Allow me to preface this post by saying that the Diamond Seats at Great American Ball Park are really a treat still. However, I felt that it went from being the finest fan baseball experience in the professional leagues bar-none to a having a little bit of questions raised about it in my opinion. That’s pretty high praise, to say you offer the best fan seating experience with seats and services in your ballpark. There are a lot of teams trying to one up eachother in this area. At one time the Reds had them all licked. I want to mention why that might not be anymore, from the eyes of someone who has been going to these seats since 2003.
I really want to raise some complaints about diamond seat tickets as someone who now sees the fan being slighted by the organization. -First thing I noticed upon arrival: the restaurant now opens at 5:40. In the past, you were in the stadium before anyone else. Baseball has made it hard enough for fans to get into the stadium early to see some batting practice and interact with the players. This was one of the perks of Diamond Seats that made it that much extra special. I remember getting in aroudn 4:30 or 5:00 PM and being able to even see the Reds take BP.
In the past in this window to the tunnel of the Reds dugout in the restaurant you’d get to see every player walk past on their way to go to battle. Now, by the time you get in the restaurant now, you don’t get to see much of this. When asking the guard at the gate of the Diamond Club ‘why did they make this change’, he just mutters “economy”. Okay. So when the watch hits 5:40, let us in. Don’t make us actually wait until 5:42. Yes, it’s a big deal.
Overall, the food choices have really dropped off. Sure, it’s better and much healthier than typical ballpark food. But overall, it doesn’t hold a candle to the QUALITY of stuff that was there when I’d go to the Diamond Club in 2003-2006. Salmon is replaced with trout. Everything is just a much lower quality such as salads, soup, desserts. It used to remind me of a 5-star restaurant. Now it’s a high end sports bar. The meal no longer justifies the $210 ticket.
On another issue: the in-seat waiter service. This one is a biggie. They used to come to the seat every inning, this is what they advertise. We saw the guy 2 or 3 times, max. Each time we ordered it took 2 innings for him to bring something back. This is because they’ve cut down on the amount of waiters working, I believe. This is really huge too. They probably figure they’re saving a few hundred items every single night but can still advertise the same service they always have. In addition, the menu items are also real poor now. I remember hearing tell that they’d added Dippin Dots and Skyline to the Diamond Seats; something fans had fought to get there. In addition to that they had a menu of high quality stuff. Not anyone.
Bottled water has been replaced with tap water in a plastic cup! I couldn’t believe it! No skyline anymore. No dippin dots. No big red smokeys. Just plain old regular items oh yea and Chicken fingers. Bottom line of all this: don’t spend the money in this economy on Diamond Seats folks.
The only thing that they haven’t shortchanged us on now is the view, which is always going to be tremendous. If they’re going to change all of these things that made it a luxury spot, they really need to see change in the price of the ticket. It is not fair to the fan to charge the same old $210 they always have when the experience has clearly dropped off. I guess I really realize it so much because I have not been since 2006 when it truly was awesome. It was like seeing a girl from high school at the supermarket. She was totally hot in high school, and you remember that awesome picture of her in your mind. Then you show up and she’s pregnant with twins and has gained 200 pounds and acne on the side.
I just felt that I had to get this out here so some of my fellow Reds fans can know that it’s truly not worth it at this moment. We’re all about not just the consumer in these tough times but more so the fan, especially our own Cincinnati Reds fans. If your gonna spend big money to go to the park, buy the seats on the Reds dugout and go out to a nice dinner before the game. Don’t give the Reds big money for Diamond Seats when they are doing their best to jip the man and not thinking of the most important thing, the fan experience.