deatrick, Cincinnati's transportation director, said there are more changes coming in mid-August, as Paul Brown Stadium gets set to open.

        But city and county officials want to take riverfront parking one step at a time.

        “The numbers are the same, it'll just take some getting used to,” Mr. Deatrick said.

        About 1,600 spaces will be shuffled to other parts of the riverfront, most in temporary surface lots. More than 5,000 spaces will be available along the river front, with 2,000 of them remaining at Cinergy.

        Monthly parkers in Lot 6 can opt for Lot D, west of Cinergy Field, or park at the new East Garage, next to Firstar Center. The East Garage is due to open July 31.


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