Nippert Stadium featured more brand new amenities in 2005. A new, permanent grandstand provides new and improved seating in the North endzone. Underneath the structure are new game locker rooms for both the Bearcats and the visiting team.
The scoreboard features a new video board, nearly twice as large as the previous display, while the playing field is a new installation of FieldTurf, the grass-like artificial turf.
These are just the latest enhancements which preserve the rich history and tradition of Nippert Stadium while making it a contemporary place in which to play and watch a game.
Nippert Stadium has been home to Bearcats football since 1902, making it the fourth-oldest playing site and fifth-oldest stadium in college football.
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.
In 1915, construction began on a permanent brick-and-concrete stadium structure, which was completed, section-by-section, as funds were raised.
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.
Nippert Stadium has undergone a series of expansions. 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, and a new pressbox was constructed.
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.
Early-century brickwork combined with wrought iron gates and trim give Nippert a comfortable old-time stadium charm and appeal, while continuing renovations have enabled it to remain a classic showplace for college football.
Nippert Stadium Timeline
1895-Arch Carson introduced a plan to build a stadium on a site in Burnet Woods.
1901-Cincinnati played its first game on Carson Field. Wood bleachers were built on the surrounding hillside.
1909-Lights were first used because the large number of co-op students on the team could practice only at night.
1916-Funds to build a permanent brick and concrete structure were made available by a city bond issue.
1923-UC defeated Kentucky Wesleyan, 17-0, in the first night collegiate football game in the Midwest.
1923-James Gamble donated $250,000 in memory of his grandson, Jimmy Nippert, to complete the stadium.
1924-The completed James Gamble Nippert Stadium was dedicated. Capacity is 12,000.
1936-Carson Field was lowered 12 feet to allow the capacity to expand to 24,000.
1954-Reed Shank Pavilion was completed to boost the capacity to 28,000.
1968-Nippert served as the first home of the Cincinnati Bengals while the city constructed a facility for the new pro franchise.
1970-Astroturf replaced the natural grass surface.
1989-Nippert Stadium was closed for renovation. UC played its 1990 home games at Riverfront Stadium.
1991-Phase I of the stadium renovation was completed to allow for UC home games to be played. The structure was fortified and a three-tiered press box was added.
1992-Phase II of the renovation was completed, upping the seating capacity to 35,000 through the expansion of the Herschede-Shank Pavilion, and adding new lighting and a scoreboard.
1998-UC overcame a 17-point fourth quarter deficit to defeat Houston, 44-43 for its 250th win in Nippert Stadium.
2000-FieldTurf, a revolutionary new grass-like artificial surface, was installed. The pressbox was renamed the John and Dorothy Hermanies Pressbox.
2001-A new video scoreboard was added in the north endzone and 10,000 seats were upgraded. The season opener against Purdue produced the first advance sell-out in Nippert Stadium history.
2005-A permanent grandstand upgraded seating behind the North endzone and provided new locker rooms at field level for game use. A new, larger video board was installed and the FieldTurf playing surface replaced.
2006-The façade of Herschede-Schank Pavillion was rebranded into the Nippert Stadium RING OF HONOR, honoring some of the great individual athletes in Bearcats football history. 15 former UC greats and their jersey numbers are currently displayed this area. The program’s postseason bowls were also added in a display on the façade of the North End Zone seating sections, marking the first time that these historical teams were recognized inNippert Stadium.
2007- The Bearcat Lair section was created in the North End Zone seats, promoting a high-energy, interactive fan area. This area SOLD OUT for the first time in 2007 and again in 2008 and 2009. There is now a waiting list for fans wanting access to this area of the stadium.
2008- The Bearcats’ team moved from the West Sideline to the East Sideline, making game management and sportsmanship elements easier to manage.
2009- 9,000 new black cushioned seats were installed in the UCATS seating areas of the stadium, replacing the previously installed red-plastic seating covers.
2700 Bearcats Way, Cincinnati, Ohio 45221 (off W. Corry St.)