College Stadium Review: Nippert Stadium

Located in Cincinnati, Ohio, Nippert Stadium has been the home of the University of Cincinnati Bearcats football team since 1901 and has been a complete stadium since 1924, making it the fourth-oldest playing site and the fifth oldest stadium in college football.

The venue was named “Nippert Stadium” after UC football player James Gamble Nippert. During the final game of the 1923 season against Miami (Ohio) University, Nippert was spiked and died a month later due to blood poisoning caused by infected chicken droppings that were left on the field after a pre-game chicken race.

Nippert’s grandfather, James N. Gamble, a member of the Gamble family of Procter & Gamble, donated funds to complete construction of the stadium.

In 1895, Arch Carson, the creator of the University of Cincinnati’s first football team, suggested that a stadium be built on the land where the current stadium sits.

Although stadium construction was not completed until 1924, a partial venue, which featured wooden bleachers, served as the site of the first game played on November 2, 1901. Ohio University defeated Cincinnati 16-0. The first UC victory occurred one week later when the Bearcats defeated Hannover 10-0.

It was originally named Varsity Field in Burnet Woods. The playing field is called “Carson Field” in honor of Arch Carson. It had a capacity of 12,000 when the structure was completed.

In 1909, lights were installed before the structure was complete because many of the students on the football team could practice only at night.

Graphic via bearcatnews

The structures first renovation took place in 1936 when the field was lowered 12-feet to permit a capacity expansion to 28,000.

More restorations were performed in 1954, 1970, 1989-92, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2009, 2013, and 2014-15.

After the stadium was closed for renovations in 1989, the Bearcats played its home games at Riverfront Stadium, the home of the Cincinnati Bengals. The stadium was closed in 2013 for the most recent renovations and in 2014 the Bearcats played its home games in Paul Brown Stadium, the current home of the Bengals.

The current renovations will be complete by early September 2015 in time for the first Bearcats home game of the season. Capacity will be up to 40,000.

Other sports teams that have played or will play there include the expansion team, Cincinnati Bengals of the American Football League in 1968 and ’69 while their permanent home, Riverfront Stadium, was being built and a new Cincinnati professional soccer team, which will debut in the spring of 2016.

The Ohio River rock Festival featuring Aerosmith, Black Oak Arkansas, Blue Oyster Cult, Foghat, Mahogany Rush, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, REO Speedwagon and Styx performed there on August 3, 1975.

Noteworthy Moments



  • 14 game home winning streak 2007-2010
  • Prior to 2013 all-time record 570-556-51
  • Between 2007 and 2012 won Big East Championship 4 out of 5 times
  • Only school in the country among the BCS AQ conferences to win 4 consecutive titles (2009-2012)
  • 5 double digit win seasons in 124 years
  • Won 64 games (2006-2012)
  • Gained at least 425 yards of offense in 8 of their 11 games in 2012


(Source: Cincinnati Bearcats sports)

(2012 is benchmark because that was the last year UC played at Nippert Stadium before it was closed for renovations. It will re-open in September 2015)

Graphic via wikipedia


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