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Marge Schott Stadium

Cincinnati, OH

Home of the Cincinnati Bearcats

3.3

3.3

Marge Schott Stadium (map it)
99 W Corry St
Cincinnati, OH 45219


Cincinnati Bearcats website

Marge Schott Stadium website

Year Opened: 2004

Capacity: 3,085

There are no tickets available at this time.

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Bearcats, Bats, & A Beautiful Ballpark

Currently, the University of Cincinnati is attempting to figure out how to fund renovations and expansions of both the home venues for its football and basketball programs; Nippert Stadium and Fifth Third Arena. It is an arduous, but necessary task in competitive Division I college athletics. Meanwhile, the school already has a great modern ballpark taken care of. Opened in 2004, the name was then changed to Marge Schott Stadium in 2006 due to a generous gift to the Cincinnati athletic department from the Marge & Charles J. Schott Foundation, to whom the controversial Reds owner left most of her estate after her passing in 2004.

3.3

What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    3

There are two concession stands at Marge Schott Stadium, one at the top of the stands along each baseline. When crowds are lighter, only the first base stand will be open. There's the usual assortment of ballpark fare (hot dogs, popcorn, etc.), though I thought the prices were a bit high overall. Cincinnati is one of the rare colleges that sell beer at sporting events, with most of the big domestic brands available.

Atmosphere    3

Structurally, MSS resembles some of the newer minor league parks with seating down the foul lines and an automated scoreboard and decent sized video board out in right field. It's a nice small park to watch baseball in. In fact, I was told the park is a favorite of baseball scouts as the park is more modern and comfortable than a lot of ballparks they have to travel to.

The seats seem to sit high above the field, giving you decent sightlines regardless of where you sit. The outfield wall is entirely a black tarp material over black fencing. Couple this with the stark brick wall of Fifth Third Arena, which butts up against the right-field area of the stadium, and it kind of makes for a boring scene to stare out at. I would almost welcome advertising to help break up the dark scenery.

Neighborhood    3

Only a short 5 minute walk from Marge Schott Stadium, the street that forms the southern border of UC's campus, Calhoun Street, has been going through a university-backed transformation. This has included the school buying up and tearing down older properties to build nicer dorms and eventually, condos with street level retail (on the map link at the top, you can see the empty lots that were left as the economy stalled). A short walk past the soccer stadium on Dennis Street to Calhoun immediately puts you steps away from chains like Panera Bread, Five Guys Burgers, and Buffalo Wild Wings. A few independent restaurants have hung in there through all the construction like Myra's Dionysus. Also, if you want something a bit more unique, go a block south onto McMillan, go west a few blocks and you'll pass Pomodori's Pizza, favored for its wood-fired pizza and Christy's & Lenhardt's, with German food and a beer garden.

As the economy improves, the university has plans to finally complete their plans, hopefully retaining and improving a vibrant campus neighborhood on the school's south end.

Fans    4

The new stadium has served to raise the UC baseball team's profile in recent years. Improved facilities have led to stronger recruiting and thus, more competitive teams to keep fans engaged. The school reported over 1000 season tickets sold for this season, which is solid considering the capacity and competition locally for the entertainment dollar. Along with free access for UC students, aggressive marketing to groups (at $1 a person for groups of 10 or more) has brought solid crowds to Marge Schott Stadium. Fans are well-behaved, only shouting out encouragement to their team. Apparently UC is a well-liked travel destination for opposing fans and I didn't witness any confrontations between the home and visiting fans.

Access    3

It's relatively easy to get to the Cincinnati campus in the Clifton neighborhood, which sits on the hill just north of downtown Cincinnati. The school can be accessed by either major highway in the area, Interstate 71 (1.5 miles to the east) or I-75 (3 miles to the west). Marge Schott Stadium is a part of the University of Cincinnati's Varsity Village, the small "neighborhood" of the school's sports facilities, which includes football's Nippert Stadium and basketball's Fifth Third Arena on the southern end of this urban campus.

Depending on the time of day, traffic in the area can be a beast. If it is rush hour, it will take you some significant time to get in and out of the campus area, and if you can avoid using the highways during this time to get where you need to, I would recommend it.

As for parking, you can pay $5 and park in the Corry Garage, which is right across the street from the stadium. If the game is later in the evening, you may be able to find metered on-street parking, which is free after 6pm Mondays-Saturdays and all day Sunday.

Return on Investment    4

All seats are $5 for adults and $3 for kids. There are bleachers with back rests along the baselines, but the three sections behind home plate are individual chairs. There is no difference in price and all seats are general admission. For anyone local to Cincinnati, season tickets are incredibly cheap at $20 Adults/$10 Kids. As I mentioned before, food is a bit overpriced but there are plenty of decent options around the campus if you don't want to bother with it. Add in the parking options I mentioned previously and you have a pretty inexpensive trip to see a ballgame.

Extras    3

An extra point for the major league talent the program has been slowly producing over the past few years. Bearcat alumni include Cincinnati natives Boston Red Sox 1B Kevin Youkilis (though he left back in 2001, he's remained a supporter of UC Athletics) and Pittsburgh Pirates 2B Josh Harrison. Dayton, Ohio-area native Tony Campana broke through with the Chicago Cubs recently, as well.

Another point for the increased attention UC has given to the baseball program, a sport that is traditionally not a money generator for most schools.

One final point for UC serving alcohol at its ballgames. I'm not a big drinker, but it's nice to have the option.

Final Thoughts

In an area not known for a tradition of college baseball, Marge Schott Stadium has raised the profile. The park is a good example of the university trying to make the best use of its limited space. At a school that has fervently supported its basketball, and now football program, there is now a spring counterpart for students and local fans to rally around.

Springtime in Cincinnati means baseball, Opening Day for the Reds at Great American Ball Park is as close to a holiday as it gets, and now UC baseball has the proper home to include itself in the thoughts of local baseball fans.

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Crowd Reviews

Great Little Park

Total Score: 3.29

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 3
  • Neighborhood: 3
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 3

This is a great little college ballpark. I love it when universities pack all of their sports facilities into one area. It really makes it easy to visit, and there can be a flurry of activity at the various fields/arenas/stadiums.

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Local Food & Drink

Myra's Dionysus  (map it!)

121 Calhoun St

Cincinnati, OH 45219

(513) 961-1578

http://www.myrasrestaurant.com/

Mac’s Pizza Pub  (map it!)

205 W McMillan St

Cincinnati, OH 45219

(513) 241-6227

http://www.macspizzapub.com/

Christy’s & Lenhardt’s  (map it!)

151 W McMillan St

Cincinnati, OH 45219

(513) 281-3600

http://www.christysandlenhardts.com/

Five Guys Burgers & Fries  (map it!)

210 Calhoun St

Cincinnati, OH 45219

(513) 559-9900

http://www.fiveguys.com/locations.aspx?fAddress=45219&radius=5&units=mi

Buffalo Wild Wings  (map it!)

200 Calhoun St

Cincinnati, OH 45219

(513) 281-9464

http://www.buffalowildwings.com/

Pomodori’s Pizza  (map it!)

121 W McMillan St

Cincinnati, OH 45219

(513) 861-0080

http://www.pomodoris.com/

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