As the regular season approaches, FC Cincinnati has some big plans for this year and beyond, as the team begins what it hopes will be a long Nippert Stadium USL run.
Nippert Stadium is best known as home to University of Cincinnati Bearcats football, as well as former home to Cincinnati Bengals pro football. And while the emphasis on Nippert Stadium will be on college football, FC Cincinnati is planning some game-day change to make the venerable old stadium more suitable for USL soccer, as the team preps for an April 5 friendly game against the University of Dayton and an April 9 season opener.
The seating capacity of 45,000, which comes after $86 million in renovations in recent years, will be lowered after several upper-deck sections are covered with decorative tarps. The synthetic turf will be new as well. In additional FC Cincinnati ownership (which includes Carl Lindner III, son of former Cincinnati Reds owner Carl Lindner, Jr.) has spent its own money to renovate the visitor’s locker room space underneath the north end zone of Nippert Stadium, with the home locker room area to be used as a team meeting space and a player lounge. From WCPO.com:
“We’ve done some enhancements in (the visiting locker room) — a drop ceiling, we’re putting in a new floor and some other modest enhancements,” [FCC president and general manager Jeff ] Berding said. “On the east side we’re also doing some renovations in that room, and that will be part of the official FC Cincinnati locker room. Certainly as we get into September and the football team is using it on game days, there will be the ability to sort of move our stuff out and have it as is for the football team.”
And, of course, being located on a college campus, Nippert Stadium can attract the young, hip crowd that seems to be flocking to professional soccer these days.
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