Slight changes expected at Ohio State home football games
Ohio State University will kick off its football season on August 30 against Youngstown State, and those fans planning to visit Ohio Stadium for one of the seven home games will notice a few changes to help make for an enjoyable experience.
Among the changes this year are improvements to enhance the game atmosphere, including the addition of a new student section, reserved parking spots for Recreation Vehicles, an enhanced gameday website, and new guest services booths. Fans will also notice construction of a new parking garage and academic building on Lane Avenue just east of St. John Arena.
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.
Football Gameday Web Page
Fan safety and enjoyment are the goals of a number of policies that will affect the game day experience. The ohiostatebuckeyes.com Gameday web page will feature more information for Buckeye fans than ever before. The site includes parking policies, stadium policies, fan information, ADA services and a schedule of events associated with the game. Information will be updated throughout the season at OhioStateBuckeyes.com
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 everyone to enjoy the game in a safe, family-friendly atmosphere.
The Best Fans in the Land campaign, launched by students from the Ohio State Sportsmanship Council in 2006, has enjoyed tremendous success. 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 2008 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.
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.
Marching Band 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. Visitors should anticipate security checkpoints at the arena before entering. Doors will open four hours before the game.
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, and 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.
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 Athletics Ticket Office at (614) 292-2624 prior to the game. Every effort is made to find suitable seating for individuals requiring disability seating. A handicap placard or doctor notification is required.
Elevators are located near sections 7, 10 and 37 for individuals who need assistance getting to their seats in B deck or C deck.
Fans using discounted student, faculty or staff tickets must show a valid OSU ID (BuckID) along with their ticket, prior to entering the gates of Ohio Stadium.
Student season ticket-holders (valid beginning Sept. 27 vs. Minnesota) 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 the game.
Student, faculty and 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.
Food and Refreshments
Donatos Pizza is new among the food and refreshments offered at concession stands throughout the stadium. There are 194 concession stands and all 36 permanent stands accept credit cards. Pizza is available at 4A, 21A, 22A, 10C, 17C, 23C and 26C. Guests who would like a drink of water may request a courtesy cup from any concession stand.
Game Day Atmosphere
Visitors will enjoy new cheers and video presentations to increase crowd engagement at this year's games, including:
· A new "Block O" band formation during the Buckeyes' entrance onto the field.
· Use of the entire video board for enhanced video clips and game highlights.
· Feature the Ohio State Marching Band playing "Hang on Sloopy" between the third and fourth quarters.
· Additional music segments following team timeouts.
In addition, new student-only seating in the south stands will complement the current student section at the north end of the stadium to create an energizing atmosphere behind each end zone.
"Ohio State provides more student tickets for football than any other school in the nation (30,000), so we would like to capitalize on this enthusiasm and create an intimidating atmosphere for the visiting team regardless of which direction they are heading at any point in a game," said Bill Jones, assistant athletics director for ticketing with the Ohio State Athletics Department.
With this change, the entire south stands will be student seating in addition to those in the north/northwest sections of the stadium. This will create two continuous student sections in either end of the stadium. The Department of Athletics has also started discussions with student leaders to create a second "Block O" section for students in the north end zone to allow for coordination of cheers and activities between the two student sections.
Guest Service Booths
New to the stadium landscape are guest services booths located near Gates 13, 14 and 38. Staff members will be available to assist fans from the gate opening 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 2008 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 may carry their umbrellas into the stadium for use before and after the game.
Parking advice: arrive early
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 help fans locate taxicabs after the game, the university will again this year set up a taxi stand on West Campus in front of Bevis Hall, 1080 Carmack Rd.
A color-coded campus football parking map is available at here
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. Free bus service from West Campus begins six hours prior to kick-off and continues for one hour after the game.
Campus garages available for public parking include the Ohio Union, Arps Hall, South Cannon, Ninth Avenue, 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 $20. 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.
Due to construction of a new parking garage and academic building on Lane Avenue at Tuttle Park Place, fewer parking spaces exist on the north side of campus.
Disability parking lots remain north of St. John Arena. They are accessible from High Street to Woodruff Avenue to Tuttle Park Place via Curl Drive or Lane Avenue. Additional disability parking is available in the Neil Avenue garage near Neil and 12th avenues. This alternative location will be necessary through the 2009 season until the new Lane Avenue garage opens.
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 at Gate 14. 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, Franklin County Sherriff's 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
For the first time, fans who park recreational vehicles, campers, and vans will have a reserved spot waiting for them. Vehicles with pre-sold season and single-game reserved parking permits will park in lots west of Bill Davis Stadium and north of Borror Drive. The cost per game for a reserved RV parking space is $90 and is only sold in advance through the Athletics Department website. 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 in the Buckeye Lots and Gray Lots. All RVs arriving prior to 5 a.m. on game day must park at the Ohio State Fairgrounds, located less than two miles from campus. Parking will cost $25 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 $4 round trip fare 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 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.
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 before the game. The fee to park at the Expo Center is $5 per vehicle this year (previously $10). Roundtrip bus fare to and from OSU is $4 per adult (children up to 12 years of age ride free---limit three children per family).
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 east end of the Woody Hayes Bridge on the north side of Woody Hayes Drive.
Fans are encouraged to walk in clearly marked main intersections. 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.