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Year Opened: 1924 | Field Surface: Artificial Turf
Nippert Stadium, opened in 1924, is the fifth-oldest stadium in the country. The Bearcats actually started playing at the site of Nippert Stadium in 1901. The stadium's founder was Arch Carson, who as captain and principal organizer played a significant role in starting football at Cincinnati. The playing surface is still called Carson Field.
Nippert Stadium itself is named for James Gamble Nippert, a Cincinnati player who died from blood poisoning after getting spiked in 1923. His grandfather, James N. Gamble, of Procter & Gamble fame, helped fund the rest of the stadium.
Through numerous renovations, the structure has retained its early-century brickwork, wrought-iron gates and trim, giving Nippert a comfortable, old-time charm and appeal. The stadium's last major renovation came in 2005, as a permanent grandstand was added, along with improved seating and new locker rooms.
The stadium also hosted the NFL's expansion Bengals in 1968 and 1969.
The Bearcats mascot debuted Oct. 31, 1914, against Kentucky, when cheerleader Norman "Pat" Lyon started a chant for fullback Leonard "Teddy" Baehr: "They may be Wildcats, but we have a Baehr-cat on our side." The crowd soon joined in and Bearcats was depicted in a cartoon the next day. The name was dropped briefly after Baehr graduated, but it was picked up again in 1919 by a Cincinnati Enquirer writer and stuck.
Cincinnati was one of the first schools in the country to field a football team, starting in 1885, and it played against area club teams. The Bearcats and Miami of Ohio have played each other since 1888, the 11th oldest rivalry in the country.
The Cincinnati marching band plays "Army Fanfare" at the top of Nippert Stadium before kickoff, then runs down the stadium stairs to the field.
Source: University of Cincinnati
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