Orange Bowl update for the Bearcats

The University of Cincinnati is reporting that about 4,500 tickets remain for Bearcat fans at the Orange Bowl. The University was originally given 17,500 tickets and are on the hook for selling those tickets. Should they not sell them, then the University is responsible for covering those remaining tickets. What happens many times is those left over tickets are given to a local charity of some sort.

At this point though the tickets have been on sale for just over 1 week and around 13,000 already have been sold. There are another couple weeks until the game itself so it looks pretty good that the UC allotment of tickets will be sold by the time the game rolls around – something that many people thought wouldn’t be possible.

Tickets are $125 and hotels are going for around $120/night in the downtown Miami area where most people are staying. If you want to stay on South Beach or in the Miami Beach area then hotel rates are going to be much higher. It is about a 17 hour drive (6.5 from Cincinnati to Atlanta, 10.5 from Atlanta to Miami) from Cincinnati to Miami with gas averaging about $1.70 a gallon.

You can find ticket information and everything else you need to know from match up information to bowl game merchandise at Bearcat Bowl Central. I’ll be joining at least one other blogger for the Orange Bowl madness. Who else is planning on making the trip?


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

The great turnaround

Unlike many Cincinnatians I grew up a Bearcat fan. I remember going to football games and what occupied most of the south endzone was impromptu games up catch by kids my age, the north endzone had some bleachers set up for opposing teams bands, but were rarely filled. A smokestack cast its shadow over those bleachers and parking lots surrounded the stadium making for plenty of tailgating opportunities for the handful of people that actually showed up – most of whom were forced into buying season tickets so that they could get basketball season tickets.

A lot has changed since then. The Bearcats are now a BCS school, the stadium has been expanded slightly and cleaned up, that north endzone is now occupied by a student section at capacity, and the south endzone has a filled fan section with a eatery and massive new scoreboard atop the large rec center.

We play teams like Oklahoma, South Florida, West Virginia, Pittsburgh and other top-notch BCS schools regularly…and we’re competitive. We also have the oldest stadiums in college football with one of the most unique settings anywhere. UC Athletic Director, Mike Thomas, aptly described Nippert Stadium as the Wrigley Field of college football, but it is also one of the smallest stadiums for a BCS school.
So with all this positive change, big time opponents, and a winning team you would expect a region of over 2 million people to be able to fill a 35,000 seat stadium for 6 home games a year. This past Saturday was Homecoming. It was a beautiful Saturday with not much else going on in the region and the announced crowd was something like 32,000 and change. It was announced, on the scoreboard, as “the sixth largest crowd in Nippert history.” Embarrassing.

It was a perfect day, Homecoming, Big East conference opener, the Buckeyes didn’t play until after the Bearcats finished, and the Bengals were scheduled for a road game on Sunday (and they suck). At the same time CBS is predicting that the Bearcats will win the Big East and head to Miami to play Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl.

The team is 5-1 overall and 1-0 in the conference. Let’s start supporting them before it’s too late. Cincinnati has been waiting for a winner for many years now. Well we have one, and there are good tickets still available. Single game tickets can be purchased for as little as $35, and the Bearcats will be playing host to South Florida, Pittsburgh and Syracuse to finish out their home schedule.