Nippert Stadium
Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio is the University of Cincinnati's football stadium, home to their Bearcats football team in rudimentary form since 1902, and as a complete stadium since 1924, making it the fourth oldest playing site and fifth oldest stadium in college football . In 1895, the organizer of UC's first football team, Arch Carson, introduced a plan to build a stadium complete with wooden bleachers on the site upon which Nippert Stadium currently stands. The plans became a reality in 1901 while Carson was serving as UC's physical education director. A year later it became home to Bearcat football. The playing surface at Nippert Stadium is called Carson Field in honor of Arch Carson. In 1916, construction began in sections of a brick and concrete structure to replace the wooden stands and continued for several seasons as funds were raised. During the final game of the 1923 season with intrastate rival Miami University, UC player James Gamble Nippert sustained a spike wound injury. He died a month later of blood poisoning, reportedly due to having been infected by droppings left after a pre-game chicken race. Nippert's grandfather, James N. Gamble of Procter & Gamble, donated the required funds to complete the stadium. In 1924, the completed structure was dedicated as James Gamble Nippert Memorial Stadium. It has been updated many times through the years and currently seats 35,097 with a second tier on the East sideline. On November 27, 2009 in a game against the University of Illinois Fighting Illini, the stadium broke the record for largest attendance in stadium history with an attendance of 35,106. Nippert has earned a reputation throughout the Big East as a tough place to play. The stadium is sometimes described as a "Zoo" when packed full of 35,000 plus Bearcat fans. Through the end of the 2009 season, UC boasts a 12-game home winning streak, dating back to 2007. The stadium served as home for the American Football League expansion team, the Cincinnati Bengals, in 1968 and 1969, while their eventual permanent home at Riverfront Stadium was being constructed. The stadium has served as a concert venue only once, on August 3, 1975 hosting The Ohio River Rock Festival ( Aerosmith, Black Oak Arkansas, Blue Oyster Cult, Foghat, Mahogany Rush, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, REO Speedwagon and Styx; admission was festival seating/ general admission). On November 2, 2008 Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama held a rally at Nippert two days before the election to an estimated 27,000 attendees. As the UC program has risen to prominence in the late 2000s, the small seating capacity of Nippert has become an issue. Former UC head coach Brian Kelly called for an expansion of Nippert, the smallest stadium in the Big East. The University is currently exploring options for expansion and renovation. Sources indicate that the expansion will add up to 15,000 seats, perhaps wrapping the upper deck all the way around the stadium, but exact details are unknown.