CINCINNATI -- Reds fans, rejoice! Redsfest -- the team's annual winter warm-up for the baseball season -- is finally here.
Following their favorite team's unexpected early departure from the 2013 playoffs, Cincinnati baseball fans have struggled to pass the time until the start of Spring Training in February.
But beginning Friday afternoon at the Duke Energy Convention Center, the two-day Reds-centric event offered fans a fix to help them cope with their baseball withdrawal.
The annual event has grown to more than 300,000 square feet of activities, including autograph and photo booths with current and former Reds players, interactive games for fans of all ages, game-used and authentic memorabilia and much more.
More than 70 current and former Reds players, coaches and broadcasters were scheduled to appear including Joey Votto, Aroldis Chapman, Jay Bruce, Johnny Cueto, Todd Frazier, Billy Hamilton and new manager Bryan Price.
One of the fans' favorite players, Brandon Phillips, was on hand Friday night. Reds General Manager Walt Jocketty said Wednesday that despite his absence from the official listing, Phillips was invited to Redsfest this weekend, but that the team left it up to him whether or not to appear.'
"I think he will (come to Redsfest), he's very close to the fans and the fans are important to him," Jocketty said.
Hours of operation for the event are:
- Friday, Dec. 6 from 3 to 10:30 p.m.
- Saturday, Dec, 7 from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
The weather forecast in the Cincinnati region indicates a wintry mix of snow and ice is possible during Redsfest. Reds spokesperson Rob Butcher says the event will go on as planned "blizzard or shine."
"The show will go on, regardless of the weather," he said.
The first 12,000 fans each day will receive a free Reds winter scarf and drawstring backpack. With paid two-day Redsfest admission, fans also will receive a voucher good for one free View Level ticket to any April home game, including Opening Night on April 2. The deal is subject to availability.
Current And Former Players At Redsfest
- More than 70 current and former Reds players, coaches and broadcasters are scheduled to appear including Votto, Chapman, Bruce, Cueto, Frazier, Hamilton and the team's new skipper.
- Phillips has been invited to Redsfest this weekend, but that the team has left it up to him whether or not to appear.
- Many Reds Hall of Famers and alumni are expected including Tom Browning, Eric Davis, Dave Parker and Ron Oester.
- The full list of scheduled attendees is available at reds.com/redsfest .
Autograph And Photo Sessions
More than 100 player autograph sessions and player photograph sessions are free of charge with a Redsfest general admission ticket. There are three types of autograph sessions at Redsfest: General Public, Season Ticket Holders Only and Kids Only.
Specific times for player appearances will be announced 30 minutes prior to the autograph and photo sessions on the info screens on the Redsfest floor and on the Reds official Twitter account @Reds. Fans can also receive these via text alerts by texting REDSFEST to 66128.
Main Stage Highlights
• 5:30 p.m. – Introduction of the Reds players past and present
• 6:20 p.m. – Unveiling of new the Camouflage and St. Patrick’s Day jerseys
• 6:30 p.m. – Kids Only Press Conference, presented by Popsicle
• 7:10 p.m. – Hot Stove Report, presented by FOX Sports Ohio
• 8 p.m. – 2013 Team Awards
• 9:15 p.m. – Coaches Corner Q&A with manager Bryan Price, presented by Cincinnati Bell
• 11:45 a.m. – Hot Stove Report presented by FOX Sports Ohio
• 12:30 p.m. – Reds Alumni Bull Session presented by Majestic
• 1:15 p.m. – Kids-only Press Conference, presented by Popsicle
• 2:20 p.m. – Reds Family Feud, presented by Nike
• 4 p.m. – Reds Name That Tune presented by New Era
• 5 p.m. – Coaches Corner Q&A with manager Bryan Price, presented by Cincinnati Bell
Fun For The Kids
- Returning this year is the “Reds Heads Fun Zone” on the third floor with more than 20,000 square feet of activities for kids including bounce houses, trampolines, photos with Santa Claus, arcade games and more. The Third Floor Fun Zone Stage presented by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center will feature Reds players reading to kids, animals from the Cincinnati Zoo and live music.
- New this year, Reds mascots Gapper, Mr. Redlegs, Rosie Red and Mr. Red will have designated rooms on the second floor where kids can come throughout Redsfest to have a photo taken with their favorite mascot. Each room
- will have a unique theme that will make for a great photo opportunity.
Reds Connect Zone & Social Media at #Redsfest
Stop by the “Reds Connect Zone” to check out photo booths, phone charging stations, internet access and appearances by Reds players and bloggers. The area includes expanded space for fans to watch live broadcasts from Reds on Radio network affiliates.
Follow the @reds on Twitter and receive updates all weekend on which players will be in the autograph and photograph booths 30 minutes advance of each session. Fans can use the hashtag #Redsfest when tweeting from Redsfest.
The eighth annual Reds Community Fund Celebrity Texas Hold ‘Em Tournament is Saturday at 3 p.m. The winner takes home a guaranteed $11,000 grand prize.
Reds Merchandise And Memorabilia
Don’t forget to stop by the Reds merchandise booth for all the newest official Reds apparel. Fans can purchase authenticated, game-used and autographed memorabilia from all of their favorite current Reds players. From baseball cards and photos to hard-to-find collectibles, there’s a piece of memorabilia for every Reds fan.
Tickets For Redsfest Available Now
Tickets are on sale now at reds.com, by phone at (513) 381-REDS, at the Great American Ball Park box office and at select Kroger stores with Ticketmaster retail outlets. Tickets will also be available at Redsfest starting Friday at 9 a.m. and Saturday at 7 a.m.
- Two-day tickets are $25 for adults; $12 for kids (12 and younger)
- One-day tickets are $17 for adults; $7 for kids
- Children 3 and under are admitted free
Reds Community Fund Benefits From Your Fun
All proceeds from Redsfest benefit the baseball-themed outreach programs of the Reds Community Fund .
Since its inception in 2001, the Community Fund has been dedicated to improving the lives of youth through its baseball-themed outreach efforts.
Programs include: the Reds Rookie Success League, a free, coed, character-building program for 6-12 year olds in Greater Cincinnati, Butler County, Clermont County, Louisville and Dayton; Youth Baseball and Softball Funding, which underwrites expenses for more than 500 inner-city teams throughout Reds Country; and Field Renovation, which has helped restore over 350 baseball and softball fields. Including the P&G Cincinnati MLB Urban Youth Academy, Youth Baseball "Match" and Greater Cincinnati RBI programs, more than 40,000 kids and coaches were connected in 2013.
If you would like to make a tax deductible donation, please visit reds.com/community or make checks payable to the Reds Community Fund and mail to: Reds Community Fund, Great American Ball Park, 100 Joe Nuxhall Way, Cincinnati, Ohio, 45202.
Tickets For The 2014 Season
- Single game tickets will be on sale at Redsfest for all April home games.
- Packages for Mother’s Day, four Bark in the Park games and six Military Appreciation games will be available.
- Reds Ticketing reps will be available for fans who want to buy early and save with 2014 season ticket plans or mini-plans.
- Redsfest is the first opportunity for fans to purchase the new “Homer Pick-6” plan. This mini-plan includes a guaranteed Homer Bailey “Dual No-Hitter” Bobblehead (Sat., May 10 vs. Rockies) plus the choice of five additional regular season games, (exclusions apply). Plans start as low as $72.
- Exclusive ticket offer for fans that purchase the 2014 Reds Heads Kids Club membership – available only at Redsfest.