Outdoor Venues

2018 Welcome Week PAC Movie Night in Sigma Sigma Commons

Our campus has a variety of outdoor gathering spaces suitable for events small or large. We recommend you reserve outdoor space for your events. Take the time to consider your plans to ensure all services can be delivered for memory-making college events.

Outdoor Event and Food Truck Venues

Bearcats Commons
Green space between Arts & Sciences Hall and Tangeman University Center
Spaces A, B, C, D  click for map
39° 7' 54.48'' N 84° 31' 6.0348'' W

Bearcat Pavilion

Brick area & amphitheater between Tangeman University Center, Nippert Stadium and Steger Student Life Center
39° 7' 55.3476'' N 84° 31' 1.4268'' W


Bearcat Plaza
Brick area on MainStreet between Tangeman University Center and Steger Student Life Center
39° 7' 55.4232'' N 84° 31' 4.0728'' W

Blegen Lawn
In front of Blegen Hall, adjacent to the Law School
39° 7' 47.3484'' N 84° 31' 11.1432'' W

Campus Green
Green space north of University Way
Spaces A, B, C click for map
39° 8' 1.4136'' N 84° 30' 46.2852'' W

Campus Recreation Center East Plaza
Partially-covered outdoor area adjacent to east entrance to Recreation Center
39°07'56.5"N 84°30'52.0"W

Campus Recreation Center West Plaza
Outside of CRC housing complex, by Rec Center Circle
39° 7' 56.5608'' N 84° 30' 55.6524'' W

Library Square
Patio between Langsam Library, Rhodes Hall and Zimmer Hall
39° 8' 0.4704'' N 84° 30' 57.96'' W

Schneider Quadrangle
Green space between Swift, Baldwin and Old Chemistry
39° 7' 57.8028'' N 84° 31' 2.9928'' W

Sigma Sigma Commons
Concrete ampitheater and hillside south of University Way
39° 7' 58.7496'' N 84° 30' 52.6392'' W

Tangeman University Center (TUC) Plaza
Brick area in front of TUC's main entrance on Level 3
39° 7' 54.2244'' N 84° 31' 4.152'' W

Zimmer Roof Garden
Patio/green space between Baldwin, Old Chemistry and Rieveschl
39° 8' 0.2904'' N 84° 31' 0.7896'' W

Athletic Venues

  • Gettler Stadium/Myers Field
  • UC Baseball Stadium
  • Nippert Football Stadium/Field
  • Sheakley Athletics Center
  • Sheakley Lawn
  • Trabert-Talbert Tennis Center

Outdoor Event Planning

Quick Links


Music also makes the event, but there are guidelines. There are established hours during the week when music and other amplification is permitted. This information is found in the Use of Facilities Policy.

Bearcats Commons and Bearcat Plaza

Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. during the academic term. It is NOT permitted during exam weeks, intercessions, or summer semester. 

Campus Green or Sigma Sigma Commons

Mondays and Tuesdays from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Sundays from noon to 6:00 p.m. 

Anything outside these locations, times or days will require approval. Requests are made through CES. If your event hosts music or PA system without permission, Public Safety can close it down.

Car Smashing

Before a vehicle can be brought on campus for philanthropic car smashing, notice must be given to CES at least 45 business days in advance of the event date. Site location must be approved by Facilities Management. Budget for Public Safety presence and Grounds clean up. CES will arrange a logistics meeting for event planning. 

The following safety procedures must be in place at the event: 

  • A tarp must hang out at least 5 feet on all sides of the vehicle to catch any debris.
  • Safety goggles must be supplied to anyone smashing the vehicle.
  • Supply roping around an 8-10’ perimeter around the vehicle.

To prep the vehicle these tasks must be done before the vehicle is brought on campus:

  • Drain all fluids
  • Remove all glass


Chalking is only allowed by registered student organizations, and only on cement sidewalks using water soluble chalk. Refer to the Use of Facilities Policy for further information. If the sidewalks are damaged by using non water soluble chalk there may be a fine assessed. No spray chalk is permitted.

Designated Speaking Activities

For guidance about outdoor free speech, review the Use of Facilities Policy.

Dig Permit

Anything that penetrates the ground - a tent stake, a yard sign- requires a dig permit. The process requires 10 working days. Notify the CES department at least 30 days for guidance on this process. The sponsoring organization will need to meet with Facilities Management personnel to mark the outdoor spaces with spray paint. CES will assist the sponsoring organization with contacting Ohio Utilities Protection Services to secure a confirmation number. Once inspection by utilities representatives is completed, the sponsoring organization can proceed with areas approved for digging.  Refer to the Use of Facilities Policy for the full process. 


Anything requiring electric not supplied from a standard outdoor wall or column socket must be pre-ordered through Facilities Management. Typical electric orders include: multiple socket panels designed for outdoor use, electric generators to provide continuous power to large equipment, outdoor lights. Some electric equipment must be ordered from a vendor. The sponsoring organization is responsible for ordering electric. If a work order has not been placed in advance, you cannot expect electric to be supplied. The fee is $100.

Event Fees

Plan your event budget to allocate funds for these UC personnel services. The following service costs are common for outdoor events:

  • Public Safety & EMS personnel (UCPD presence is mandatory if there is an exchange of money due to sales)
  • Grounds clean up or Turf Damage
  • Outdoor electric panels or generator
  • Tent permits
  • Space rental
  • Event insurance

Grill Permit

If you plan to grill at the event, the sponsoring organization must secure a grill permit and have the copy on the premises (for any grilling or open flame). Call UC Fire Prevention at 513-556-4992. It takes 3 business days to process a permit request. If a permit is not obtained you may be subject to a citation.

CES does not provide tables and chairs outdoors. See the CES Event Equipment Rental site.

Logistics meetings are recommended for events hosting large crowds and/or requiring day-long delivery and set up. This meeting should occur 6-8 weeks prior to the event date. CES will organize these planning meetings with your team together with UC outdoor service personnel.  If you wish to organize a logistics planning meeting, please contact the CES office.

Rain Locations

You should consider a rain location at the time of your original reservation, as rain locations may not be available at the time of your event. The decision to use a rain location must be made a minimum of 36-48 hours prior to the event. Email the rain location space holder your decision not to use their space if you decide to stay outdoors. Failure to do so could result in a NO SHOW for the space and incur room rental costs. 

Site Selection

The map identifies outdoor spaces that require a reservation for an event.  Note the Bearcats Commons and Campus Green are divided into sections because the spaces are large enough to share and host multiple events, depending on activity and crowd size.  If you need the entire space for your event, remember to reserve all sections in 25Live.  To clarify misconceptions, Sigma Sigma Commons refers to the outdoor amphitheater space south of the service drive. 

Athletic fields are reservable through the Athletics Facility Management team.

Tent Permit

UC Fire Prevention/Public Safety provides tent permits for any canopy or tent structure that is greater than 200 sq. ft. There is a fee for the permit and it must be ordered at least 10 business days in advance. Note that tent vendors cannot process the tent permit for on-campus locations.  Information can be found in the Use of Facilities Policy Manual. If the tent is to be secured with stakes in the ground, a dig permit is required. It is recommended the tent be secured with water barrels or concrete blocks. Contact UC Fire Prevention at 513-556-4992.

Trash Cans & Removal

UC Facility Management Grounds Services supplies the number of trash cans and staff hours required to clean up for your event based on the expected size of your event audience and amount of food/beverage planned.  All charges will be billed to the sponsoring organization. The sponsoring organization can request an estimate from Grounds Services to plan your budget.

Food at Outdoor Events

Food makes the event, but there is significant planning to observe. Outdoor events that are reserved through CES that involve food, must follow these regulations:

Food Cooked at Event

Anyone who plans to sell raw or uncooked food on UC premises is required to obtain a health permit from:

  • Cincinnati Health Department
    3845 William P. Dooley By-Pass
    Cincinnati, Ohio 45223 513-564-1751  
  • Cost of the health permit is about $153.
  • The sponsoring organization must ensure vendors have secured the permit before they arrive on campus.
  • Contact UC Fire Prevention for a open flame permit at 513-556-4992. It takes 3 business days to process an open flame permit request. If a permit is not obtained you may be subject to a citation.

Cooked Food Brought to Event

Commercial Food Provider

Serving cooked food at your outdoor event supplied by a commercial food provider, requires the organization/ department to provide CES the documentation listed below to safeguard the university, its students, faculty, visitors etc. for food service events/functions conducted outside of existing food service agreements. 

  • Event organizer shall provide evidence of food providers current license(s) with the City of Cincinnati or appropriate municipal authority and with the City of Cincinnati Health Code for food service operators.
  • Event organizer shall provide evidence of vendor’s proof of insurance for general liability of $1,000,000 per occurrence and $1,000,000 in aggregate
  • Event organizer shall provide evidence that the vendor’s insurance names University of Cincinnati as an “additional named insured.” There may be an additional charge applied by the insurance company.
  • All required evidence shall be provided to CES no later than 10 business days prior to event start date.  If not supplied 10 business days prior to the event start date, CES reserves the right to cancel the event reservation. 
  • Space has to be reserved if having a commercial vendor with food sales.

Home-Cooked Food

Serving home-cooked food at your outdoor event is at the risk of the sponsoring organization/department.

Food Trucks

Hosting food trucks on campus requires a submission of the Food Truck Request Form  with required documentation to safeguard the university, its students, faculty, visitors, etc., for food service events/functions conducted outside of existing food service agreements. 

Approved Food Truck Locations

West Campus

  • Bearcat Commons - North (on the double sidewalk)
  • Mantei Center
  • Lindner College of  Business - South
  • Sigma Sigma Commons - East
  • Sigma Sigma Commons - West

Medical Campus

  • CARE - Steps
  • MSB / Kresege Circle


  1. Any food truck operating at the University of Cincinnati (herein “vendor”) must be approved by the approving departments. Vendors must be sponsored by a university organization or department (herein “sponsor”) to operate on any property of the University of Cincinnati.
  2. All vendors must be licensed with the City of Cincinnati.
  3. Sponsor will be responsible for the vendor’s safe operation while on campus, adherence to all rules and regulations governing food trucks, and guiding the vendor through the food truck review process.
  4. In addition to the policies outlined, student organizations must abide by all rules and procedures outlined by the Office of Student Activities and Leadership Development with respect to reserving space and/or hosting events at the University of Cincinnati.
  5. Any vendor that does not receive all appropriate approvals may be removed from campus by UC Parking Services. Any expense incurred because of this action will be the responsibility of the offending party.
  6. Sponsors must submit food truck requests no later than seven (7) business days before the event. Any late submissions are subject to fine or disapproval from any of the approving departments.
  7. If a sponsor hosts an event with more than two food trucks, or where more than 1,000 people are expected to attend, the City of Cincinnati must be made aware of the event by submitting an Open Counter Special Events Request. The City may charge additional fees for this type of permit.  Additional fees from UC Public Safety may apply.
    1. Fire safety guidelines:
      1. The required separation distance between two or more mobile food units is 3 feet.
      2. Food trucks are not permitted to be parked or operate in fire lanes or within 3 feet of a fire hydrant or any other fire protection equipment.
      3. Food trucks or fueled generators may not be used within 10 feet of a building.

Cleanup and Other Post-Event Considerations

  •  Any cleanup costs, parking violations, or other damages associated with the vendor’s presence will be billed directly to the sponsor.
  • Any unpaid fees associated with the vendor’s operation will disqualify both the sponsor from hosting vendors, and the vendor from future operations, until said fees are paid.

Steps to Hosting a Food Truck on Campus

  1. Complete the Food Truck Request Form with required documentation.
    1. Sponsor shall provide evidence of food providers current license(s) with the City of Cincinnati or appropriate municipal authority and with the City of Cincinnati Health Code for food service operators.
    2. Sponsor shall provide evidence of vendor’s proof of insurance for general liability of $1,000,000 per occurrence and $1,000,000 in aggregate.
      1. Event organizer shall provide evidence that the vendors’ insurance names University of Cincinnati as an “additional named insured.”
    3. Sponsor shall provide evidence of vendor’s insurance for Automobile Liability of $1,000,000 per occurrence and $1,000,000 in aggregate in the case of vehicle use for delivery, service, etc.
  2. Once completed, the appropriate departments will review the request, either approving or denying.  
  3. CES will notify the contact on the form of the decision.
  4. If approved, sponsor must request the approved space in 25Live, applicable fees may apply.