Ohio State released artist renderings of where the proposed 2,522 new seats and permanent lights will be going in Ohio Stadium. The new seats, announced last week, will go above the current canopied tunnels at the corners of the south end zone. These tunnels serve as entrance points for Ohio State and the visiting team.
1,261 seats will be added above the southeast tunnel that Ohio State uses to enter and leave the field, while the remaining 1,261 seats will go in above the southwest tunnel used by opponents. Ohio Stadium's last major expansion took place in 2001, when the seating capacity jumped from 98,841 to 101,568. The current capacity is 102,329 and the addition of a further 2,522 seats will push the capacity to 104,851, making the Horseshoe the third-largest stadium in college football (trailing Penn State's Beaver Stadium at 106,572 and Michigan Stadium at 109,901).
- Gene Smith on if there is uneasiness with having a new boss and losing an ally in Gordon Gee: "Not with me. I’m going to miss him. He’s been a great leader. He mentored me in a lot of great ways. We’re fortunate that our coaches have done well and out and student-athletes continue to do well. Our APR the other day was off the chain. I don’t worry about it because this has been my ninth president through the years. I’m going to miss him and the comfort level. He was a solid leader. He was there for me and gave me great advice. I’m sure we’ll find another great leader. I love these trustees. They’re talented, so I feel good about that. But I’m going to miss that steady hand."
- Smith on Michigan night games being inevitable: "I don’t think so. I just cant see us doing that. anything can happen, but I don’t see us doing it. Dave Brandon and I are on the same page. I think it’s too risky (weather and safety). It’s a different beast. All the traffic problems at the Texas game in 2005 were because we had to pull all the security from parking and move them around the stadium. At some point you gotta be realistic relative to what you can handle. I think we can handle Nebraska and all the other ones. But that one is too unique."
- Smith on whether the athletic department is worried about the stadium losing its horseshoe characteristic: "We tried to be real careful with that, which is why we did what we did with the tunnels. (The east and west sides) actually won’t connect. There was a sensitivity to that."
- With marquee games, population growth in Central Ohio and large number of OSU grads, Smith doesn't foresee problem selling out Ohio Stadium. But he did say, "You never know."
- Smith indicated the entire South Stands will be used for the students. Some students will remain in the north end to accommodate their 28,000 ticket allotment. Smith said a section in the north end will be used for youth groups and charity organizations. He said they want to allow people that otherwise wouldn't be able to attend games to see the Buckeyes live.
- Ohio Stadium will receive an upgrade in cell phone service with antennas added in and around the stadium.
Here's a closer look at the artist rendering for the seats above the southeast tunnel.
Also released were photos of the new permanent lights that will go in above the east and west stands.