How did Gillette Civil Rights game get to Cincinnati

By Regina Russo bio | email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The Gillette Civil Rights game joins a long list of other marquee events that the City of Cincinnati successfully hosted, including the NAACP convention, National Baptist Ministers Convention.

"I think it's a natural fit, place in history and ability to host large events natural fit," said Julie Calvert of the Cincinnati USA Convention and Visitors Bureau.

You can expect full hotels restaurants for the weekend long events at Great American, Fountain Square and the Duke Energy Convention Center.

"People were wowed by last year's activities, Clinton, Aaron, Ali, Cosby this year capitalize on that," said Charley Frank, Executive Director of the Reds Community Fund.

But how was Cincinnati even picked to host the Civil Rights game? The idea came here in 2008 after a visit from the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center."

That year, the league was looking for a new venue to host the Civil Rights game and toured Cincinnati.

"Jamie Soloman came out of the building and said 'we've got to have it here this is the place for it to be,'" said Paul Bernish, Chief Communications Officer of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

While major league baseball promoted it's role in the Civil Rights movement at Great American Ball Park, "We provide a historical background for Civil Rights movement because it arose out of the excesses of slavery and what to make up for the loss," said Bernish.

"So it's not so unbalanced and we can get more diverse audience back into the ballpark. Team sports has a role to play in how we understand our history and what we do about it," said Frank.

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