The Cincinnati Reds finally returned home on Monday after a long road trip. They're fans are back, too.
In fact, attendance numbers at Great American Ball Park are much higher than this time last year.
At the halfway point of the season, their home attendance numbers are up 7%. While that may not sound like much, it totals nearly 83,000 more fans at the ball park this year than in 2012.
That comes to more than 2,000 additional fans per game than this time last year.
Could the thriving development at The Banks be the reason why?
"I'd definitely say it's the atmosphere down here. With the recent building up of these restaurants and bars down here, I think it's attracted a lot of different people down here," said Derek Mueller, a Cincinnati resident.
For some of those bars and restaurants in the development, they're noticing more faithful Reds fans hanging around on game day.
"The whole theory of entertainment district, Reds, Banks, is all starting to come together and mesh really well. It's just an exciting place to come," said Paul Goebol, owner of the Holy Grail at The Banks.
Take a look at the attendance numbers this year compared to last, according to baseball-reference.com:
In 2012 -
In 2013 -
A total of 82,317 more fans have entered the ball park gates so far this year than 2012.
"There's even more to do than ever before, not just the game. Before and after the game there's a lot more to do. It's an exciting time to be a Cincinnatian, exciting time to be a Reds fan," said Phil Castellini, COO of the Cincinnati Reds.
Other businesses in the area agree that the on-field product is a great draw as well.
"Yes, there is more businesses down here, but it's all about the buzz, all about the team. People are excited about the Reds this year," said William Hodges, GM of the Tin Roof at The Banks.
The Reds are sitting at 15th in the MLB in terms of total attendance so far for 2013.
Castellini said the Reds are hoping to bring in their highest attendance numbers since 2003. That season they topped around 2.3 million fans.
This year, they're shooting for 2.5 million which would be a GABP record.
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