Cincinnati Bearcats football stadium expanding to about 40,000

Cincinnati.com

The $80 million project should be completed before the 2015 season, giving the old stadium a nice present for its 100th birthday.

The University of Cincinnati will move forward with renovating Nippert Stadium, according to a release from the school. The $80 million project should bring the seating capacity up to approximately 40,000.

Nippert was originally built in 1915, and is the third-oldest stadium in the country still in use by an FBS program, behind only Georgia Tech's Bobby Dodd Stadium (1913) and Mississippi State's Davis Wade Stadium (1914). Since space around the stadium is relatively limited, the renovations will build up on the east and west side of the stadium. The west side of the stadium is expected to be one-and-a-half stories taller after the renovation is completed.

Construction is scheduled to begin after the 2013 season, and will take an estimated 12-18 months to complete. The Bearcats are expected to play their 2014 home games at Paul Brown Stadium, home of the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals.

The Bearcats tried to dangle a renovated Nippert Stadium as an incentive during conference realignment, but Cincinnati will remain in the American Athletic Conference (formerly Big East) for the foreseeable future.

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