Covelli Arena Coming to Ohio State

By Kyle Rowland on November 21, 2012 at 10:39a

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hodge's picture

Fred Taylor and Ackerman?  Kay...

Wobble in our Shoes's picture

Exactly what I was thinking. It's already hard enough (with BuckID perks) to get students to come to non-revenue sports like volleyball or wrestling, now it'll be impossible. On the plus side, I guess parking will be easier? Yeah, I don't know.

hodge's picture

Well, it might make some sense, I guess:
My old roommate is a CSM major, and he tells me that the City of Upper Arlington really  wants to make Lane Ave. a two-lane street with lots of off-street parking.  This will slow traffic through the "Lane Ave. Corridor", and I've heard they're planning to compensate by connecting Ackerman through all the way to Zollinger in UA, and diverting traffic that way.  If this indeed happens (hence the bridge replacement on Ackerman, east of Olentangy), the new location could help open up an "Athletic Corridor" from Ackerman all the way to Lane, connected by Fred Taylor.
Here's the scoop, straight from the City of Upper Arlington's website:

Commercial District Roadway Reconfiguration
Last year's decision to institute some roadway alignment changes for this section of Lane Avenue will be implemented. There will be one eastbound travel lane, a center turn lane, and typically one westbound lane. The curb lane on the north side of the street will be used for on street parking for the majority of the day, except during the evening rush hour when it will be used as a second westbound lane. Resurfacing work for this section of Lane Avenue will not occur until 2013, once a significant portion of the mixed-use project is complete and the north lane is returned to service. Engineering will, however, closely monitor the quality of the roadway around the concrete trench from last year's AEP project, with patch repairs made as necessary.

Still don't love the idea, but I can see the logic.  You'll have Covelli and The Schott anchoring opposite ends of this corridor, with The Shoe sitting pretty as the crown jewel on campus.  Besides, if the University keeps growing, the space occupied by St. John would be much better served for classrooms and dorms.  In the '50s, we could afford to have all of our athletics on campus, now we need a separate athletic campus entirely.  Thank God we built the 'Shoe in the '20s; if we'd built it now, it'd be at least a mile off campus.

Wobble in our Shoes's picture

Thanks for the informative response! The plan certainly makes sense, I'm always the type of person who thinks of campus' future far more than Columbus' future, but they aren't mutually exclusive at all. They really seem to be focused on the "athletic campus" idea, with the Schott, Woody Hayes Complex, then the Covelli all together. 
Totally in agreement about classrooms and dorms (especially if the push to keep 2nd years in dorms continues). The purchase of the Lane Ave. Holiday Inn shows how desperate the administration was to acquire land/facilities, as they are really boxed in. 

AndyVance's picture

Thanks for sharing this - I've seen some folks asking about the current St. John Arena site and wanted to add some details there. The current strategic plan for campus, the "One University Framework," calls for that space to be used to create additional educational structures as part of the "academic core" of Ohio State. Specific plans call for moving the agricultural campus - currently located on the Western banks of the Olentangy - to the St. John in a quad somewhat analagous to the Fisher College of Business layout. From a 2009 Ohio State press release about the framework:

The key concepts are the creation of a pair of cross-axes, and a "frame." The green east-west axis runs from 15th and High through the Oval and south Oval, through the library (the center of campus), and on to the river, and through west campus; Neil Avenue becomes the strong north-south axis. The “frame” acts to both define some boundaries and to create a "docking station" which provides opportunities for external partnerships. The frame should facilitate compact, sustainable growth as well as interdisciplinary collaboration. The frame and cross-axes create multiple districts with 10-minute walk circles, each of which will function as a strong neighborhood to make One University feel more intimate. High Street becomes a cultural corridor with three concentrated pulses of activity: the first at Gateway, the second at Lane and High, and the third, with an arts focus, at 15th and High. Additional pulses of activity develop around the frame

With that framework in mind, the concept of an "athletic campus" North of Lane along Fred Taylor Drive makes even more sense. Here's some more info on the framework.

dancorona5's picture

the people who like those sports will find a way to get there. and if you look at whats close by, its not like its in the middle of nowhere. jesse owens, bill davis stadium, woody hayes athletic courts? maybe? sure there are buses that head out that way.

carence's picture

So when they demolish St John's, where will they hold skull sessions?

RedStorm45's picture

exactly what I was thinking.  Upwards of $40 million needed in renovations apparently...demolition likely.

741's picture

I would think Schottenstein Center, no?

William's picture

It's only 0.3 miles further away than St. John's arena...

OSUStu's picture

I wouldn't have gone out of my way to watch the sports that will be held at Covelli but why at Fred Taylor and Ackerman?  What will be going on the St. John's site?
Also, the rendering in the story is ugly.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

Ohio State Ombre's picture

the story says more classroom buldings and student housing will be put on the site. im with arena in that spot would be awesome. i wish the mens basketball arena was there...would be a blast

UrbanCulture's picture

The new arena does not look very attractive.

rampageripster's picture

I will wait and see... As a diehard volleyball guy I loved and hated SJA.  I loved the proximity and the historic feel, I hated the size (too big) and the temperature control sucked something bad.  This new arena is the perfect size and will be state of the art, but it is kinda out there.  Jesse Owens Stadium was a bit of a hike and this will be further... Athletics better improve the CABS route out there.

Cause I couldn't go for three

buckeye56's picture

I hate to say this, but Skull Session dies with St. John Arena.  Shame.

OldColumbusTown's picture

It will be tough to replace, no doubt.  Location-wise, and just the way it was setup to hold in the noise/sound... St. John was made for something like a Skull Session.
If it's moved to the Schott, I doubt you'll see the same crowd size.  It's disappointing, but there aren't many other options for St. John when it requires so much upkeep.

Jarrett's picture

NOT so fast BUCKEYE56! I say, demolish SJA but keep the ice rink. I think it would be awesome to see the Best Damn Ice Skating Band In The Land ice skate their "skull session" routine to the crowds approval! A script Ohio on skates, yeahhhhhhhh. 
But seriously- Haven't been to OSU to see a skull session or game in a very long time. Didn't Steinbrenner donate a bunch of money to the marching band a few years back? I thought they built a new building for the band to practise in....if so, would it be possible to have the skull sessions there, or to bulid/add on a smaller type area just for that purpose? 

"I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy." Groucho Marx 


RedStorm45's picture

The Steinbrenner band room is attached to the 'Shoe, literally impossible to have more than a few hundred people up there, unless you're referring to something else.

741's picture

I believe there are plans for a new ice rink in the master plan. They are essentially going to have an entire athletics campus over there off of Olentangy (north of the WHAC). Residence halls, training facilities, everything. Pretty amazing stuff actually.
(Giant 118 page PDF containing the master plan can be found here.)

Bucks43201's picture

Thank you for your support of The Ohio State Univeristy athletics, Covelli family. I will be dining more at Panera in the future.

"You win with people." - Woody Hayes

ArTbkward's picture

I know this should be a good thing for the university but I just can't be excited about it.  The day that St. John's gets demolished will be a very, very sad day.  I wish they would spend the money to update it rather than make it student housing. 

We should strive to keep thy name, of fair repute and spotless fame...

(Also, I'm not a dude)

William's picture

I understand the sentimental value attached with St. Johns, but 

  1. It's outdated
  2. The cost to refurbish/repair/maintain it is too much
  3. There is a huge need for more dorms
  4. It's butt ugly
RedStorm45's picture

There is a huge need for dorms because of the ridiculously stupid rule that all 1st and 2nd year students live on campus.
Will the women's team play all their games at the Schott now? I thought SJA worked nicely for them and it hosted some NCAA first and second round games every few years.

AndyVance's picture

I'll disagree with the dorm-rule criticism... I spent my first year in the dorms, but my ex-wife got a waiver to live off campus. Comparing our experiences, I can say with impunity that she missed out on a large part of "The Ohio State Experience" that comes only from living on campus. I don't know how I'd feel about being forced to live on campus the second year - I moved into an off-campus apartment with four of my buddies - but I'm definitely not opposed to the concept that students spend more time on campus.

William's picture

There's actually a huge need for dorms in general, not just because of the new sophomore requirement. OSU had to purchase a hotel and turn it into a dorm residence (Lane Avenue Residence Hall). The student body is ginormous and there is a need for more dorm space.

Jarrett's picture

I agree with your points, 1-3. It's been so long since I've been on campus, I can't remember what it looks like. I DO remember sitting at the very top as a kid, watching the skull sessions and I thought it was a pretty cool place.  And I remember they stopped holding concerts there because they thought the noise may cause some damage...and then they roped off the top sections because they didn't want anyone sitting up there for safety reasons.  THAT was over 25 years ago! My God, I can't imagine going there to watch anything now- I feel sorry for everyone that has to do anything there- it was falling apart decades ago. Wow- how does the university allow a place like that to go so long without fixing it up? I kind of expect more from OSU when it comes to that- unless, of course, they have wanted something else there (their agenda)  and now it wouldn't be logical to put $30/40 million into it....times change- it needs to go-new traditions need to be started as we say goodbye to the old ones. 

"I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy." Groucho Marx 


GoBucks713's picture

I wonder if it will be shaped like a Portobella and Mozzarella Panini?

-The Aristocrats!

SouthBayBuckeye's picture

Sources say it's more of a bread bowl shape. 

Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST

dancorona5's picture

mmmmmm bread bowl filled with brocolli cheddar soup....

BuckeyeTrack10's picture

Also, here's the link to the athletic department facilities master plan:

Buckeye Chuck's picture

My memories of St. John aside, I like the idea of a new arena for the non-revenues, and it makes sense to have it over there in the Schottenstein orbit. Props to the Covellis.
I have to agree, though, it doesn't seem like there can be any way for Skull Session to survive the loss of St. John, at least in its current, spectator-friendly sense. It was the perfect size and in the perfect place.

The most "loud mouth, disrespect" poster on 11W.

Illibuck's picture

Anyone else think the rendering for the arena is ugly?  It looks like a large box, it has no character. 

Tim's picture

Yeah, it looks kind of like a generic department store from the rendering, although it's not a very complete picture.  I guess we'll see.

OhioKris's picture

and thus was born, "The Cove"