USC football game traffic and parking information
The national college football spotlight will shine on Columbus and Ohio Stadium on Saturday (9/12) as Ohio State hosts the University of Southern California. The sold-out game begins at 8 p.m. and will be broadcast nationally on ESPN. In addition, ESPN College GameDay will set up in front of St. John Arena for live broadcasts.
Fans should expect large crowds and traffic delays – especially following the game. Construction on State Route 315 and on some City of Columbus streets near campus will slow traffic as fans head home. Fans leaving the game could find it takes twice as long to exit campus as in the past. Vehicles parked closest to the stadium will likely take the longest to exit.
In general, fans planning to travel south after the game should plan to park in lots south of Ohio Stadium; fans wanting to travel north should park in lots north of Ohio Stadium. A color-coded map is available at tp.osu.edu/Maps/FootballParkingMap.pdf
To avoid campus football traffic, there are several alternatives to parking on central campus:
• Ohio State has arranged a new Park and Ride option at the City Center Garage (Rich & High Streets) in downtown Columbus. The garage can accommodate 3,600 cars. The service costs $5 per vehicle to park and $5 per person to ride the shuttle that goes directly to and from University Hall on campus (just east of Ohio Stadium), beginning at 3 p.m. through two hours following the end of the game. There is no construction between Ohio State and the City Center Garage. For fans living near or planning to spend the night downtown following the late game, this will be a convenient option. SEE: www.downtowncolumbus.com/getting-around-osu-park-ride
• Free bus service from West Campus begins at 11 a.m. and continues until crowds have diminished. Normally this service ends one hour following the end of the game; however, service will be extended to accommodate the expected mass exit as the game ends. 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.
• The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) provides parking and transportation to and from all home football games. Fans can park at the COTA parking area at either the Crosswoods (north of Worthington) or the Ohio Expo Center, located just off I-71 at 17th Ave. The shuttle service, which will operate three hours before and two hours after the game, will drop off and pick up at Neil Ave. and 17th Ave., just a few blocks from Ohio Stadium. 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).
• OSU Airport (Don Scott Field), 2160 West Case Rd., will have two university buses leaving the airport at 6:30 p.m. and dropping passengers off at the stadium near the RPAC. The buses will depart from the same location 30 minutes after the game ends. Tickets are $12 per person round trip, or $8 one way. Airport parking is free. Tickets can be purchased at the Customer Service Desk before the buses leave, or they can be reserved ahead of time by calling (614) 292-5580.
Parking advice: expect delays
Fans should expect some delays and allow extra time to get into campus. Day-of-game parking lots open at 5 a.m. Parking is $10. Free bus service from West Campus begins at 11:00 a.m. and runs continuously until the crowd is diminished.
Several hours prior to game time, some streets on and around campus become one-way, going toward the stadium. After the game, traffic patterns will be reversed, going away from the stadium. Fans should expect very heavy traffic and delays while exiting campus.
State Route 315 is reduced to two lanes in both directions between I-670 and North Broadway. Fans approaching from the south on 315 can exit at Lane Ave. Fans approaching from north will be directed to exit at Ackerman Rd., Lane Ave., or Kinnear Rd.
In addition, High St. north of campus (between Lane and Arcadia) is under construction and reduced to one lane in both directions. Henderson Rd., about three miles north of campus, is eastbound between Starret Rd. (just east of State Route 315) and High St.
Interstate 71, located about two miles east of campus, is not affected by road construction east of and remains an alternative for motorists.
• Day of Game Parking InformationPublic 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 at 11 a.m. and continues until crowds are diminished.
Campus garages available for public parking include the Ohio Union North & South, Arps Hall, South Cannon, 9th Ave. East & West, 11th Ave., and 12th Ave. facilities.
• Disability Parking
There are more than 800 spaces in the lots north of St. John Arena (for those who will travel north after the game). To reach these spaces, enter campus from High St. and proceed west on Woodruff Ave. There are another 800+ spaces located in the Neil Ave. garage, just south of Ohio Stadium (for those who will travel south after the game). To access these spaces, enter campus from the south along Neil Ave.
For parking access, motorists should prominently display a valid disability permit and follow the officer's directions. All spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis and require that the registered owner of the state placard (along with the current registration for the state disability placard) or OSU disability permit be present in the car. Franklin County Sherriff's officers will be checking 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.
A $10 parking fee or valid OSU parking permit is required to park. Shuttles will provide continuous adapted transportation service to the east side of the Stadium beginning at 11 a.m. and continuing until crowds are diminished from both locations.
• Recreational Vehicles/Camper Parking
All RV parking on the Ohio State campus is through pre-sold passes only and is sold out for this game. Spaces are all pre-assigned, and the designated spaces are held for the permit holder until 90 minutes prior to kick off. There will be no day-of-game, on-site sales of RV parking available. The lots open at 5 a.m.
RV/campers with permits who arrive before the lots open or RV/campers without a campus parking permit may park at the Ohio State Fairgrounds on a first-come, first-served basis. COTA shuttles are available to provide transportation to the campus before, during and after the football game. Please see RV Parking for more information.
• 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 season parking permit garages.