From Matt Teaford
Tomorrow morning, masses will descend upon Downtown Cincinnati adorned in red; ready to usher in a new season for the team that started it all: The Cincinnati Reds.
In 1869, the Cincinnati Red Stockings became the first professional baseball team in America. Only four short years after the Civil War, baseball became a permanent staple for our city. In 1890, the team got into hot water for breaking the “rules” of the newly-formed National League for serving beer at games and playing games on Sunday? Let’s face it: Could there be anything more Cincinnati? Who did the league think we were? Pittsburgh?
The truth is that baseball is a part of our identity as a city. Players from all across America say that there’s nothing quite like Cincinnati’s Opening Day Parade and festivities, and they’re right. Every year, regardless of the weather, hundreds of thousands swarm downtown to get involved with the festivities. Some reports suggest that 1 in 4 professionals from Cincinnati’s companies take off to take part in the activities, and it really isn’t that surprising. The impact of this influx of people to the city are all too apparent, too.
The crowds spend and they spend big. With masses of people comes revenue, and the city would be wise to capitalize on that fact. Considering the fact that so many call off to attend and the history is so deeply rooted in our city, we should look to our policy makers to declare Opening Day as a city-wide holiday so that everyone can take part in one of the proudest days for our city on an annual basis. In doing this, they will increase revenue for the city. There are some who will say: “Well, what about the people who work at the bars and restaurants downtown? Wouldn’t they want to take off, too?” As someone who has had many friends tending bar at large-scale events, I can tell you this: They won’t have a problem staffing the businesses. Employees know when the money will be good.
I’ve been to hundreds of Reds games in my short 24 years of life. I know how much the team means to our city. I’ve never seen a championship, but I’m a die hard fan, and always will be. I long for the day when every citizen in Cincinnati has the same opportunity to embrace the experience of Opening Day with all of their neighbors so that we can bond over the thing that we all love and know: baseball. Oh, and a quality Cincinnati beer. It is Opening Day, after all!
Agree that Opening Day should be a city-wide holiday? Consider donating to Matt’s campaign at the link below! Thank you!