Dec. 18, 2012
Project Homepage | Press Conference Video | Quotes
CINCINNATI - University of Cincinnati president Dr. Santa Ono and director of athletics Whit Babcock jointly announced a proposed plan to renovate Nippert Stadium Tuesday.
“All of our expansion at this time will be in the form of premium seating," Babcock said. "This project will also include improving the fan experience on the concourse level. This will entail opening up some concourses and improving our point of sale, traffic flows, restrooms, concessions and making Nippert a little more fan friendly than when it was built in 1924.”
The renovation would focus on the west side of the stadium, adding suites, club seats and loge boxes within a new press box structure. The west concourse will also be renovated, including concession stands and restrooms. The project, which is projected to cost $60-70 million, would utilize private donations and no public funds.
The new structure would be one story taller than the current press box and two-to-two-and-a-half times as long. The curvature of the facility would match that of the upper deck on the east side of the stadium and contain four levels; a photo deck, a press and operations level, suite level and a club and loge box level. Any increase in capacity, as well as a potential number of suites and club seats has not yet been finalized.
A construction timetable has not been set yet and will depend on donations and support. It is estimated that the project would take 12-18 months to complete once started.
Construction began on Nippert Stadium in 1915 and 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 Wisconsin’s Camp Randall Stadium, which was built in 1917.
USA Today recently named Nippert as the best home-field venue in the BIG EAST Conference and ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt cited NIppert as a “one of the gems of college football’.
Babcock went on to point out that approximately 71 of 76 BCS schools have made major renovations to their football stadiums or premium seating areas since 1992, when the construction of the current press box was completed at Nippert Stadium.
One thing that will not change is the name of the facility.
"The stadium will always be Nippert Stadium," Babcock said. "That is the brand of our program."
Babcock closed by saying a project update would be provided around the spring football game.
For more information, please visit www.GoBEARCATS.com/nippert_stadium.html.