The University of Cincinnati Bearcats, with a costumed bearcat, have a robust sports program with 19 varsity sports. Although the school participates in many sports, the football and basketball teams often draw the biggest crowds.
The men’s basketball team has won the NCAA championship twice, both times in the 1960s, and they have been mainstays at the NCAA tournament annually. The football team is no slouch either, and even though a championship has yet to occur, they are a solid team with a state-of-the-art stadium.
The Bearcats play their home games at Nippert Stadium, which was named after Jimmy Nippert, who, after sustaining an injury at a football game in 1923, died as a result of the cut to his leg. Nippert’s grandfather donated money to the school, which helped pay for the stadium’s construction.
The stadium opened in 1924, and it has been home to Bearcats ever since. Nippert Stadium seats 40,000 people, and, after renovation in 2015, it has modern touches such as ADA-compliant seating and facilities, as well as an increased number of bathrooms and concessions stands operated by local food vendors.
Experiencing the Bearcats play football at Nippert Stadium has been compared to LSU’s Tiger Stadium, an environment so full of passion and hostility towards opponents that it’s been nicknamed “Death Valley.” Whether you’re in town visiting family or on vacation, it’s worth seeing the Bearcats in Cincinnati. Pack your red and black Bearcats gear into the RV and head to Cincinnati for a game or two.
Tickets to see the University of Cincinnati Bearcats are not so bad when you consider it’s one of the best college football teams in the state. Based on ticket prices from previous seasons, expect to pay between $30 to $55 per ticket, though that price may go up if the Bearcats play against a high-ranked or rival team. As for basketball, the average ticket price is between $10 and $35.
Cincinnati borders Kentucky and is in the southwest corner of Ohio, with Nippert Stadium just north of the Ohio River servings as a divider between the two states. Be prepared to cross a few bridges and enjoy the views along the way. I-275 encircles much of the City of Cincinnati and connects with major highways like I-71, I-74, and I-75 that may bring you into the region.
The University of Cincinnati is less than 20 minutes from the downtown area. From Cincinnati, motorists can reach the state capital of Columbus, Indianapolis, Indiana, or Louisville, Kentucky in about two hours each.
While RV parking at the University of Cincinnati has been allowed in the past, fans now have to find alternative parking options for larger vehicles. Tailgating is allowed at “The Grid” which only sells season passes for the spots available. These tailgating spaces are only for regular-sized vehicles, but some smaller campervan or tow vehicles can be used. Consider taking public transportation, or drive your tow vehicle to the stadium if you brought one.
The Metro is Cincinnati’s public transportation system, and it offers many bus routes. Not only is it a convenient way to get around the city, but it’s also affordable. If you do happen to park your vehicle at the stadium, the university provides guests with a shuttle bus to get to and from the stadium. Starting four hours before kickoff, shuttles depart from the Eden Garage near UC and operate during and after the game.
Without RV parking on campus, Bearcats fans can look to stay at an RV park or campground near Nippert Stadium. Luckily, Cincinnati RV campgrounds are in good supply, so it should be no trouble finding one within an hour's drive. As a last resort, travelers may also be able to park overnight at a mainstream but local business so long as permission to do so is gained.
There are more than enough overnight camping options in Cincinnati and the surrounding areas. The Winton Woods is a campground that is operated by Hamilton County, and it’s the perfect place for outdoor lovers since it offers several hiking trails and other activities.
The Lebanon/Cincinnati KOA is a bit further away, but it’s an excellent place for big families that offers a pool, Wi-Fi, a laundry room, and even a general store to stock up on items.
Getting around the city or campus is easy when you use the public transportation system. If you’re traveling with children, you can use a stroller and bring it inside the stadium, but make sure that it’s not blocking the aisle during the game.
Before you head for your RV road trip, take a look at the weather forecast and pack accordingly. Since the horseshoe-shaped Nippert Stadium is open to the elements, you’ll want to pack comfortable and breezy clothing during the start of the season, which is typically warm. As a University of Cincinnati fan, don’t forget to pack black and red clothing, especially garments with the Bearcats logo.
Since only smaller vehicles are allowed to tailgate at The Grid, you may need to cleverly pack a grill and other items if you plan on tailgating. If you have room, bring an ice chest and a fold-out picnic table to make food prep easier. Bearcats red and black gear is welcome at your tailgate and the game, but consider the season and bring along games or activities for your time outside.
Bring sunscreen to the game to protect yourself against harmful UV rays while at Nippert Stadium. Also, pack a first-aid kit into your Sprinter or Airstream in case there are any minor accidents. As a precaution, make sure children stay away from grills and other items that may be potentially harmful.
Whether you choose to tailgate at Bearcats Stadium or not, you can still cook outdoors at your campground. Make sure to stop at a local grocery store beforehand to stock up on groceries and supplies such as firewood, coal, drinks, and ice. Be mindful of where you purchase firewood; local laws only allow it to be transported within specific areas. If you are cooking for a group of people, stick to tried-and-tested finger foods for minimal clean-up later.
Cincinnati is home to a diverse set of restaurants, and you’ll find Italian, Mexican, Chinese, and Indian cuisine. The downtown area is probably the best place for an amazing bite of food, but there is excellent food throughout the city, too. Authentic Italian food and charcuterie boards are among the local delights to consider in this Southwestern Ohio community.
Nippert Stadium continues to offer traditional stadium food, such as burgers, nachos, and hotdogs, but they have also brought in premium local vendors ever since the stadium’s 2015 renovation. Credit and debit cards are accepted at the stadium but not by all vendors. However, there are ATMs in several locations within the stadium.
It’s best to leave backpacks and large bags behind before entering Nippert Stadium since they are not allowed inside the Bearcats home. Small bags or clutch purses may be admitted, but only after they have been inspected by security personnel. Umbrellas are not allowed inside because they can obstruct the view of others, so it’s best to wear a raincoat or poncho if the weather forecast is predicting rain.
Summer temperatures can occasionally hit 90 degrees, but the highest average temperatures occur in July when it averages around 86 degrees. Summers are also humid, but temperatures begin to cool toward the end of September. By the end of December, when the football season ends, the average low temperature is well below freezing at 27 degrees.
There are four first-aid locations around the stadium for Bearcat fans in case you need medical attention. All first-aid stations are operated by medical professionals from UC Health, which is also about a mile from Nippert Stadium. For more serious injuries, dial 911. Pharmacy services are less than a mile from the stadium and close to several restaurants near the University of Cincinnati.