Unpopular Opinion: We Don't Need A Nippert Farewell
While it's not clear right now if the the 2020 season will resume in any way, shape, or form, it is very possible that FC Cincinnati has kicked its last ball at Nippert Stadium. A stadium that has meant a lot to FC Cincinnati's history and perhaps more importantly its success may have only been able to host four soccer seasons on its historic field. This is something of a tragic thought for many in the fan base because the stadium has come to represent so much of the team to them. But if the 2020 season is cancelled or some solution is crafted that includes not playing games there, FC Cincinnati should not come back.
Breakups are hard. Especially one that is brought on by... distance. We'll call it distance. Being forced apart, Nippert and the fan base have had to navigate the first Spring/Early Summer away from each other for the first time since 2015. But a breakup is necessary for the good and the health of this club.
And I sure hope we're not done with Nippert in 2020. I really hope the season comes back and we're able to get something that looks like a regular season. The Open Cup's long history of never shutting down is at serious risk this year, and that breaks my heart. I want to be clear that I hope we get FC Cincinnati in Nippert again this year. but after this year? I never want to come back.
Sure, there is a certain nostalgia that Nippert will always carry for FC Cincinnati fans. This stadium gave us "The Bailey". It's where we beat the Crew, the Fire, and took New York Red Bulls to the brink when we were in USL. It's where the team started. It's where we marched to from Short Vine. It's where Djiby didn't bite McCabe. Where we hosted Crystal Palace.
It's also the stadium that caused thousands to miss the first ten minutes of the fire match because the concourses couldn't handle the traffic. It's the stadium that had 20 person line for a single bathroom in the cafeteria behind the bailey. It's a stadium that needs porta-pottys in order to function as an actual stadium. The stadium decked out in black and red isn't FC Cincinnati's stadium, no matter how good of a job the operations team does.
When the West End stadium opens, that will be the home of FC Cincinnati. And as fans of this team, we should embrace that, right? This is what we have been building towards for years now. Nippert was a fantastic launch pad, but the West End is where we will land. 30 years from now you can impress (read: bore) your kids and grandkids about how you were at games in Nippert.
So if we are indeed done with Nippert, lets be done with Nippert. No Open Cup games, no throw backs, no friendlies, please. Get me into that new spaceship stadium and let me start building new memories. Let me stand safely and not teeter-tottering on a bench. Give me a stadium that is orange and blue. A stadium that has enough bathrooms. Let's agree to leave the past in the past.