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Renderings For East Side Of Nippert Stadium Renovation Are Out

Technically, they were out last week, but I haven't had much time to really take a look at them. Unsurprisingly I have some thoughts.

University of Cincinnati

Lets be honest, as Nippert Stadium was configured getting people into, and then out of the stadium was a nightmare. During sellouts there were a couple obvious choke points, one was on the west side where the walls that surrounded the horseshoe end of the stadium restricted traffic to an area about 10 feet across, which would have been manageable if the concession stands didn't cause lines to form blocking the entire concourse. That area has been addressed by the new structure.

The other choke point, the one that Whit Babcock was going to let be, is on the east side. The problem there was one created by a lack of foresight in the design of the Lindner Center. When they built that expensive showpiece they could have easily done what they are doing now to the east side. Instead they merely moved the concession stands back by about 20 feet, added a big staircase and called it a day.

That created a new problem, most people tended to enter and exit the west side of the stadium by way of the staircase. The problem was that for people who were seated in the Herschede-Schank Pavillion  had to return to the main concourse level before they could exit.  Even though "street level" at victory plaza is essentially at the exact same level as the pavilion. That  design flaw contributed about 6,000 fans to the bottleneck at the east side stairway. Building the pavilion concourse and sky bridges connecting that to O' Varsity Way plaza

The traffic problems on the east side were never as acute as they were on the west side, but the lack of concessions and restrooms was a little bit worse. That is being addressed by the construction of what amounts to a two story restroom and concessions building by carving out a bit of the Varsity Village parking garage and knocking down the old concession stands.

The basic shape of the east side project is something that we have known about for months. What we haven't known is how it would look, and now we know. Sort of. What we don't know are some rather vital things, like how wide the concourse and sky bridges will be. They don't need to be that large to accommodate the 7,000 people who sit in the Herschede-Schank Pavillion, but it would be nice to get some sort of scale. The worst thing you can say about the east side of the project is that its functional, and as any UC fans who has attended a sellout at Old Nippert can tell you, you can do a whole lot worse than functional.