First lets start off with the challenge itself which came last night as Ohio State was being honored by the Cincinnati Reds for winning the CFB Playoff National Championship this year. In what has become sort of a tradition the Reds have invited the Buckeyes and Coach Meyer to Great American Ballpark to throw out first pitches and get a round of applause from the crowd. Which in and of itself is a nice gesture and should be applauded. Then comes along the official University of Cincinnati Bearcats Twitter account to rain on the Buckeye parade…
Hey @OhioState, you've been to Paul Brown. You've been to Great American. We would love to host you at Nippert or Fifth Third. 👍
— U of Cincinnati (@uofcincy) April 8, 2015
A simple enough gesture the Bearcats want to host Ohio State in Football and/or Basketball. Getting Ohio State to play at Nippert Stadium would be great for the Bearcats. On the other hand though would do nothing for OSU and in fact would cost OSU quite a lot. How you say could it cause OSU harm? Lets discuss.
Loss of money– OSU is a self-sufficient Athletic Department and has the largest Athletic Dept. in the country and it takes quite a lot of money to run said AD. One home game alone on ticket sales at $80 per ticket x 106000 tickets = $8.5 million. Add in merchandise, parking, food, and other forms of income and OSU is easily bringing in 20-25 million per home game on the conservative side. Playing a game at Cincy would cost probably $500k just to travel and feed and lodge the players and coaches and OSU employees. OSU really truly cant afford to play at Cincy.
Recruiting- OSU and Cincy for the most part do not recruit the same players. When was the last time you saw a recruit with an OSU and Bearcat hat on the table when making a decision? Never is probably correct. So there is no recruiting advantage to playing at Cincy. In fact say OSU loses that would hurt OSU recruiting and give Cincy coaches a chance to make up ground on OSU on the recruiting trail.
Stadium size- Nippert Stadium holds roughly 35k fans. Sure they could play at Paul Brown which prob holds closer to 70k fans but OSU wouldnt get a cut of the money raised and would have many more fans there than the Bearcats.
Ohio Schools- If OSU caves to the Bearcats would other Ohio Schools start calling out the Buckeyes to visit their schools? Maybe? Why take the chance it is a PR nightmare.
Perception- OSU prides itself on being the only true “BCS” school in Ohio and dominates the state and there is no reason to ruin that perception because of a funny banter tweet.
But why not Basketball?– Have you seen the chicanery that happens in UC vs Xavier games? The pent up aggression between OSU and UC is palpable and there is a lot at stake and is it even worth it? Want an Ohio Tourney with OSU, XU, UC, and Dayton? Sure would be fun play it at a neutral spot not at each others home courts.
There is not a single good reason for OSU to play Cincy in Cincy ever in any sport. Can you think of one? If so let me know in the comments thanks.