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Monday, December 1, 2008

Can Nippert Stadium really be expanded?

With the success of the Bearcat football program combined with the already tight confines of Nippert Stadium it is only natural that talks have been in progress about expanding the stadium. The expansion would not only add more seating capacity, but take care of some other much needed improvements for concessions, restroom facilities and luxury suites.

Recently University of Cincinnati Athletic Director, Mike Thomas, described Nippert as the Wrigley Field of college football. The small and intimate setting certainly agrees with that. The surrounding buildings that are incorporated into the stadium also plays along with that theme.

Well the University had some drawings done by a Baton Rouge architecture firm a little while ago and have been sitting on those drawings ever since. There have recently been rumors flying about that Coach Brian Kelly has met with UC officials about these plans. What are your thoughts? Too soon, not enough, awesome, tacky, too modern?

Personally I think it works pretty well with a few exceptions. The area behind the west concourse that is sandwiched in between the stadium and Tangeman University Center (TUC) will become a dark and damp place as a result of this. It would also block out much of the sunlight that floods TUC via the giant glass wall on that side of the building.

The other issue I have is with covering most (or all) of the CCM building that is in the south endzone. The building is one of the coolest features of the stadium and I think could be manipulated in some way to incorporate luxury suites and avoid being blocked out (get creative).


Images from Trahan Architects - Click to view larger sizes

8 comments:

JFD said...

There is a solution that will address several other problems, as well as Nippert's spacial handicap.

Throw Mike Brown and his ragtag team of losers out of the County's stadium; for failure to field a competitive team, as his contract requires. Hand over the keys to UC, as they have shown through action that they will not be an embarrassment to Cincinnati. Require UC to have a free ticket lottery for County taxpayers, to distribute a number of seats equal to the increase in seats over Nippert's current capacity. (At least for as long as it takes to finish paying for the stadium.) UC will still see a fair jump in their revenue from concession sales, and won't have to build or pay for what would still be a second rate stadium.

Other benefits would be, the Bengal fueled crime wave would come to an end. It would cut the value of Mike Brown's $1B franchise in half. (Screw the greedy SOB.) Some other gullible city, would become less competitive with Cincinnati, thereby increasing our fortunes. The land Nippert sits on could be used for more academic buildings when it becomes necessary.

Chewy said...

Never do the Bearcats need to leave Campus. I agree having one or two games a year in PBS. This whole year when the expert talked about how playing games in Nippert gives UC such an advantage. Besides two middle of the pack BE teams who succeeds off campus in a professional stadium?

The idea of leaving Nippert would lose student fan base or what I would call the 12th player on the team.

You can call a stadium second rate by the number of seats go ahead. But are you going to call the cameron center second rate which has less than half of the shoemaker center.

The environment created by the students, fans, players, and BEER combines for a 14 point home field advantage!

Randy Simes said...

I agree that moving the games to Paul Brown Stadium would be a mistake. Not only do the economics of such a move not make sense, but you lose that intimate setting right in the heart of campus. Nippert Stadium is truly unique in college football and it is set right in the middle of one of the most unique college campuses in the nation. You just gotta keep it there.

Chris said...

Nippert is one of the most unique football venues in college football, and I would hate to be jinxed by playing on the same turf as the Bungles, so I think Nippert would work just fine.

I think it would be a huge waste if they didn't put some seats in the north endzone near the Rec Center. Right now it's a huge waste of space that could easily be replaced with seats and would make a nice set of corner tunnels for the teams to come out of.

JFD said...

It's interesting that the intimate setting at Nippert for the last 30 years did nothing positive for the team's record.

The only economics that don't make sense is the continued subsidy of Mike Browns personal fortune.

Dave said...

me likes, me likes... do it, do it, do it! build this on campus!

Kay said...

Theres some major flaws in these designs... First, what happens to the current suites and grandstand that is on the visitor sideline? Do we just no longer have announcers? I also agree with the above that it would block almost all light and make TUC, where almost all of us UC students hang out in our free time, pitch black. I like the idea that we should incorporate the building in the south endzone. If possible we should just try to build up higher than the building on either sides and leave no seating in front of the building. Dont get me wrong i would love to see Nippert expand, in fact it would make me extremely happy to see a huge 45,000 to 50,000 seat stadium so we can compete with UF and MICH and all of them. I just think theres more efficient ways to build up the stadium around where it already is. Go Bearcats!

Randy Simes said...

I think these drawings were drawn in a way to illustrate boxes/suites in between the two decks of seating...although it is not all that clear from these.

Given the date on these drawings, and the fact that the design firm has changed, I would expect the stadium expansion designs/plans to be different from these. I guess we'll just have to wait and see once some more money is lined up and ready to go.

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