Image Courtesy of Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau – Groups that meet in Cincinnati can tour Great American Ball Park, host of the 2015 All-Star Game
The 2015 MLB All-Star Game, which was played this week at Great American Ball Park in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio, pitched the host city into the limelight and introduced the riverfront city to planners who may have been unfamiliar with it. Media attention from the highly publicized annual contest has helped illuminate the region’s revitalization and highlights its desirability as a meetings destination.
Cincinnati, which has been undergoing a renaissance, boasts many attributes. “From the Banks Entertainment District on the riverfront to the Over-the-Rhine historic neighborhood, our urban core has been completely transformed with new hotels, restaurants and venues,” says Dan Lincoln, president and CEO of the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau. “These new developments, combined with our region’s warm hospitality and easy accessibility, make Cincinnati a world-class host for meetings and events of all sizes.”
Planners Score With Baseball-Themed Events & Venues
Cincy organized a full lineup of baseball-themed events in preparation for the All-Star Game. Planners meeting there in the near future may still be able to take in certain exhibits. Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame & Museum, adjacent to Great American Ball Park, has staged an exhibit about the Cincinnati Red Stockings, baseball’s first all-professional team. It features details about baseball’s all-time hits leader, Pete Rose, who spent much of his career there as both a player and coach. Particularly interesting is the “Wall of Balls,” representing each of his 4,256 hits.
Other notable exhibits include Cincinnati Art Museum, which is presenting “Up at Bat: Warhol, Rose and Baseball Cards,” through Aug. 2; the Public Library of Cincinnati, which is displaying curated memorabilia, including a scorecard from 1894; and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, which has a presentation entitled “Diversity in Baseball.” Cincinnati Museum Center also has two fascinating displays. “Queen City Baseball: Diamonds and Stars” profiles the city’s rich baseball history, while the interactive “Science of Sports” explains how pitchers can throw 104-mph fastballs, among other physical feats.
At any time of the year, Cincinnati hits it out of the park with a cluster of sports facilities that planners can buyout for special events. Great American Ball Park features pitching and fielding zones, a ballpark-themed movie theater with a wooden grandstand and a re-created broadcast booth where visitors can call plays. One hundred feet away overlooking the Ohio River is U.S. Bank Arena, where the Cyclones play minor-league hockey, and down the road is Paul Brown Stadium, home of the Cincinnati Bengals. There is also plenty of event space at regional colleges. Of particular note is University of Cincinnati’s Varsity Village, which features five sports venues including Lindner Family Tennis Center, site of the Western & Southern Open tennis championship held each August.
A Great Place to Meet
Cincinnati boasts two world-class convention centers. Duke Energy Convention Center, located in the compact, walkable downtown, recently underwent a $135 million renovation. It features more than 750,000 sq. ft. of meeting and exhibit space, including a 40,000-square-foot ballroom, and is attached via skywalk to three hotels. In the north, LEED-certified Sharonville Convention Center has a 20,000-square-foot exhibit hall, a new 14,000-square-foot ballroom, 21,900 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space and three breakout rooms.
As if two convention centers weren’t enough, one mile from downtown Cincinnati, in Covington, Kentucky, sits Northern Kentucky Convention Center. The 204,000-square-foot facility features 110,000 sq. ft. of space and is connected to two hotels.
Planners have a lot to cheer about when it comes to holding meetings in the Buckeye State. Cincinnati in particular has a grand slam combination of modern convention centers, top quality venues, affordable accommodations and a helpful CVB that will cover all the bases in order to make your next meeting a true game changer.