CINCINNATI -- In a schedule change, the Reds' request to move up Opening Day has been granted by Major League Baseball. The 2012 opener against the Miami Marlins will now be played on Thursday, April 5 at 4:10 p.m. ET. The game was originally set for April 6. That would have fallen on Good Friday, which would have created a conflict for the Findlay Market Association, the sponsor and organizer of the venerable Opening Day Parade through Over-the-Rhine and Downtown.
Good Friday is one of the busiest shopping days of the year for Findlay Market, which essentially has to shut down to hold the parade. "We want to thank Major League Baseball, the MLB Players Association and the Reds and Marlins players for agreeing to move Opening Day to Thursday, April 5," Reds CEO Bob Castellini said in a statement. "Opening Day is a long-standing tradition for this team, our fans and the city of Cincinnati and we are pleased that the parade and game will now be on Thursday." Miami had to agree to the schedule change because that club is opening its season at its brand-new ballpark against the Cardinals on Wednesday, April 4. The later start time on Thursday afternoon accommodates the Marlins, who will have to travel overnight to Cincinnati. The 93rd Findlay Market Opening Day Parade will have the same route as previous years and will have its start time adjusted to begin closer to game time. "The Findlay Market Association is once again proud to be the sponsor of the Opening Day Parade," said Neil Luken, the parade chairman for Findlay Market. "We want to thank the Reds and Major League Baseball for working with the Findlay Market vendors so we can put on a great parade. "We are currently meeting with Cincinnati Police to determine the start time and logistics for the parade. We hope to announce the start time within a few weeks." As the oldest professional franchise in baseball, Opening Day traditions for the Reds run deep throughout Cincinnati. The club is usually given the privilege of opening each season at home. The 2012 season also marks the first year that Opening Day will be recognized as a ceremonial holiday in the city of Cincinnati. And now, it appears to be an Opening Day that works for everyone's schedule.