Cincinnati Reds' Redsfest Returns for First Time Since 2019

The event will feature player appearances, autograph sessions, batting cages, mascot performances and other entertainment.

Nov 8, 2022 at 10:14 am
Mr. Red has fun with fans as the Cincinnati Reds host the Chicago Cubs at Great American Ball Park on Oct. 5, 2022. - Photo: Ron Valle
Photo: Ron Valle
Mr. Red has fun with fans as the Cincinnati Reds host the Chicago Cubs at Great American Ball Park on Oct. 5, 2022.

A baseball tradition is back after a two-year hiatus.

Redsfest, a Cincinnati Reds fan gathering and activity convention, is returning this year for the first time since 2019 –  just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The family-friendly event will feature current and former player appearances, autograph and photograph sessions, batting cages, pedal cars, mascot performances and other entertainment on Dec. 2 and 3 at Duke Energy Convention Center in Downtown.

As of press time, Reds manager David Bell and first baseman are the only current members of the team scheduled to appear at this year's event. Retired broadcaster Marty Brennaman also is on the schedule, as is a group of additional broadcasters and minor leaguers. The lineup likely will see additions and subtractions before the event kicks off. Media materials say that more than 70 Reds personalities will be on hand.

Two-day passes for adults cost $35, while a one-day pass is $25. Kids 12 years old and under pay $20 for a two-day pass and $15 for a one-day pass. There are perks such as special autograph sessions and photo booths for season ticket holders.

Fans also can volunteer to work shifts during Redsfest in exchange for a meal voucher, parking stipend and Reds tickets.

See full Redsfest information, celebrity lists and schedules.

The Reds' 2022 season

In October, the Cincinnati Reds posted its second-ever 100-loss season, ending 2022 with a record of 62-100. The losing also kept more fans at home, with the team experiencing its lowest season attendance since 1984 – just 1,395,770 people saw the Reds play at Great American Ball Park in 2022.

The year was not kind to the Reds. Cincinnati was eliminated from post-season contention on Sept. 13, and the team hasn't won its division since 2012. The 2022 season's woes ultimately can be traced back to team ownership and the front office. Fan enthusiasm and trust have been waning since the Reds lost free agents like 2021 All-Star outfielder Nick Castellanos during the offseason and traded away big contributors like outfielder Jesse Winker, third baseman Eugenio Suárez and pitcher Sonny Gray
Just before the start of the season, Reds owner Bob Castellini said that he wanted to concentrate on developing younger players, and the team had indeed cut payroll. Over the summer, the team continued the fire sale by trading starting pitcher Luis Castillo, outfielder Tommy Pham, outfielder Tyler Naquin, starting pitcher Tyler Mahle and infielder Brandon Drury.

Feeling betrayed and fearing that 2022 would not be a legitimate push for playoff glory, some fans raised more than $4,000 ahead of Opening Day for a billboard urging Castellini to sell the Reds to someone who would invest in winning. That I-75 billboard and fans' growing lack of trust in the team elicited a sharp response from the Reds' chief operating officer – and Bob Castellini's son – Phil Castellini, who told 700 AM WLW radio that Cincinnatians essentially just have to deal with it when the team repeatedly refuses to pay for productive veteran players. Phil Castellini later walked back his comments
Three bright spots: the Reds played in MLB's Field of Dreams game in Dyersville, Iowa, fans enjoyed pretty great food while crossing their fingers that the team would bring home a winner at Great American Ball Park, and sidelined first baseman Joey Votto continued his fantastic audition for the broadcast booth.

The Reds will kickstart the 2023 season with a home opener against NL Central opponent the Pittsburgh Pirates on March 30 at Great American Ball Park.

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