New Look Ohio Stadium Set to Rock in 2014

By Chris Lauderback on August 16, 2014 at 11:15a
With new seats, Ohio Stadium's capacity climbs to 104,944.
Eleven Warriors' 2014 Ohio State Football Season Preview

Entering its 93rd year of hosting Buckeye football, the landmark on the banks of the Olentangy River at 411 Woody Hayes Drive has undergone a fresh batch of renovations.

At  price tag of $13.7 million, Ohio Stadium is set to kickoff the 2014 season with new field turf, nearly 2,600 additional seats and permanent lights. 

The new playing surface is simply a replacement of the previous, excepting the recycling of the rubber pellets from the old version, with the end zone designs and colors remaining unchanged. 

Replacing rented temporary lighting structures will create more flexibility for scheduling changes, eventually generate a new revenue steam by allowing OSU to host more community events, add a few parking spots and improve traffic flow in the lot.

A common misconception is that the upgrade will save the school from paying the roughly $80,000 tab for  temporary lighting. In reality, that cost is picked up by the television networks though the cost is subtracted from the pie of revenue B1G teams split annually.  

While the permanent lighting is a welcome change, it's the extra space in the south stands installed to handle student ticket demands that have created the most buzz.

Still a Horseshoe

With the addition, the Ohio Stadium's capacity jumps to 104,944 making it the 4th largest on-campus facility in the country. To its credit, the university added seating while preserving the famous horseshoe shape by allowing a 12-15 foot gap between the southeast and southwest corners of the south stands and the rest of the stadium. Those two openings, while shrunken, will still serve as the tunnels in which teams access the locker rooms. 

Finally, Ohio State invested in concrete waterproofing in an effort to protect original portions of the structure that is closing in on a century of hosting Buckeye football. 

At a cost of $1.3 million raised mostly through private donations with construction starting in 1920, Ohio Stadium was originally built as a 66,000 seat structure though 71,138 packed The House That Harley Built on its dedication way back on October 21, 1922. 

The Shoe underwent minimal change over the next eight decades with the exceptions of the installation of artificial turf in 1972, a new scoreboard atop the south stands in 1984, and the return of natural grass in 1990. 

Let there be light

In 1999, Ohio Stadium underwent its most seismic renovation to date – a three-year project completed before the 2001 season opener – at a cost of $194 million. Much of the cost was offset by fees generated via the installation of hospitality suites and club seating.

That wasn't the only major modification as Ohio State opted to remove the track ringing the field, paving the way for a lowering of the playing field and an ability to install more premium seating. The south stands also became a permanent structure with a brand new scoreboard attached though it was eventually replaced before the start of the 2012 season.

With the latest round of renovations complete, Ohio State fans will have to wait until September 6th – when the Buckeyes welcome Virginia Tech to Ohio Stadium –  for the opportunity to try on their new Shoe. 


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LILBUCKEYE's picture

Damn I'm so excited to football to start

The Ohio State University '17

+2 HS
BrutusBuckey3's picture

"...Also to be installed at the end of this year is a 2014-15 National Championship banner."

+2 HS
FROMTHE18's picture

any pictures of the new seats?

+3 HS
Jack Burton's picture

Here's one from FNL

It's all in the reflexes - Me

+13 HS
TURD_BUCKET's picture

AAAHHH, there are the lights!!

“Being average means you are as close to the bottom as you are to the top.” John Wooden

+2 HS
Rob Reese's picture

Lights and more seats.  I approve.

Alumni lounge attracts pretty people
+1 HS
What Would Troy Smith Do's picture

Man that looks weird.  Although I like the lights.

gumtape's picture

Evolving, I like it. When I was a student in the late 90s, we had that awful monstrosity of south stands where half of the field was obstructed behind the scoreboard. There was talk of closing the open end, then they just decided to move the scoreboard back, D'uh. I remember during some games those seats were often empty. It was a bad look.

High and tight boo boo

+4 HS
Phillips.449's picture

Not to mention the fact that It always felt like those stands were going to collapse when we scored a touchdown!

+6 HS
chirobuck's picture

yeah no kidding, I wanna know who designed that and who let that be built that way, thank god they figured it out


^ best post ever ^

+2 HS
bucksfan92's picture

I remember walking by the Shoe on the way to class when they would put up and take down the South Stands before and after every football season.  It was kind of unnerving seeing them "make the sausage" so to speak.  Basically a bunch of carnies swinging like monkeys with wrenches kept 15,000 people from crashing to earth for 7 or 8 Saturdays every Autumn.  

But - after the season was over and they were down, it was something magical to be able to see right into the stadium, unobstructed, as I walked to and from my car, which was always parked in the stadium lot.

+17 HS
FitzBuck's picture

I remember being 14 years old and walking  up that swaying structure.  It scared the shit out of me.  My uncle told me it's 50/50 that it could come down but it was worth it....he was right.

Fitzbuck | Toledo - Ohio's right armpit | "A troll by any other name is still a troll".

+6 HS
Phillips.449's picture

Yep i agree walking to class from Morrill tower with South Stands gone was damn cool.  It still amazes me to this day how huge that place is.  Buckeye Nation is so lucky to have such a cool place to call our home.

+1 HS
Furious George 27's picture

I wish the went with the grey end zones and scarlet lettering.

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

+7 HS
ibuck's picture

Could the scarlet end zones create better contrast (than gray, etc) so the zebras can more accurately tell whether a foot is in-bounds? 

If so, and it means a Buckeye reception or three are called TD's, I'm all for Scarlet.

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.

+1 HS
THE's picture

The RED (not scarlet) is pop for fans and TV...

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NatiBuck's picture

I understand the difference between red and scarlet as colors, but are you sure the end zones are technically red and not scarlet? Also what's the point?

MJB15's picture

Meh never was a huge fan of the endzones, too bright making it look more red 

+7 HS
Myc24's picture

The Shoe will be so loud this year, it'll be unreal. Can't wait until kickoff!

"Because I couldn't go for three!"  - Wayne Woodrow Hayes

+2 HS
FunZone's picture

The lights look great in person

I asked Braxton how his knee was before halftime at Berkeley and he said, "What up, man."

+2 HS
airbuckeye's picture

 The cost is subtracted from the pie of revenue B1G teams split annually.? Ok if im reading this the right way The Big 10 as a whole is paying for the new lighting out of the TV Contract that pays for all the teams? Thats going piss off a lot of fan base's across the Big 10 screaming how unfair they have to pay for the new lighing for The Shoe.

I think im going love this if that is what is comming from adding the new lights even more so than the idea of the night game's knowing every other fan base is going pissing in their Cherrio's over this LOL.

+2 HS
Phillips.449's picture

I may be mistaken but I read it as the cost to rent the temp. lights were subtracted from revenues every year.  So, if I am not mistaken, adding the permanent lights adds to the revenue split.

+7 HS
TURD_BUCKET's picture


“Being average means you are as close to the bottom as you are to the top.” John Wooden

+1 HS
TheAFBuckeye's picture

Anybody think we will break the attendance record in the shoe this year?

Edit: Disregard, I previously thought we could break 110k but incorrectly remembered what the record was...

Let's Go BUCKEYES!!!!!

bucksfan92's picture

Yep. Probably 7 times :)

+2 HS
TheAFBuckeye's picture

Yeah probably every game after I realized what it was.

Let's Go BUCKEYES!!!!!

nikolajz1's picture

We'll probably get to around 108,200 for the VT and Michigan games. 

+2 HS
gravey's picture

I thought the shoe was now 3rd largest behind the Big Outhouse and Beaver.   UT's 4th?

+1 HS
JOhio1560's picture

I think you're right.

EDIT: After some research, I can confirm you are correct.  The Shoe is 6th largest in the world, 3rd largest in the States.

Rungrado May Day Stadium    150,000[1]  North Korea

Salt Lake Stadium    120,000[2]  India

Michigan Stadium    109,901[3]  United States

Beaver Stadium    106,572[4]  United States

Estadio Azteca    105,000[5]    Mexico 

Ohio Stadium    104,944[6]  United States

I'm not finished!  Before we let you leave, your commander must cross that field, present himself before this army, put his head between his legs, and kiss his own arse.

+2 HS
TURD_BUCKET's picture
  • Big outhouse 109,901 ( bigger is NOT always better ) Did not think they could stack shit that high
  • PSU 106,572
  • SHOE 104, 944
  • Neyland knoxville 102,455
  • Bama 101, 821
  • Texas 101,119

Info at this link needs to update OSU totals

“Being average means you are as close to the bottom as you are to the top.” John Wooden

+5 HS
HandsOfSweed's picture

Interesting list. Azteca may be the worst place on Earth for a visiting team, regardless of sport. Serious air pollution at a serious elevation with seriously dangerous fans throwing human waste on visiting players. Eff that.

+1 HS
Humbuck's picture

Take away the elevation and the air pollution and you are in Happy Valley.....

+3 HS
THE's picture

Looks sweet. 

Now, if we just get that new team entry to go along with the evolved Shoe, my shorts will be skorched. 

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ScarletGray43157's picture

I wonder how long it will be before someone tries to go all Parkour and tries to fly over that 12-15 foot gap from one section of the stands to the other.  

In old Ohio there's a team that's known throughout the land...

+3 HS's picture

thinking the same thing. If we clinch an undefeated season in late November, the place will be a madhouse and someone is going to go for it. 

+2 HS
JOhio1560's picture

Man, I'm pumped to see the new 'Shoe.  I saw the lights on while driving thru C-bus in early August, but I've yet to see the new seats.  I've been in discussions with a few people to get discounted tickets to "The Game" so hopefully I'll get to see the Shoe's new look live.

I'm not finished!  Before we let you leave, your commander must cross that field, present himself before this army, put his head between his legs, and kiss his own arse.

Scott's picture

Chris, has there ever been discussion about upgrading the south stands facade? From the base of the concrete it looks like the south exterior was supposed to have archways like those around the rest of the stadium but, with all of the odd squares and exposed pipes and metal, it just looks incomplete.

Class of 2008

+2 HS
Tater_Schroeder's picture

This.  I've always thought the outside of the South stands seems incomplete. 


+1 HS
nikolajz1's picture

I've always wondered this too. Could easily be fixed with a bunch of banners of old players across the back. 

+3 HS
bigDbuck's picture

Talked to a guy last week who's company is going to lay thousands of feet of fiber optic lines in a few weeks. Will make wifi in shoe much faster. 

+3 HS
buckeyedude's picture

Damn kids should be watching the game, anyway!



+1 HS
Hoody Wayes's picture

I've been visiting the Shoe since I was a wee lad, in the 70's. Used to glimpse it from my window in Lincoln, every morning before classes. It has never looked better, to me. We are fortunate, indeed. Ohio Stadium is the best damn football stadium, in the land!

+4 HS
BSTP DeCon's picture

Anyone have any idea of the expected attendance record for the VT game?

nikolajz1's picture

If previous night games + the number of seats we added are any indication it should be 108,000

THE's picture

I would think its hard to tell...because games like that, they count all the press passes, folks on the field, etc...not just ticketed fans. 

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+1 HS
thowen79's picture

I'm not sure if this has been discussed elsewhere but has anyone heard anything regarding the team entrance onto the field? Are they just going to walk out of that huge opening or is there some sort of smaller tunnel that they will come out of? They need to come up with some sort of stand out tradition, not just walking out of some huge tunnel onto the field.

BuckeyeRealist13's picture

Does anybody know when the non permanent South stands were first put in Ohio Stadium? 

"You're damn right thats daddy" - Urban Meyer 

whiskeyjuice's picture

14 days left..........

"Championships are not won on Saturdays in November. Championships are won on Tuesdays in August." -- Kerry Combs

+1 HS
braneli's picture

Very cool, thank you for sharing!

"You are confined only by the walls you build yourself."

+1 HS
northcampus's picture

I didn't mind the old south stands during my time in Columbus because as I took in all four quarters in those old rickety bleachers, I experienced many great games and many great times (and met a few people that led to even more great times!)

I do love the new upgrades to the grand old stadium (especially the increased capacity), but I still miss that natural grass and the elegant gray 'OHIO STATE' and 'BUCKEYES' in the end zones.

+2 HS
What Would Troy Smith Do's picture

Agreed.  The Red end zones look good but I kind of like the understated gray writing in the end zones.  

+1 HS
What Would Troy Smith Do's picture

ARGH!  Double post.  

Crumb's picture

The place just gets better looking every time I see it!!! This is home!!

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

+1 HS
buckeye4life050233's picture

Went by the stadium today and decided to take a pic of the new tunnel and finished seats!!!!  Tunnel still has a little work left it looks like 

+4 HS
hawkins.326's picture

I was down in Columbus over the weekend and found an open gate on the south end, so we walked in to check out the lights and all the new south end zone seats. Then we walked around and saw this tunnel. I don't know if I missed this, but is there going to be some sort of new entrance for the team? Or will it be something completely different now that they have this new tunnel?

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

It's gonna be awesome. 

Class of 2010.

Jabba1977's picture

I am very excited about seeing the New Horseshoe!!


Shangheyed's picture

Nite games and more events will be great for C-bus and the school!   Hope they allow for some Music events and concerts there... would be crazy fun to see a show and walk over to High Street for a "nite cap".

+1 HS
awlinBrutus's picture

How often does the turf have to be replaced? I mean I guess its cheaper than real turf considering the water problem after they lowered the field? I just thought the turf was supposed to last longer. Is this normal to replace it already?


Birdman2's picture

From my understanding it only has a life span of around 7 years before it needs to be replaced or starts to breakdown.

Jurmah12's picture

I have to point out the design on the field did in fact change. Look at the position of the arrow next to the numbers, and look at the font of the numbers. They have more of a "block" design, and I love how the arrow is next to the top of the numbers. I'm a geek and notice subtle things like this, but it just adds to the overall effect.

Bring on 9/6/14!

"Where the no fly zone at!?"

Mike Thomas - 11/8/2014

+3 HS
bellarebuckeye's picture

"Is this Heaven"?

"No it's Columbus"

"Same Difference"