What to eat, where to park and how much beer can you buy at Ohio Stadium were just a few of the topics addressed during Ohio State’s annual football gameday operations press conference on Wednesday.
The new concession items are usually the highlight of the annual event, so let’s start there.
Ohio Stadium will feature a variety of new premium meals, snacks and desserts this season, in addition to the items it already sells. Molly Kurth, the vice president of hospitality and strategy for Levy Restaurants, gives us a look at each of the new food items in the video below:
An expanded menu of local and craft beers will also be available for purchase at Ohio Stadium this season, as our own Jimmy Longo detailed earlier.
There is one noteworthy to the beer policy at Ohio Stadium this year, however, as fans in the South Stands will now only be able to purchase one beer per ID, down from two last year. Kurth said the change was made in an effort to crack down on beers being purchased for and passed off to underage drinkers.
Kurth also said the offerings on the club level of Ohio Stadium will be expanded to include a full bar.
Here’s what else you need to know from Wednesday’s press conference about attending an Ohio State football game this year:
LESS PARKING AVAILABLE
Cannon Drive was closed for construction on Tuesday, which closed the Dodd and Polo lots, permanently eliminating 2,100 parking spots previously used on game days.
Ohio State is encouraging fans who want to park on campus to arrive early.
"The game this weekend’s at 7:30, the gates open at 5:30. If you get to campus at 3-3:30, I think that will give you enough time to get onto campus, find a parking spot and get to the stadium," said Mike Penner, Ohio State’s senior associate athletic director for internal operations.
Penner said that additional parking spots have been added on West campus, but only about 200 to 250 spaces.
WATCH OUT FOR FAKES
In order to avoid ticket fraud, Ohio State encourages fans to purchase tickets from one of three verified sellers: the Ohio State athletics ticket office, Ticketmaster or the Ohio State ticket exchange.
Ohio State is also participating in the #CoverTheCode initiative to remind fans to be careful when sharing pictures of their tickets to social media. Fans should be sure to obscure the barcode on their tickets when posting pictures online, as the barcode can allow a scammer to create a fake ticket – which, in turn, can result in the holder of the real ticket being turned away at the gates.
"Think of this as posting your information for your bank account on the Internet, something that you wouldn’t do," said Brett Scarbrough, the university’s associate athletic director of ticketing and premium seating. "All that is needed from that barcode number to be able to take that and take control of those tickets and basically void them, so when the fan shows up for the game, they won’t be able to get in."
Ticket fraud has been an issue for Ohio State in recent years. Scarbrough said Ohio State usually encounters at least 40-50 counterfeit tickets per game, but came across as many as 300-350 fraudulent tickets at last year’s Michigan game.
As part of the latest phase of renovations to Ohio Stadium, Ohio State added 27 new television screens (79-inch) to B-deck, as well as 47 new speakers, in an effort to give fans sitting in those stands a better ability to experience the sights and sounds of the game.
Ohio State also re-coated the concrete on the C-deck of the stadium.
LEAVE YOUR BAGS AT HOME
Ohio State’s no-bag policy, implemented last year, remains in place for the 2017 football season. Fans will not be allowed to bring bags or purses of any size into Ohio Stadium this year. Clutches and wristlets are allowed, but must be no larger than five inches-by-eight inches.