by John Bach
When it comes to playing under the lights, Cincy’s literally an old pro. Bearcat football players first started practicing under the lights in 1909 out of sheer necessity, as the large number of co-op students on the team was only available to practice after dark.
As technology improved, UC’s electrical engineering co-ops designed a lighting system that allowed UC to host one of the first night football games in the United States and the first in the Midwest on Sept. 29, 1923, when the Bearcats opened their season under the stars by beating Kentucky Wesleyan, 17-0.
In the season-ending game that year vs. Miami (Ohio), Jimmy Nippert sustained a spike wound and died a month later on Christmas day of blood poisoning. His grandfather, James Gamble (soap maker and co-founder of Procter & Gamble) donated the $250,000 needed to finish the horseshoe-shaped structure.
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