CINCINNATI - The University of Cincinnati will spend $2 million to design a new West Pavilion at Nippert Stadium, adding 2,000 seats, luxury boxes and other premium-seat amenities by August, 2015.
UC Trustees were asked to approve the issuance of bond anticipation notes to cover design costs Tuesday morning. Before the meeting, UC President Santa Ono said a fundraising campaign will be announced "relatively soon" for the Nippert expansion, with an estimated price tag of $70 million to $75 million. Ono declined to say how much has already been raised for the project.
"We're doing well. I'll just leave it at that," he said.
A report to UC trustees describes a 100,000 square foot expansion with 1,200 box seats, 44 loge boxes and 28 private suites.
"The absence of premium seating/suite amenity options severely limits Athletics earning potential," the report said. "The inadequate and dated facilities hamper the ability to market the UC football program on many levels."
UC has been trying to join the Athletic Coast Conference because the Big East has lost several high-profile members in recent years. But the ACC dealt Cincinnati a setback in November when it added Big East rival Louisville, but passed on UC and Connecticut. Ono declined to comment on UC's prospects for joining the ACC, but said a renovated Nippert can't hurt the cause.
"I can't imagine it would do anything other than help with our attractiveness as an institution for all conferences, including the Big East, which we're in right now," he said.