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Address: 2700 Bearcats Way, Cincinnati, Ohio 45221
Constructed: 1915-1924 (Original); 1936 (renovation); 1954 (renovation); 2005 (renovation); 2015 (renovation)
Carson Field at Nippert Stadium has been the venerable home of the University of Cincinnati football team since 1901 and provides the Bearcats with one of the best home-field environments in college football.
The third-oldest NCAA FBS stadium enters a new era in 2015 following the completion of a 20-month, $86-millon, privately funded renovation and expansion project. The reopening of Nippert Stadium coincides with the 100th anniversary of the 1915 original construction of the facility.
Through numerous renovations, the structure situated in the middle of the Clifton campus has retained its early-century brickwork, wrought-iron gates, and trim giving Nippert a comfortable old-time stadium charm and appeal, while remaining a classic showplace for college football.
Both east and west concourses were completely renovated and widened and fans will find new concession stands and restrooms throughout the stadium, including ADA accessible seating and facilities. Concession stands feature the usual stadium staples along with offerings from premium local vendors. Nearly 75 permanent point-of-sale concession locations are available on gamedays.
East-side patrons with seats in Herschede-Shank Pavilion will notice the skywalks connecting O’Varsity Way to the upper deck, allowing them to bypass the main concourse and have a quick and easy route to and from their seats. Electronic ribbon boards will be installed on the face of the press box and Herschede-Shank Pavilion. These feature statistics, graphics, out-of-town scores and more.
All the seating benches are covered by red and silver Perma-Cap vinyl bleacher covers by Hussey Seating. The covering gives the bleachers a different look and includes a CPAW painted in the south end zone student section.
The most striking changes, however, sits five stories above the west concourse. At 105,000 square feet and 130 yards long, the five-story West Pavilion rises out of the stadium concourse in glass and angles which contain a host of new premium seating along with state-of-the-art press facilities.
The curvature of the facility matches that of Herschede-Shank Pavilion on the east side of the stadium and contains four levels; a press and operations level, suite level, scholarship club level, and patio suites mezzanine level.
UC went from having nearly no premium seating options to the addition of 1,100 scholarship club seats and 53 indoor and outdoor suites of varying sizes. A skywalk connects Tangeman University Center to the West Pavilion with premium area customers able to access the facility on gameday from the other side of campus.
In addition, three new lighting poles were installed along with new lights on existing poles and on the roof facing of the press box. The stadium lighting averages 165 footcandles, a vast improvement over the previous number.
The 2015 project was the latest in a series of enhancements that began in 1916 when construction began on a permanent brick-and-concrete stadium structure, which was completed, section-by-section, as funds were raised.
In 1936, the playing field was lowered 12 feet to allow spectator seating to increase to 24,000.
The Reed Shank Pavilion was added in 1954 to bring the capacity to 28,000. In 1991, the capacity was upped to 35,000 through extending the upper deck, now called the Herschede-Shank Pavilion.
In 2005, a permanent grandstand added new and improved seating and gameday locker rooms in the North end zone along with a new videoboard, doubling the previous display.
Artificial turf was first installed in 1970 and in 2000, the stadium became one of the first in the U.S. to utilize FieldTurf, a grass-like synthetic surface.
Prior to the 2013 season, UBU Sports’ Speed Series S5-M synthetic turf system was installed as the playing surface at Nippert. The stadium’s field orientation was shifted slightly north and west to even out the sideline areas and add a run-off area around the south end zone.
The stadium served as home for the Cincinnati Bengals, in 1968 and 1969, while their original permanent home at Riverfront Stadium was being constructed. It is currently the home field for FC Cincinnati, a professional soccer team in the United Soccer League.
The playing surface was widened and a new perimeter wall was constructed following the 2016 season, giving Nippert the ability to play host to international friendly matches on a FIFA regulation field.
Nippert has also served as a venue for concerts by Britney Spears, Michael Jackson, NSYNC, Janet Jackson, KT Tunstall, The North Mississippi All-Stars, The Roots, the Cincinnati Opera Company and many more.
Two US Presidents have spoken at the stadium. On Oct. 16, 1936, President Franklin Roosevelt, running for a second term, appeared at Nippert Stadium and spoke from an open car in the rain to a crowd estimated at 15,000 and on Nov. 2, 2008, President Barack Obama held a campaign rally at Nippert two days before the 2008 Presidential Election to an estimated 27,000 attendees.
// HISTORICALLY SPEAKING
· The reopening of Nippert Stadium coincided with the 100th anniversary of the 1915 original construction of the facility. Construction was completed in 1924.
· UC has used the Nippert site as a playing field since 1901, making it the second-oldest playing site in the nation for college football behind Penn’s Franklin Field (1895).
· Among NCAA FBS schools, Nippert is the third-oldest stadium still in use, behind Bobby Dodd Stadium (Georgia Tech - 1913), Davis Wade Stadium (Mississippi State - 1914) and ahead of Ole Miss’ Vaught-Hemingway Stadium (1915) and Wisconsin’s Camp Randall Stadium (1917).
· USA Today named Nippert as the best home-field venue in the former BIG EAST Conference and ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt cited Nippert as a “one of the gems of college football’.
// WHAT’S IN A NAME?
· During the season-ending clash with rival Miami (Ohio) in 1923, Jimmy Nippert sustained a spike wound injury and died a month later from blood poisoning. His grandfather, James N. Gamble of Procter and Gamble, provided the funds needed to complete the horseshoe-shaped structure, and the James Gamble Nippert Memorial Stadium was dedicated on Nov. 8, 1924.
· The stadium’s founder was Arch Carson, who as captain and principal organizer played a significant role in starting football on the UC campus in 1885. In 1901 as physical director of the university, Carson guided the construction of the field which was later named for him -- the playing surface is still called Carson Field.
Top-10 Crowds in Nippert History
||October 24, 2015
||October 1, 2015
||September 15, 2016
||September 5, 2015
||September 24, 2016
||September 12, 2015
||August 31, 2013
||November 27, 2009
||November 13, 2009
||November 7, 2009