Cincinnati Tailgate/Visitors' Guide


Cincinnati Skyline and the Ohio River

This is one of a series of tailgating guides for Big East football schools written by Syracuse fan and tailgate aficionado TexanMark. If you have any feedback or additional information you think belongs in this guide, please drop an email message to Mark by clicking here.

First Things First:  GETTING THERE

Cincinnati location wise is the second most western Big East Football team.  However, a large Delta Airlines hub makes it possible for just about everyone to get a nonstop flight to Cinci. BTW, the airport is actually about 10 miles SW of downtown and in Kentucky! Much like when Pittsburgh was dominated by a single carrier you may actually find a better rates flying into Dayton, Louisville, Indianapolis, or Columbus.  All of these airports are within two hours of Cinci. Amtrak might be an option for fans coming from Virginia and Maryland. Questions about getting from the airport, train and bus stations can be seen here.

If you plan on driving, Cinci is less than two hours from Louisville. Pittsburgh and Morgantown based fans can get there in less than five hours. If you make good time, the next closest is Syracuse at 9 1/2 hours. Otherwise, the other locations are a bit too far to make unless you have a couple extra days. Unless you know someone with connections, a trip to Cinci might prove frustrating for tailgaters (due to lack of facilities) but you should come anyway. As UC grows in Football stature the amenities for great tailgating should develop. The campus and stadium are located about two miles north of downtown. You can get a nice view of the campus here (might require a media player download to view). Two other good views of the Campus.  I have never been to UC but it looks like a neat campus and could become a favorite destination despite some tailgating handicaps. The campus is broken into two main sections. The west campus has the stadium and closeby parking. The east campus has the medical school. Some very detailed campus parking and shuttle info and big picture view of the relationship between both campuses is seen here.

The information below has been taken from the 2005 Cincinnati Football Guide:

Getting to the Stadium:

Nippert Stadium is located on UC’s main campus in Clifton (about two miles north of Downtown), and is conveniently accessed from the East via I-71 and from the West via I-75. The following directions are from the official University website:

FROM I-71 South (Columbus)

• I-71 south to exit 3 - Taft Road.

• Stay on Taft approximately seven blocks to the intersection of Jefferson Avenue.

• Turn right at the University Plaza onto Jefferson Avenue.

FROM I-75 North or South

• Take exit 3 - Hopple Street. At the end of the ramp (stop light) turn left (east).

• Cross over interstate and through Central Parkway.

Hopple eventually becomes Martin Luther King Drive, the campus will appear on the right.

FROM U.S. 50 (Portsmouth and the East)

U.S. 50 to Taft Road (Taft is one-way going west).

• Stay on Taft to the intersection of Jefferson Avenue.

• Turn right at the University Plaza onto Jefferson Avenue.

FROM I-74 (Indianapolis and the West)

• Take I-74 to I-75 south

• Follow directions above from I-75.

Nippert Stadium is actually one of the oldest stadiums in America. It is smallish (about 35,000 capacity) but affords excellent sight lines. Like several other Big East stadiums beer may be purchased inside the stadium until the middle of the third quarter.

Nippert Stadium

Game Day Parking:

Cinci fan, Bourgeois Rage states,

"Parking is mostly limited to parking garages on UC's campus. But if you don't mind walking parking is available around campus for free (on street) if you can find it. There isn't a lot of tailgating and where it does happen it is mostly off campus in small lots. I don't think I've ever seen the big campers that you see at some schools as there isn't a large lot for them to park at. It's mostly out of the back of people's cars/trucks/SUVs."

The information below has been taken from the 2005 Cincinnati Football Guide:

For those not interested in tailgating but just purchasing game day parking, the Clifton Court and Campus Green garages, accessible from Martin Luther King Drive, sell gameday parking while space is available.  Overflow parking is available at the Eden Garage, on Eden Avenue just east of Jefferson.  The gameday parking fee is $8.


Close by parking for disabled patrons is available in CCM Garage on Corry Ave. near Nippert Stadium. You’ll need a state issued handicap tag or placard. Patrons with disabilities should contact the UC Athletic Ticket Office so that their needs may be attended to effectively.


Map of Cincinnati Campus

NOTE: UC Campus is not RV friendly. Cinci is a cramped campus. Add a lot of current (2005) campus construction and you don’t have a classic tailgate environment. I would strongly recommend to leave the RV behind and tailgate out of a Van, Pickup truck, SUV, etc…Unless you have connections it will be tough to tailgate on campus. The two on-campus tailgating lots will most likely be sold-out. They are the Corry Lot (next to the new UC Baseball Stadium) and the Daniels Lot (next to the Corry Lot). These two lots are sold on a seasonal basis and filled with Cinci fans.

There are five additional off campus lots you can tailgate at but only total about 500 tailgating spaces. They do allow normal tailgating activities to include grills.

Schiel School Lot: located on the corner of Vine and Daniels streets, across from the Sigma Sigma House.

Bogart’s Lot: located behind Bogart’s on the corner of Glendora Street and Corry Boulevard.

Martino’s Lot: located directly behind Martino’s Restaurant on Short Vine.  Martino's Restaurant was originally located in Pittsburgh.

LaRosa’s Lot: adjacent to LaRosa’s Pizza located on Short Vine.

Benchmark Lot:  across from the Post Office on Short Vine.

Spaces available on a first-come basis. Both season and individual game day passes will be sold.  For information call: Martino's, 513-221-8487.

Some basic Tailgating rules to follow on the UC Campus taken from the official website:  

1. Tailgating lots open four hours prior to kickoff and will close one hour after the conclusion of the game.

2. There are no designated parking spaces; cars will be parked on a first-come first-serve basis.

3. Tailgating passes are required for the two on-campus lots while the four off-campus lots will park cars on a first-come first serve basis.

4. All alcoholic beverages must be kept in a cup at all times.

5. Grills are allowed in tailgating lots but a fire extinguisher must be present with your grills at all times. Please note that alcohol and charcoal grills are prohibited for fans parking in an on-campus garage.

If you (the reader) know of any good tailgate spots in private lots pass them on. I’ll need an address, cost, charity if any they support, and how many cars it can park and when does it fill up. Email me.

Tailgate Alternatives

"Cattitude on the Commons" is an official sponsored pre-game party before all Bearcat home games. It is located on the Sigma Sigma Commons and starts about 2 ½ hours before kickoff. "Cattitude on the Commons" offers food, drinks, live music, promotions and tented seating. Also, the UC Band, Dance Team and Cheerleaders will be there to provide spirit.

For the kids: The Bearcat Kid’s Zone is located at UC’s beautiful new Baseball Field next to Nippert. Kids and older folks can enjoy inflatable games, carnival style concessions, music, giveaways, and visits from the UC Bearcat. The Kid’s Zone starts about 2 1/2 hours prior to kickoff. It can be accessed through the outfield fence adjacent to the East Concourse of Fifth Third Arena.


A real nice website to get you aquainted with Cinci, it should help you with your search where to stay.  There isn't a whole bunch of lodging near the UC campus but I think I have found most of it.  Kingsgate Marriott Hotel on UC's campus is a nice, brand new facility.  The Vernon Manor is a nice hotel with good proximity to UC.  It is an older historic hotel about 5 blocks from Nippert Stadium.

There are other hotels near UC.  A Holiday Inn Express is about two miles north of campus and a Day's Inn about a half mile to the west of campus.  I get the impression these places are two or three star quality.   If you are interested in a B+B the Parker House might fit the bill for you.  If you want to save some money you have several budget motels available within a mile of campus. 

The Travelodge closed recently but it is now renamed the Rest Inn, 3244 Central Pkwy, #513-559-1800 cheap under $60, no website.  Nearby is also a Budget Host Motel and a Interstate Motel, 3035 W McMicken Ave, #513-559-0600 (no website).  Finally, this guide is good for giving you phone numbers for various "Mom and Pop" Motels.

Downtown Lodging


There are other hotels downtown which are about two miles south of UC.  Several of these are business hotels and if you catch the right weekend you might find a great weekend rate.  I have attached Hyperlinks to all the downtown hotels:

Cincinnatian Hotel, Terrace Hotel, Symphony Hotel, Millennium Hotel, Garfield Suites Hotel, Four Points by Sheraton, Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, Hyatt Regency, Westin, and the Ramada Inn at Union Terminal


The big shopping areas are the Tri-County Mall, but it's quite a drive from UC. Rookwood Commons is a new outdoor mall that is very popular right now. Newport on the Levee is just over the river in Northern Kentucky and is very popular on the weekends. Downtown Cinci does have some limited shopping.  A bit out of town is Cincinnati Mills, well worth the visit if you want some serious outlet shopping. 

Newport on the Levee

Note: The area surrounding the UC campus is undergoing a lot of change. Cinci fans have told me the restaurant and shopping options will improve by 2006.


Christy's and Lenhardt's is a close bar/restaurant right off UC's campus. Grab a beer or some good German Cuisine here. 

The Mount Adams area is about 3 miles from the UC campus and features a number of fun bars, as well as some restaurants and nightclubs.

Downtown on Fountain Square is a Rock Bottom Brewery. The fountain is a must see of Cincinnati; one of the city's icons. A nice variety of dining is available at Newport on the Levee.  Skyline Chili is also a must for those from out of town. They are all around town, though the closest is on Ludlow, which is about 1/2 a mile north of UC. The Ludlow area also supports a variety of locally owned restaurants. This area is about 1/2 mile north of UC.  Typical with other cities in the Big East is the Main Street area.  It has several bars and restaurants in a restored urban warehouse environment.

Main Street



Cincinnati is far enough south to enjoy consistently good golf weather in October and sometimes even to Thanksgiving.

If you have some free time, the area boasts many excellent golf courses.

Shaker Run Golf Course

About an hour north of downtown is arguably the top public course in Ohio. The web site states, "Golf has been masterfully combined with nature at the Tri-State's only top 100 course!  Scenic views are breathtaking! Bentgrass tees, fairways, and greens look like emeralds among the natural settings.  Time is lost and the daily pressures of life are put on hold while you enjoy your golf experience at Shaker Run Golf Club."

Shaker Run

The Vineyard

This is one of the better municipal courses in the country.  The web site states, "Located at Woodland Mound, The Vineyard is sculpted from soft, rolling meadows and lined by dense woods.  The Vineyard's challenging layout, three ponds and meticulously groomed tees and greens compare favorably with the finest country clubs."  

Kings Island

Kings Island Theme Park is open weekends throughout October.  A stay in the northern suburbs might be the ticket for families wanting roller coasters, golf and football.  The golf center at Kings Island is a Jack Nicklaus designed beauty.  Play this course if you want to stay out at Kings Island.  Otherwise, there are some better values to consider.

Blue Ash Municipal Golf Course

Like The Vineyard, Blue Ash Municipal Golf Course, located northeast of downtown, is one the great municipal courses; high on playability and high on value.  The web site states, "Golf Digest magazine has rated the Blue Ash Golf Course one of the top 75 municipal golf courses in the United States (out of approximately 10,000 such courses). The 18-hole, 6,800 yard, par 72 championship layout will challenge even the most discriminating golfer. The golf course is open year-round, weather permitting."

Blue Ash Municipal Golf Course

Short on Time?

For those only with a few hours to spare or if you're a hacker, try one of the many other city courses.

Hope this helps.  I'd like to thank Cinci fan Bourgeois Rage, who helped with this guide. 

The opinions expressed in this guide are those of TexanMark.  While every effort has been made to ensure all the information presented is accurate and current, it would be wise to verify things when possible.  Please note that this guide is not endorsed by, its site publishers, administrators and/or moderators.

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