For Presidents' Day, Castellini has 3 messages for Reds fans
CINCINNATI -- Set to open Spring Training and preparing to host the All-Star Game, the Reds are hoping for a strong year in 2015. For Presidents Day, MLB.com spoke with top executives from all 30 clubs, asking for their top three messages to the fan base.
Here are the messages that chief operating officer Phil Castellini has for Reds fans entering this season:
• "The first one would have to start with a thank you to the fans for their continued support. We could not be doing what we do with the Reds without the type of fan support we've gotten. Our message has always been: If you invest in us, we invest in the product and on the team, on the field. We define the product as Major League payroll and player development and scouting, as well as the gameday experience. That's why we continue to invest to make Great American Ball Park better."
• "Be prepared to see our next round of things we're doing to improve the ballpark experience. We'll be bringing you all-new concession stands on the concourse level, with the big hit being The Bootlegger bar, a kind of a walk-in speakeasy bar on the first-base line -- which will also hopefully pull some of that line traffic off of the concourse, and pedestrians can flow a little better. The second-biggest investment is the renovation of our Riverfront Club into The Handlebar. We'll have a retail row, cleaning up some of the kiosks, and will have nice retail storefront. The whole idea is when you walk around the first level of the ballpark, for it to be more of a Main Street with shop fronts instead of just a generic concession stand."
• "This is All-Star summer. We want the community to shine. Don't be discouraged by the fact that tickets to the Home Run Derby and the All-Star Game are going to be tight and difficult tickets to get. But we're going to roll out a show with all kinds of things that the fans can do and enjoy. They include a free concert on Saturday night, a color run 5K event, a sponsor zone on Freedom Way pretty much between the stadium and the Freedom Center. Fountain Square will be activated. We're working with the Cincinnati Organizing Committee to really activate downtown up and through Over-the-Rhine and Washington Park. There will be a Fanfest at the convention center as well as the red carpet parade with players coming down in trucks basically from Fountain Square down to the stadium. Those are all things fans can participate in, even if they don't get one of the magic tickets to the big jewel events at the stadium.
"We really want to shine as a community. We're going to have the national spotlight on us. I think the city has had more urban development than in my lifetime. It's a really exciting time for us to be hosting this event. We're going to show the league how great of a party that this city can throw. Not only are we going to shine as a community, but it will be a great place to come down and enjoy all of what the community has to offer."