Photos: Ohio Stadium Renovations

By Kyle Rowland on May 15, 2014 at 2:38p

The field looks the exact same, but there’s a newness to Ohio Stadium. The 92-year-old venue is undergoing a $13.7 million renovation that includes a new playing surface, 2,522 new seats in south stands, permanent lights and concrete waterproofing.

Ohio Stadium was built in 1922 at a cost of $1.34 million. During its first 80 years of existence, the Horseshoe was relatively untouched. In 2001, a two-year, $194 million renovation was completed. The track was removed and the field was lowered. Suites, a new press box, permanent south stands and a state-of-the-art scoreboard were also added. 

The seating capacity rose more than 10,000 to 101,568. For the 2014 season, the capacity will be 104,581. But it currently has about 80,000 seats due to a portion of east side seats being removed for waterproofing.

Whether the stadium’s expansion possibilities have been maxed out or not remains unclear.

“We haven’t really looked into too much of that,” associate athletic director for facilities Dan Patko said. “We have done a few studies for premium seating and things like that, but we really haven’t studied it that closely.”

The additions to south stands will keep the horseshoe shape intact, leaving a 12-15-foot gap in the southeast and southwest corners.

“We tried to be real careful with that, which is why we did what we did with the tunnels,” athletic director Gene Smith said last year. “(The east and west sides) actually won’t connect. There was a sensitivity to that.”

The new tunnel connected to Ohio State’s home locker room in the southeast corner of the stadium will include a red awning with the logo and “Home of the Buckeyes” adorned to it.

Rubber pellets from the old field were taken out with an industrial vacuum and packaged in 300 large bags. They will then be transferred into the new field, which has the same markings — red end zones, Big Ten logos, etc. 

The project’s deadline is Aug. 14, but Patko said a window is open to complete the renovations up until the first game, Sept. 6 versus Virginia Tech.

“We’re excited,” Patko said. “We have a very good group of contractors.”


Comments Show All Comments

Davep160's picture

Did they make the seats 12" wide to uncomfortably fit 165k inside?  

+6 HS
jedkat's picture

I heard they brought in Spirit Airlines as consultants for that specific reason.

"Can we please stop the message board fighting? I really can't stand the message board fighting..."

"No. You're an idiot, and your posts are terrible."

+8 HS
WC Buckeye's picture

That's an airline tactic only, I hope!

The only thing that's new in the world is the history that we have forgotten.

gwalther's picture

That's rumored to be how Bluestar Airlines started making profits after Wildman the White Knight swiped the deal from Gekko.

Class of 2008

+4 HS
jamesrbrown322's picture


"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

+1 HS
Davep160's picture

Nah, they went from 22 to 18 during the face lift.    With all the Hugh Jasses in the seats, I am not sure that was a wise move.   And to be honest, I could care less how many butts they can put in the stadium, it makes no difference to me whether it be 105k or 95k but I do feel it adds to the headache of a gameday, and is probably what causes a lot of people to stay home and watch it from the TV.

Personally I love watching the game from the stadium, you can actually see the defensive backs play.   I do detest spending $200 and not being able to move my arms for 3 hours.  I really love the shoe, but I don't like being packed in like that.

thatlillefty's picture

Remove the seats. Let everyone stand up and get rowdy. We'll fit 200K.

+13 HS
AngryWoody's picture

I'd be down with that, but I never sit down anyway. I'm the dude everyone hates to sit behind lol

Our Honor Defend!

+9 HS
Crumb's picture

Me too Woody! Except maybe me even worse cause I'm 6'5". Who needs seats!

"The only good thing about it is winning the d*** thing" - Urban Meyer on The Game The War

+4 HS
yrro's picture

I'd love it if they split the place into "standing" and "seated" sections, and let people pick on their ticket order.

+1 HS
Davep160's picture

I think in 2001 they took it from 22" to 18" so my comment was in jest that they will eventually get down to 12"

OSUpawn's picture

I want to be there!!

I believe the SEC players put their pants on one leg at a time like we do.

Johnny Ginter's picture

i dont and have never cared about the color of the endzones, but i really, really hate the font that they insist on using for OHIO STATE and BUCKEYES in the endzones. it looks like the most generic microsoft word crap ever, and for the life of me i dont know why they dont use block lettering

RedStorm45's picture
It's an athletic department that brought you this change (^) so...


+6 HS
ibuck's picture

Never liked this logo, either version. The big O is fantastic, but the Ohio State across it is garish, IMO. We should have a world class logo befitting our top 5 program status.

Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !

If you can't win your conference, just quietly accept your non-playoff bowl game.

+2 HS
skid21's picture

And guess how much money they paid for this change.  Unbelievable. Some things are just wrong.

buckIalum's picture

I thought I was the only one! 

I think our current endzones look like NC State or something.

+5 HS
jedkat's picture

Comic Sans or bust!

"Can we please stop the message board fighting? I really can't stand the message board fighting..."

"No. You're an idiot, and your posts are terrible."

+7 HS
Buckeyeneer's picture

Wing Dings! Go $(!#:_)*@&*(&# !

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

+2 HS
Furious George 27's picture

I also would like to see grey endzones with  scarlet lettering and block O at the 50

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

+1 HS
lwitters's picture

I would just like to see some gray period.  It's like we're abandoning gray as an official color.  Used to be in the lettering on the field and on the jersey sleeve stripes, but has been removed in both instances in favor of white.  I don't get it.

+1 HS
JasonR's picture

I actually like it. When it comes to lettering, less is usually more IMO. But block letters would be great too.

RedStorm45's picture

The new tunnel connected to Ohio State’s home locker room in the southeast corner of the stadium will include a red awning with the logo and “Home of the Buckeyes” adorned to it.

I hope this improves the team's entrance to the field prior to games.  It is among the worst in the country, imo (Sorry everyone).  Stay under that tunnel until it's time take the field.  None of this slowly walking to the 10 and 15 yard line waiting for TV cameras.  Takes all the air out of it.

+2 HS
97Buckeye's picture

Still that same ugly fluorescent red color.

+2 HS
cal3713's picture

I didn't know they were replacing the fieldturf... glad to know that happened.  The past couple years it's started looking pretty bad on TV... I hated the two shades of green they had alternating every 10 yards.

southbuc's picture

Alternating green was the bomb. 

+5 HS
Zimmy07's picture

Has anyone ever been on turf like what they are putting down?  It looks "tall" for turf.

RedStorm45's picture

Is it not going to be the same as before?

Kyle Rowland's picture

It's tall now because the rubber pellets haven't been put down. Once they are down, only a half-inch of turf sticks up. 

Zimmy07's picture

Ah, I see.  I was a little worried it would be a "slow track" if it were some kind of new imitation tall grass turf.

Crumb's picture

I guess I see the Shoe like a woman you're truly in love with, she will ALWAYS be gorgeous. This is home!!!

"The only good thing about it is winning the d*** thing" - Urban Meyer on The Game The War

+9 HS
CarolinaBuck's picture

I'll echo some of the previous opinions in that I really thought the way-to-bright red end zones bordered on tacky. I was hoping they would go back to the green grass end zones with the gray lettering. I just thought it had a classy and dignified look to it.

+5 HS
Kurt's picture

Perhaps someone else will know better, but as I've understood the synthetic turf companies don't have a grey color and this is the reason we're stuck with black, white and red.  

Also, the entire reason Tress pushed for the synthetic field was that the field was often waterlogged creating poor and inconsistent playing conditions.  Again, perhaps someone will know more on this but as I've basically gathered: after the field was lowered following the last renovation it pushed the elevation of the field down around the same level or lower than the Olentangy and thus the field was getting wet.  So there are pumps in the stadium constantly removing water.  The pumps weren't enough to remedy the problem so they went to synthetic.  So now that the dams have been removed from the Olentangy and the water level has dropped significantly I've been wondering if the water issue has been relieved enough to allow for natural turf again. 

+2 HS
alust2013's picture

I don't see why they couldn't make gray turf, especially since that's about the easiest color of plastic to make, but I suppose it's possible that they don't make it. 

I heard that another issue with grass is that parts of it didn't get enough sun after the field moved down, so it would die and need replaced all the time. I don't remember  where I heard that though, so it could be wrong.

Either way, it would be great if those obnoxious endzones would go away. They could easily make them green with white lettering or something like that.

...and Michigan still sucks.

+1 HS
kmp10's picture

The synthetic turf field at Texas Stadium (AT&T stadium / Jerry Jones' palace) has plenty of gray in the end zones. "Cowboys" is in gray inlaid into blue end zones. I agree with the 'font hate' gong on here, and I detest the emphasis of the color white in all things Ohio State these days. Make the letters gray outlined in black. C'mon...

+1 HS
Chief B1G Dump's picture

There is a slurry wall built around the stadium  which keeps the Olentangy water table out. But conversely, you can think of it like a bathtub, in that it will also keep larger amounts of water inside the slurry wall. They were struggling with drainage and maintenance for a while. In 06 the field got beat up really bad and would not recover so they resodded it before the season. That season was particularly bad weather and soggy so the sod never rooted and took. They ended up having to resod again during the season. That was the last straw, the athletic department decided it wasn't worth it to keep battling the grass and decided to move to artificial turf again. They could always go back to grass, and I wish they would, but based on this new commitment it sounds as though we will have this artificial surface for the next number of years. 

Also, they can definitely make gray turf. You can have it painted any color under the rainbow.  So, not sure who keeps fubaring our end zones?

+1 HS
schweinfurth.12's picture

Gray turf is not a problem.  The University of Central Arkansas, Conway, Arkansas has a Purple and Gray field.  I have visited this and it is really strange...

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

For the record, no one is advocating alternating Scarlet & Gray stripes for Ohio Stadium

SeattleBuckeye20614's picture

It's... it's beautiful 


+8 HS
PittBuckeye's picture

That dudes shoes in picture 15, I want them.

bucksfan92's picture

Hate, hate, hate the end ones.  Why in the hell do we use white on anything at all.  White is not one of our colors. One end zone should have been scarlet with grey lettering, the other grey with scarlet lettering.  So simple, yet they still fucked it up.  Typical Gene Smith-era, let's take an opportunity to improve something and make it just as bad or worse. Get him the hell out of there!

-2 HS
nikolajz1's picture

Thats pretty silly. Our white away uniforms are probably the best in cfb. Grey is an ugly color in large amounts (see OSU's grey basketball jersey). An all grey endzone wouldnt look as good as the one we have now. 

-2 HS
OvalBeachBum's picture

OSU's grey basketball jersey's are easily our coolest basketball jerseys.  Not saying I agree with the grey endzones, but I dont understand why we have white jerseys either.  Grey would be sweet

"Well, thats just like, your opinion, man."  -The Dude

+7 HS
teddyballgame's picture

no complaints here. 

buckeyeEddie27's picture

Say want you want but as far as I'm concerned I really dig the endzones and block O at the 50. Always thought the grey letters looked kinda jank. When that field is lit up at night, there is no equal in CFB.

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

+2 HS
Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

The problem with that claim is that it looks almost exactly the same as Camp Randall.

-1 HS's picture

 Can't even tell that the south stands are any bigger. 

+1 HS
AeroBuckeye2001's picture

I don't believe they've added the seats yet.

The Ohio State University Class of 2001

BS Aero & Astronautical Engineering

+1 HS's picture

That's what I thought.  I'll wait to judge but if it makes things louder I will be happy. 

OnceaBuckeye's picture

Thank God the south end isn't being closed... I was afraid of that when I heard they were adding seats above the tunnels.  I still miss the open bleachers.  Nothing like watching a game with the wind whipping through them.  Against PSU once I swear it rained, sleeted, and snowed all at the same time.  

And when we win the game we'll buy a keg of brew!

+1 HS
Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

I always loved how the old south stands moved with the crowd. An awesome but also a potentially terrifying experience.

+2 HS
omahabeef1337's picture

11W, can you clarify the comment about the tunnel. Will there be an actual tunnel now, or are they just replacing the current awning?

Bamabucknut's picture

Have some of the decision makers forgotten that the school colors are scarlet and G R A Y

and not scarlet and white ?


If you ever see true Scarlet - it's more red orange then it is red, and is a much warmer color than just red... I think we have gotten away from this over the years...

"I don't apologize for anything.  When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes

+1 HS
OSU_1992_UFM's picture

I think we should do the entire field in red. With green endzones,white and pink letters. That would be fabulous!!!

Spring football is like non-alcoholic beer.  It looks like what you want, but only intensifies your desire for the real thing--Earle

Fort Seneca Steve's picture

The 'SHOE, which is, was and always will be the best place to play college football in the land, in front of the greatest fans ever, just keeps getting BETTER!!  Love it / Love the pictures!  Can't wait to love it in person!!!

Before there was Larry Bird, there was "Hondo" John Havilcek! The Pride of Martins Ferry, Ohio!