12:00 AM

Ohio State prepares for 2007 home football season

COLUMBUS – Ohio State University plays seven home football games this season, beginning with the 2007 season opener at noon on Saturday (9/1), when the Buckeyes host Youngstown State.

Changes for this year's football season include concession stands that will accept credit cards, a taxi stand to help visitors find a cab after the game, and changes in parking.

The changes were discussed at a media briefing on Tuesday (8/28). View the briefing here

With more than one million fans expected on campus this football season, Gameday at Ohio State requires the efforts of hundreds of people from across the university and from law enforcement agencies across the state all working together to make sure Ohio State home football games are a safe and enjoyable experience for fans. Fan safety and enjoyment are also the goal of a number of policies that will affect the game day experience. Those policies involve parking, tailgating, and security. Fans can learn more about policies at athletics.osu.edu/gameday

Tailgating and other traditions

Tailgating at Buckeye football games is a long-standing Ohio State tradition. Fan behavior before, during and after each game reflects on the university and the community. Fans are asked to conduct themselves in a manner that allows all fans to enjoy the game in a safe, family-friendly atmosphere.

• Students from the Ohio State Sportsmanship Council, who launched the Best Fans in the Land campaign last season, will greet visiting fans before each home game and encourage Ohio State fans to extend a courteous welcome to our visitors.

• Fans are expected to obey all state and local laws; treat fellow fans – including those supporting the opposing team – with civility; and respect the property of others.

• As in past years, law enforcement agencies will continue to enforce state laws regarding use and possession of alcohol. A number of law enforcement authorities will issue citations or make arrests for violations of laws prohibiting open containers of alcohol in public areas, including university parking lots and garages. Persons engaging in underage drinking, public indecency, disorderly conduct and other violations are subject to arrest.

• In accordance with fire codes, there is no grilling inside of parking garages, including the rooftop level. Grills (propane or charcoal) are permitted on surface parking lots.

• Columbus Division of Fire inspectors will inspect tents to enforce a city code that requires a permit for tents larger than 200 square feet. In addition, there is no cooking permitted inside or underneath a tent or awning.

Skull Sessions
The OSU Marching Band Skull Session starts two hours before kickoff of every home football game. Held at St. John Arena, the Skull Session is a popular concert/pep rally, with more than 10,000 fans in attendance. The event is free, with seating on a first-come, first-served basis.

Ohio Stadium Policies
Gates to Ohio Stadium open two hours prior to kickoff.

Officials remind fans to travel light. All bags, small purses and containers are subject to search, and will slow fan entry to the stadium.

• Security personnel outside each gate will assist with crowd control, check identification for those with discounted student or faculty/staff tickets, and look for prohibited items.

• Items that are not permitted in Ohio Stadium include alcohol, baby strollers, bags (larger than 14" x 14"), balls, banners, beverages, bottles, cameras with changeable or additional lenses, chair back seats, containers, weapons, drugs, fireworks, flags, food, frisbees, ice chests, knives, noisemakers, picnic baskets, televisions, radios without headsets, signs, thermoses, video recorders.

• Fans requiring back support for health reasons should enter gates 9, 14 or 25. If you provide a doctor's note demonstrating specific need you may enter with a chairback seat at these gates. All other fans with special health or medical needs should also enter gates 9, 14 or 25.

Ohio Stadium (capacity 102,329) will be packed with fans for all home games. As in past years, all home football games will be sold out.

Only tickets purchased or received from the Athletics Ticket Office are guaranteed to be valid. Tickets that are reported as lost or stolen will be voided and will receive an invalid scan at the gates. Guests with an invalid scan will be turned away.

Discounted tickets
Fans using discounted student, faculty or staff tickets must show valid OSU I.D. (BuckID) along with their ticket prior to entering the gates of Ohio Stadium.

• Fans with student season tickets (which begin with the Northwestern Game on September 22) must present a valid OSU Student I.D. at the gate.

• Faculty/staff tickets are printed on distinctive "faculty/staff ticket stock" that identifies the ticket as requiring a current OSU I.D. for admittance. One valid OSU I.D. gets two faculty/staff season ticket holders into the game.

• Those with discounted tickets wishing to let the general public use their ticket may upgrade their ticket to a full-priced public ticket. The ticket-holder must come to the ticket office to authorize the exchange, and pay the difference in the ticket price and any service charges that apply. Upgrades must be done prior to the day of the game.

Disability Seating
Reserved season seating for persons in wheelchairs is located in D deck and the top of the AA deck. Individuals who need wheelchair accessible or disability seating should contact the ticket office, (614) 292-2624, prior to the game so that they may be reseated. A handicap placard or doctor notification is required.
Every effort will be made to find suitable seating for individuals requiring disability seating.

Elevators are located near sections 7, 10 and 37. These elevators may be used by individuals needing assistance in climbing to their seats in B deck or C deck.

Military Flyover
The university has planned a military flyover at the Illinois game on November 10 in recognition of Veterans Day. This will be the first military flyover since the 2002 Michigan game.

Refreshments are sold by vendors and at various concession stands located throughout the stadium. For the first time, all 36 permanent concession stands will accept credit cards. Guests who would like a drink of water may request a courtesy cup from any concession stand.

Smoking is prohibited in all areas within the gates of the stadium.

Umbrellas may not be opened in the seating areas of Ohio Stadium. Fans may carry their umbrellas into the stadium for use before and after the game.

Parking advice: arrive early
Fans should plan to arrive at least 2 to 3 hours prior to kickoff to park in a campus parking lot. Approximately three hours before the game starts, some streets on and around campus become one-way, going toward the Stadium. At the end of the game, traffic patterns are reversed, going away from the Stadium.

The 9th Avenue Garage, closed last season for renovation, has been re-opened. However, the Ohio Union Garage will be closed for the first three home games of the season and is not scheduled to open until September 24, 2007.

In an effort to help fans find a taxi cab after the game, the university has set up a taxi stand this year on West Campus off Carmack Road (in front of Bevis Hall).

A color-coded campus football parking map is available at http://tp.osu.edu/Maps/FootballParkingMap.pdf

Day of Game Parking Information
Public parking is available in any "day-of-game" lot on a first-come, first-served basis at a charge of $10 per vehicle (no charge with a current OSU permit). These parking lots include parts of the Polo Field lot, Ag campus lots, Fawcett Center, Buckeye lots at the Schottenstein Center, and West Campus lots. Free bus service from West Campus begins six hours prior to kickoff and continues until one hour after the game.

Campus garages available for public parking include the Neil Avenue garage, accessible from Neil Avenue just north of 12th Avenue; Arps Hall garage, South Cannon garage, 9th Avenue garage, 11th Avenue garage and 12th Avenue garage. The Ohio Union garage will not be available for the first three games.

Public parking is also available at the South Campus Gateway garage, located east of High Street – between East 11th and East 9th Avenues. Cost is $10. A free shuttle bus will take fans from the Barnes and Noble bookstore on High St. to Neil Avenue between 10th and 11th Avenues on game days. Shuttle service begins two hours prior and ends two hours after each game.

Disability Parking
Disability parking is located in the parking lots north of St. John Arena. They are accessible from High Street to Woodruff Ave to Tuttle Park Place via Curl Drive or Lane Avenue. An OSU disability parking permit, a disability parking permit issued by the Athletic Department, or a valid State Disability Placard is required. The individual to whom the State Disability Placard has been issued must be present in the vehicle. A shuttle will provide continuous adapted transportation service to Gate 14 of the Stadium beginning six hours before kickoff continuing through one hour following the game.

• RV/Camper Parking
Parking for recreational vehicles, campers, and vans with season parking permits is located west of Bill Davis Stadium and north of Borror Drive. A limited number of Day of Game RV/Camper parking permits will be sold for $50 on a first-come first-served basis in the Buckeye lot only. The Buckeye lot opens at 5 a.m.

Because overnight parking is not permitted in the Buckeye Lots and Gray Lots, all RVs arriving prior to 5 a.m. on game day are expected to park at the Ohio State Fairgrounds, which are located less than two miles from campus. Parking will cost $22 per day, per vehicle and electrical/water hookups will be available. A shuttle service to and from the Fairgrounds will be provided by the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) for a $3 round trip fare per person.

Season Parking Permits
Reserved lots for those who have purchased a season parking permit from the Department of Athletics or Transportation & Parking Services are: the lots around Ohio Stadium, south French Field House, Sisson Hall, the North Polo field lot, the lots south of Lincoln Tower, the Schottenstein Center lots and the Riverbank lots west of the Olentangy River, as well as the Northwest, Tuttle Park Place, and North Cannon (Medical Center) garages.

Shuttle Information
Free bus service from West Campus begins six hours prior to kickoff and continues until one hour after the game. Shuttles pick up and drop off fans at Mount Hall on West Campus and the Sisson Hall footbridge located just west of Drake Union and Ohio Stadium.