Sunday, January 5, 2003

A whole new ball game

Shaping culture in 2003

The Cincinnati Reds' new home will be a boom for tourism, bringing thousands of visitors to the riverfront throughout the baseball season.

Traditionally, the Reds rank second to Paramount's Kings Island among tourists' Tristate destinations. But with Great American being the only new Major League Baseball park opening this season, it's possible that Reds' attendance will reach well over 2 million this year.

The Reds' final season at Cinergy Field drew 1,855,787 paying customers. And the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce estimates that each of the Reds' 81 home games has an economic impact of $2.5 million.

If Ken Griffey Jr., Austin Kearns and Sean Casey are healthy for the entire season - we know that's a very big "if" - millions more dollars will be spent by thousands more visitors.

Cincinnati Museum Center staff say they're "definitely" planning cross-promotions with the Reds when the nationally touring exhibit Baseball as America opens in August. While "nothing is signed, sealed and delivered," they're thinking signage at the park, discounts with Reds ticket stubs and packaging events in conjunction with the Greater Cincinnati Convention and Visitors Bureau.

In combination with public art project Bats Incredible! , touring exhibit Out at Home: The Negro Baseball League - and even Paramount's Kings Island - enough Reds fans might opt to stick around after the game to spend even more money in Cincinnati.

25 forces that will shape culture in 2003
1. The big economic squeeze
2. Clear Channel's dominance
3. Suburbanites: Will they roam?
4. The plea for racial healing
5. The media's message
6. A whole new ball game
7. Edgy art center opening
8. Tall Stacks rolls back
9. Will tourists go home happy?
10. How Fine Arts Fund carries clout
11. You can't fight City Hall
12. Laura Long: Downtown force
13. The CSO's growing empire
14. Rosenthals' big impact
15. Northern Kentucky development
16. Museum Center's main man
17. Lobbyist Weiland
18. UC at crossroads
19. The Nederlanders make a comeback
20. MidPoint: Rebuild the city on rock 'n' roll
21. The Schuster Center alternative
22. Another public art project goes to bat
23. The brain drain
24. Local film community gains focus
25. Dancing around visa problems
The wild card of 2003: War
2003 dates to keep in mind

DEMALINE: The arts
KENDRICK: Alive & Well
Get to it!