Carson Field at James Gamble Nippert Stadium
|Country||United States of America|
|Clubs||Cincinnati Bearcats, FC Cincinnati|
|Inauguration||09/11/1901 (Cincinnati Bearcats - Ohio University Bobcats)|
|Renovations||1915, 1936, 1954, 1970, 1990–1992, 2000, 2005, 2013–2015, 2017|
|Design||Frederick W. Garber|
|Address||2700 Bearcats Way (174 West Corry Street), Cincinnati, Ohio, USA|
Description: Nippert Stadium
It's one of the oldest university football stadiums in USA, operating almost continuously since 1901, closed only for renovation periods. Of course upon its opening, it was a very modest venue, limited to a field and wooden stands, named simply varsity field.
The stadium's creation followed Arch Carson's initiative from 1895. That's why the field bears his name to this day, while the stadium's name is owed to a tragic story of Jimmy Nippert, reportedly an exceptional athlete who suffered from presumably non-threatening injury during a 1923 Miami University game. Unfortunately, due to lack of proper first-aid and post-game treatment, his wound got infected and he died after a few weeks.
His grandfather, James N. Gamble (co-creator of Procter & Gamble) donated $270,000 towards improvement of amenities at the stadium, specifically towards player safety. The tragic accident happened during a long and arduous reconfiguration of the stadium, done in phases and with limited funding since 1915. Initial plans envisioned a full seating bowl, but the north curve was never delivered.
In 1936 the decision to get rid of Nippert Stadium's running track was made, followed by lowering the field by further 3.7 meters in order to create new front rows. To this day the outcome is visible – part of the lower tier has lower rake, while its upper sections are more steep. Expansion of the east stand by mid-1950s allowed nearly 30,000 to be reached. The horseshoe stadium remained almost unchanged until 1990s since then. As the millennium was ending, so was the lifespan of some of the concrete structures.
Improvements and upgrades changed the standard, but not the overall image. Much greater changes came in the new century. First, along with the new recreational centre behind the north goal (2005) came a brand new permanent north end, replacing temporary sections of the past. Irregular in shape and closely accompanied by modern architecture, the stadium became instantly recognisable.
Then in 2015 the most expensive changes to date took place. For $86 million a brand new pavilion was added with corporate and press facilities atop the west stand, for the firts time reaching 40,000, at least nominally. Since then Nippert Stadium lost 1,200 seats in 2017, following dismantling of portions of the south curve. This alteration was made to accommodate FC Cincinnati, the stadium's first soccer tenant.
Cincinnati: Groundbreaking done, now preparing for MLS
It's a very expensive stadium when compared to Europan, Latin American or African counterparts. At the same time, in case of FC Cincinnati it's bound to pay off sooner than later. That's how popular they are.
Cincinnati: Construction (almost) begins on FC Cincy stadium
For the last week construction teams have been dismantling the old athletic stadium in West End, where FC Cincinnati's new MLS home will be. Here's a more detailed timeline of construction.
New design: FC Cincinnati's second bid
It's still a draft and subject to change, but since it's been published officially, we're here to show it. FC Cincinnati will soon formally submit their second bid to build an MLS-specific venue.
New stadium: Next year's MLS host – Nippert Stadium
Starting 2019, Nippert Stadium will become an MLS venue for the very first time. FC Cincinnati will continue playing here until they deliver a new, purpose-built stadium in West End.