A Polished Reboot
Enhancing Game-Day Experience for Reds Fans
Photography provided by Cambria
When a new ownership group took over the Cincinnati Reds in 2006, Great American Ball Park was just 3 years old.
Effectively, it was a new stadium. But the group – which was led by CEO Bob Castellini, a local produce magnate who bought a majority stake in the team – decided it needed a “refresh.”
“After operating for three years, like any other new thing, you’ve had time to see how it works, how it feels, what areas work, what don’t, what areas are performing to expectations or underperforming,” Reds chief operating officer Phil Castellini, Bob’s son, says.
The COO says the group had a couple of goals: It wanted to market the team in a 150-mile radius, much like it was marketed earlier in its history, instead of focusing on the Interstate 275 loop, and it wanted to enhance the ballpark experience for fans.
Born out of that second desire was a relationship with Cambria, a family-owned Le Sueur, Minnesota-based maker of natural quartz surfaces that has transformed Great American Ball Park into a showcase for durable, well-designed countertops, flooring and wall coverings.
The Reds and Cambria began working together in 2007, the COO says, “and there isn’t a project that I can point to in this building since probably ’08 or ’09 that doesn’t have some form of Cambria product in it.”
For the past 10-plus years, the Reds and Cambria have been working with architects and designers to enhance the fan experience at the ballpark through renovated and expanded spaces, including the Owners Suite, Club Cambria suite, Scouts Club and the Budweiser Bowtie Bar.
Castellini notes that Cambria’s flooring inlays, countertops and wall spaces are in front of more than just the suite renters and high-end ticket buyers. “We’ve been able to show off and have their product in front of all fans, in all ticket prices.”
The Reds and Cambria renovated all 60 suites in 2013-14. Groups can rent many of those on a game basis. One of those, Club Cambria, is a super-suite built out of two suites in 2014 and has become one of the Reds’ most popular hospitality areas. Club areas that provide food and drink to certain seat buyers, such as the Scouts Club, also received a reboot.
Cambria recently introduced five designs, inspired by the landscapes of Wales and mimicking the swirls of marble. Products are available to both business and residential customers.
Castellini praises the quality and lifespan of Cambria’s surfaces, but he also notes that the relationship goes beyond the products.
“The product is the product, right? It’s cool, it’s bulletproof, it lasts a long time, they’ve got a lot of great selections,” he says. “But that doesn’t speak to who the company is. They collaborate with us, and we ask them to move mountains in very short periods of time. To paint a picture, we do projects that most people prefer to have six, 12, 18 months to do. We do them in more like 18 weeks or less. It speaks to the character of the company and their flexibility, work ethic and get-it-done nature.”
Cambria, a Minnesota-based company, provides an extensive Cincinnati dealer network. For more information, call 866.226.2742 (866-CAMBRIA) or visit cambriausa.com.