Last Saturday I traveled to Cincinnati with T-Harris for the debacle of a season opener Purdue just witnessed. This isn’t about the game though this is about the stadium. Nippert Stadium is an absolute nightmare. Sure it might have had something to do with the 90+ degree temperature on gameday but I still think Nippert is the absolute worst stadium I’ve ever been to and I’m going to tell you why.
First a little history lesson. Nippert is one of the oldest stadiums in the country. The seating capacity is only 35,000 with additional standing room only possibilities. Purdue vs. Cincinnati was the largest crowd Nippert has ever had. Attendance for the game was 36,007. That stadium is not equipped to handle that many people. First off there seemed to be only 3 gates (that I was aware of) and each gate had a sea of people. Not a line, just an unorganized mass of humanity. After wading through that sea and finally making it to the security guard T-Harris made it through. My dad and I had to wait a bit longer but we finally made it in. As we made it through to the south end zone we ran into yet another sea of humanity. Behind the student section is a standing room only section with about 6-7 stairs with people just standing. As my dad and I were sweating through our t-shirts and shuffling through this crowd we missed not only kickoff but both interceptions in the first quarter as well as nearly the entirety of Purdue’s near touchdown drive. The concourse is about half as wide as Mackey Arena was prior to renovation. Hell, I’ll even be generous and say it’s the same width. Imagine 36,007 people in the old Mackey. That wouldn’t be fun would it?
So we finally get to our seat and are watching the game. As I said it’s 90 some degrees. I wait till the end of the first quarter and head up to the concession stands to get a water bottle, or maybe even a Gatorade if I’m being nutty. The concession stand was right behind my section…JACKPOT! Oh wait, another mass of humanity. The line spreads out to the right and left since the concourse is so small. The line went down over 5 sections each way. The line took 25-30 minutes to get through. Needless to say I wasn’t waiting. The 25-30 minute wait time was given to me by a nice gentleman sitting in the row with us who decided to wait it out. Add to that I didn’t see a single drinking fountain on my walk around the stadium and you’ve got one terrible sweaty and awful experience. I even saw a young college girl pass out right in front of me while people just walked by thinking she was drunk. By the time I got there a security guard had finally made it to her and was trying to get her some water.
There’s a reason Nippert will be closed all of next season. It’s a piece of crap. It’s a dump. As one Cincinnati season ticket holder told me as I was shuffling my way through the concourse, “I’m a Cincinnati fan and this is the worst f^&%*ing stadium in the country!” Well hey who am I to argue with that sweet old lady? Anyone else have a similarly terrible experience?