18:00 PM

Ohio State prepares for 2009 home football season

COLUMBUS – Ohio State University will kick off its 2009 football campaign Sept. 5 vs. Navy and fans planning to attend one of the seven home games are encouraged to plan and leave early when traveling to Ohio Stadium.

Because of ongoing construction on many Columbus streets and the closure of several entrance and exit ramps on State Route 315, motorists should review their travel routes and anticipate. For detailed information about construction traffic, visit http://www.BuckeyeTraffic.org/315 and http://www.pavingtheway.org/

"Traffic delays will be inevitable," according to Sarah Blouch, director for Ohio State Transportation and Parking Services. "Due to road improvements being made on State Route 315 and many streets surrounding the campus area, fans are advised to double the time of their commute traveling to and from the game."

Blouch encourages guests who will travel north after a game to park in lots north of Ohio Stadium. Similarly, guests that travel south after a game, should park in lots south of the stadium. Follow the directions of police officers regardless of where you park as traffic conditions may change.

A number of shuttles and alternative travel options will be available to game-goers, including a new park and ride option from the downtown City Center garage. Shuttles will pick up and drop off guests at 17th Avenue by University Hall (near the Oval). The fee is $10.

The university will also make use of the popular social media service Twitter for fans who want to follow the Buckeyes' every move on game day in addition to many game-day activities. Fans can sign up at Brutus_Buckeye. Inside the stadium, guests will experience the addition of two new LED screens on the east and west sides of C Deck and a new scoreboard and signage at the north end zone. The Athletics Ticket Office will also implement a new policy that allows fans, unable to attend a game or get their tickets to a friend, to electronically upgrade and transfer tickets to their guest. The ticket forwarding option allows guests to print the ticket from their own computer for a fee of $3 per ticket.

With more than one million fans expected on campus for the 2009 season, the Ohio State football program relies on the teamwork of the university community and law enforcement agencies to make "Game Day" a safe and family-friendly atmosphere.

Football "Gameday" Web Page
Fan safety and a family friendly atmosphere are the goals of a number of policies that affect the game day experience. The ohiostatebuckeyes.com Game Day web page features more information than ever for Buckeye fans. The site outlines parking policies, stadium policies, fan information, ADA and medical services, and a schedule of events associated with the game. Updated information is available throughout the season at ohiostatebuckeyes.com

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

• Students from the Ohio State Sportsmanship Council launched the Best Fans in the Land campaign in 2006. This season, students will again greet visiting fans before each home game and encourage Ohio State fans to extend a courteous welcome to visitors. For additional information on the 2009 campaign, fans may visit http://bestfans.osu.edu/

• 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 the 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.

• Fire inspectors will inspect tents to enforce the law requiring a permit for tents larger than 200 square feet. In addition, cooking is not permitted inside or underneath a tent or awning.

Marching Band Skull Sessions
The Ohio State 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. Visitors should anticipate security checkpoints at the arena before entering. Doors open four hours prior to kickoff.

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.

• Everyone, regardless of age, is required to have a ticket, credential or be on a pass list in order to gain admission.

• Security personnel outside each gate will assist with crowd control, check the identification of discounted student or faculty/staff ticketholders, 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 detachable lenses, chair-back seats, containers, weapons, drugs, fireworks, flags, food, frisbees, ice chests, irritants, knives, noisemakers, picnic baskets, televisions or radios without headsets, signs, thermoses, and video recorders.

• Guests that provide a doctor's note demonstrating a specific need for a chair back seat may only enter the stadium at Gates 9, 14 or 25. All other fans with special health or medical needs should also enter through Gates 9, 14 or 25.

Disability Seating
Reserved season seating for persons in wheelchairs is located in D deck and the top of AA deck. Individuals who need wheelchair accessible or disability seating should contact the Athletics Ticket Office at (614) 292-2624 three weeks prior to a game. Every effort is made to find suitable seating for individuals requiring disability seating.

Four elevators, located on the west side of Ohio Stadium between gates 17-23, provide access to disability seating on D deck. (Guests will need a green sticker on their game ticket to access the elevator). Elevators located near sections 7 and 10 provide assistance for fans with seats in B and C decks. One elevator, located in south stadium near Section 39, only provides access to seats in the South Stands.

Discounted tickets
Fans using discounted student and faculty/staff tickets must show a valid OSU ID (BuckID) along with their ticket, prior to entering Ohio Stadium.

• Student season ticket-holders (valid beginning Sept. 5 vs. Navy) must present a valid OSU Student ID at the gate.

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

• Students and faculty/staff ticket-holders must upgrade to a full-price public ticket to allow the general public use of their tickets. The Ohio State 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.

• The deadline for ticket upgrades is one day prior to the game.

Ticket Forwarding Option
The Athletics Ticket Office will implement a new ticket forwarding option that allows ticketholders, unable to attend a game, to electronically upgrade and transfer tickets to guests. Designated guests will be able to print tickets from their own computer for a fee of $3 per ticket. For more information, fans can log on to www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com and select the "Tickets" link.

Food and Refreshments
A variety of food and refreshments are available at concession stands throughout the stadium. There are 194 concession stands and all 36 permanent stands accept credit cards. Guests who would like a drink of water may request a courtesy cup from any permanent concession stand.

Game Day Atmosphere
Visitors will enjoy more new cheers and video presentations to increase crowd engagement at this year's games highlighted by:
• Two new LED screens located on the east and west sides of the stadium in C deck.
• A new scoreboard and signage at the north end zone.
• Scarlet Fever Campaign/New fan T-shirts.
• Lively music segments following team timeouts.
Ohio State students will again play the role of the 12th player on the field with student-only seating in the south stands and at the north end of the stadium, creating an energizing atmosphere behind each end zone. Ohio State provides more student tickets for football than any other school in the nation (30,000).

Guest Service Booths
Guest services booths designed to assist guests with questions, comments or concerns are located near Gates 13, 14 and 38. Booth workers will be available to assist fans from opening or the stadium gates until the game crowd clears.

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

Ohio Stadium has a seating capacity of 102,329 for home football games. As in past years, tickets for the 2009 season are sold out.

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

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

Parking advice: Arrive Early
Due to ongoing highway construction on State Route 315, fans are encouraged to arrive at least two to three hours prior to kickoff to park in a campus parking lot. Approximately three hours before kick-off, select streets on and surrounding campus become one-way moving toward Ohio Stadium. Traffic patterns reverse at the end of the game to streamline traffic leaving the campus area.

A color-coded game day 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 parking 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.

For fans parking on West Campus, a free bus service will provide continuous service beginning six hours prior to kickoff through one hour after the game. The 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.

Campus garages available for public parking include the Ohio Union North and South, Arps Hall, South Cannon, Ninth Avenue East and West, 11th Avenue and 12th Avenue facilities.

Public parking is also available at the South Campus Gateway garage, located east of High Street between East 11th and East Ninth avenues. The cost is $10. A free shuttle bus will take fans from the Barnes and Noble bookstore, 1598 N. High St., to Neil Avenue between 10th and 11th avenues. The shuttle service begins two hours prior and ends two hours after each game.

• Disability Parking
Due to continuing construction of a new parking garage and academic building on Lane Avenue at Tuttle Park Place, parking spaces are limited on the north side of campus.

Disability parking will be located in lots north of St. John Arena and on south campus in the Neil Ave. Garage. They are accessible, while space is available, from the east via High Street to Woodruff Avenue and near Neil and 12th avenues, respectively.

Shuttles from both disability-parking locations will provide continuous adapted transportation service beginning six hours before kickoff and continuing one hour after the game. Shuttles from the north disability parking area (north side of St. John Arena) will drop off guests at Gate 18. Shuttles from the south disability parking area (Neil Avenue garage) will drop off in the RPAC loop at the southeast corner of the stadium.

For parking access, a valid State of Ohio disability placard is required. The individual to whom the placard is issued must be present in the vehicle. In an effort to ensure that there is adequate disability parking available for those who truly need it, officers will be checking disability placards at both locations. Anyone using a placard without having the registered owner in the car will be unable to park and subject to a citation.

• Recreational Vehicles/Camper Parking
Passes for all RV parking on the Ohio State campus, season and single game, are sold in advance of gameday through the Athletics Department website at www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com.
. The season RV Parking Lot, located next to Bill Davis Stadium, is reserved for season ticket holders only. The Day of Game RV Parking Lot is located on Fred Taylor Drive across the street from the Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
Single-game RV passes are $90 and can only be purchased on a game-by-game basis subject to availability. There will be no day-of-game, on-site sales of RV parking available. The lots open at 5 a.m.

Overnight parking is not permitted. All RVs arriving prior to 5 a.m. on game day must park off campus. Alternative parking is available at the Ohio State Fairgrounds, located less than two miles from campus. Parking will cost $25 per day, per vehicle and electrical/water hookups are available. A shuttle service to and from the fairgrounds will be provided by the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) for a roundtrip fee of $4 per person.

• Season Parking Permits
Individuals who have purchased a season parking permit from the Department of Athletics or Transportation & Parking Services will park in reserved lots located around Ohio Stadium, French Field House South, Sisson Hall, the North Polo field, lots south of Lincoln Tower, the Schottenstein Center and the Riverbank lots west of the Olentangy River. The Northwest, Tuttle Park Place, and North Cannon (Medical Center) garages are also available.

• Ohio State Shuttle Information
Free bus shuttles from West Campus begin 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.

• Alternative Transportation
City Center garage will be the site for a new park and ride option. The express service will transport guests between the garage, at Rich and High streets downtown, to 17th Avenue by University Hall.

COTA provides express and local bus service to all Ohio State home football games. Express service will be available from the Ohio Expo Center, the state fairgrounds on 17th Avenue, beginning three hours prior to the game and two hours after the game. The parking fee is $5 per vehicle. Roundtrip bus fare to and from Ohio State is $4 per adult (children up to 12 years of age ride free---limit three children per family).

To help fans locate taxicabs after games, police will again this year set up a taxi lane on Lane Avenue near Tuttle Park Place.

The "Pedal Instead" program provides bicycle valet service during the Ohio State home football games. Donations for the service are accepted. Bicyclists are provided with a "claim check" and can retrieve their bicycles after the game. The Pedal Instead Bike Corral is now located on the south side of Woody Hayes Drive on the east side of the bike path. An overflow area will be reserved on the basketball courts just south of Drake Union.

• Pedestrian Safety
Fans are encouraged to walk in clearly marked main intersections, especially following late afternoon and night games. Pedestrians and drivers should follow the instructions of public safety officials who are working to ensure their safety. Be considerate and courteous to each other travelling to and from the game.