Feb. 8, 2013
CINCINNATI, Ohio - Cincinnati Reds Chief Operating Officer Phillip J. Castellini announced Friday that the University of Cincinnati baseball team will host University of Louisville in the inaugural Reds Collegiate Invitational as part of a doubleheader on Saturday, April 6, 2013 at Great American Ball Park.
"The University of Cincinnati and University of Louisville are two fine universities representing Reds Country and it's important to our organization that we foster baseball at all levels including supporting local colleges," said Castellini at the GABP Riverfront Club during UC baseball's First Pitch Reception. "We are proud to be hosting UC and UofL for the first ever college game at Great American Ball Park."
In a matchup between 2012 National League division champions, the Reds play the Washington Nationals at 1:10 p.m. Following a 30-minute intermission, the Bearcats and the Cardinals will begin a BIG EAST Conference tilt, marking the first NCAA game played at GABP in its 11th season as the home of the Reds.
Tickets to the Reds vs. Nationals game on April 6 will also provide admission to the UC vs. UofL game. Discounted tickets for Bearcats and Cardinals fans can be purchased online at Reds.com/college. Prices for the doubleheader start at $11 for view level seats.
"We're looking forward to the opportunity to play in an outstanding facility like Great American Ball Park and promote college baseball on a national stage," said Louisville head coach Dan McDonnell. "The game will not only be a fun experience for our players and coaches, but also for our fans and alumni in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. The baseball rivalry between the University of Louisville and the University of Cincinnati dates back to 1924 and this game should add another exciting chapter to that history."
The Reds Collegiate Invitational is an opportunity to introduce college baseball to a larger fan base, as eight of the 10 highest attended games in collegiate baseball history have been played at Major League Baseball stadiums since the 2004 season.
"The opportunity for our students, fans, and alumni to see our baseball team play at Great American Ball Park is special." said University of Cincinnati Director of Athletics Whit Babcock. "It is a reward for our student-athletes, a great recruiting tool and shows the region that UC is fully committed to excellence in not only football and men's basketball, but our Olympic sports as well. We want the UC brand aligned with the Reds brand in this city. We're proud of that. We're grateful to the Castellini family and Hamilton County for allowing us the opportunity to showcase our baseball program in such an outstanding venue."
"This is another example of the commitment by Reds ownership to the greater Cincinnati community," said Brian Cleary, UC baseball head coach. "Our players are excited about the opportunity to play a heated rival in a major-league venue. This is a significant event in the development of UC baseball as we will have an opportunity to introduce our program and college baseball to an even greater number of people. I know that all associated with this game are anxious to play in front of as many baseball fans as possible. Our community can make this a game that is noticed across the nation."
Fourth-ranked Louisville will open the 2013 season on Friday, Feb. 15 against Indiana (7:30 p.m., ET) in Dunedin, Fla., at the BIG EAST/Big Ten Challenge. The Cardinals' 36-game home slate at the newly expanded Jim Patterson Stadium is set to open on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 3 p.m., ET against Eastern Kentucky.