CINCINNATI — The Reds and downtown business owners hoped Wednesday would be a throwback to past opening days: Crowds filling the Banks, a ball park packed to capacity, baseball fans partying into the night. The team’s “Re-Opening Day” game against the Phillies would be a return to the days before COVID-19 forced a year-long shutdown of public events.
Then the rain came.
The game didn’t happen at all.
“I got the tweet from the Reds account, said it had been postponed,” said lifelong Reds fan Chris Gabis, who drove from Nebraska with his wife to see the game. “My heart just sank.”
For Gabis, a firefighter, figuring out a date for a do-over will be tough: “I’m on shift the day before and the day after (the rescheduled June 28 date), so I’ve got to find out if I can get off before it. But we’re going to try and make it work.”
Other disappointed fans spent Wednesday hanging out at Banks restaurants, sightseeing along the Ohio riverfront and searching for other local attractions to occupy their afternoon.
“We may go to the aquarium,” said Jackson Cull, a fan whose group didn’t know the game was canceled until they saw the sign outside Great American Ball Park.
Jeff Gray, who came with his wife and 10 siblings, had planned the day in honor of their late mother’s 100th birthday.
“She always brought us to Opening Day, so that was a tradition,” he said. “If I didn’t go, then she wrote a note to the teacher to get me out of school or take the day, the afternoon off. So we were destined to come down. Rain or shine, we were going to be here.”
This time, it was rain.
Re-Opening Day against Philadelphia was rescheduled for June 28. The team's next game will be on the road in St. Louis Thursday.