FourFourTwo's 20 best stadiums for soccer in the U.S.: Nos. 20-16
Our countdown begins with some of the smaller gems across the country. You may not have been to these and you may not even know what you're missing. Allow us to enlighten you:
20. Nippert Stadium (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Known as the home field for the University of Cincinnati football team since original construction in 1915, Nippert Stadium has more recently turned into one of the more boisterous locations for lower-tier American soccer as the home venue for FC Cincinnati—even remaining part of the club’s push toward MLS expansion as a temporary home if its bid is approved.
Nippert has undergone substantial upgrades since the early 1900s, including a massive remodel in 2015 that highlighted its brickwork and wrought-iron gates, character which gives this on-campus venue charm. But while this 35,000-seat stadium remains large enough to host varying levels of soccer, it was too tight for MLS-ready games, prompting a change this spring to reconfigure the lower bowl for an additional five yards in length and width to bring the playing field to 115 yards long by 75 yards wide, all on artificial turf.
Already with a season under its belt at Nippert, FC Cincinnati generally has its capacity artificially confined to about 25,000 (a record soccer crowd did balloon to over 35,000), but all with the amenities expected at a top-level NCAA football venue in terms of premium seating options and concessions. And the orange-and-blue clad supporters have found a home in the north side, “The Bailey,” giving life—and song—as one of the most robust lower-tier U.S. soccer clubs.