Ohio State has officially selected a design for the new turf at Ohio Stadium, and it doesn’t look too different from the design of the existing turf at Ohio Stadium.
That shouldn’t come as much surprise. As Ohio State said in its news release unveiling the new turf design, “you don’t mess too much with change on something of such historical significance.” Ohio Stadium isn’t likely to ever have a scarlet- or gray-colored field or anything that turns its playing surface into a novelty – the Shoe carries too much tradition for that.
It’s still fun to think about what Ohio State could have done, though, had it chosen to take a more exotic route with its field redesign.
Many Ohio State fans did have fun thinking about that, as OSU received more than 1,300 entries after opening up submissions for fan-inspired design concepts in October. Eleven Warriors obtained more than 200 of those designs through a public records request that was submitted after the initial entry deadline in October, and we’ve compiled some of the most creative submissions below for your viewing pleasure.
While 46 percent of the total entries received by Ohio State featured scarlet end zones, 21 percent of fan submissions included gray end zones and 10 percent featured green end zones, while other submissions included black end zones, multi-colored end zones and even a stained glass-inspired design.
A total of 29 percent of fan submissions included the helmet stride in some form or fashion. Ohio State is subtly incorporating its famous helmet stripe in its new field design by placing the stripe pattern behind the goalposts in both end zones, but some fans thought the helmet stripe should be even more visible on the new field.
48 percent of fan submissions included Buckeye Leaves; Ohio Stadium’s actual new field will have Buckeye Leaf decals to designate the kickoff location at the 35-yard lines, but some submitted designs featured them more prominently.
Although a majority of designs (59%) kept the Block O at the center of the 50-yard line, some fans chose less traditional centerpieces for the field, including Brutus Buckeye, Script Ohio and even Urban Meyer and Archie Griffin.
A state outline at the middle of the field was featured in 24% of fan-submitted designs.
While most designs included the traditional “Ohio State” and “Buckeyes” wordmarks in the two end zones, some opted to incorporate other Ohio State phrases and trademarks, such as O-H-I-O and Our Honor Defend. Other submissions kept the traditional workmarks but opted for script letters rather than block letters.
One fan suggested repainting the sidelines each week to reflect the game week and opponent.
Of course, the fan-submitted entries wouldn’t have been complete without some rivalry fun. One entrant decided to replace the end zones with an unflattering photo of Jim Harbaugh, while another submission evidently came from a Michigan fan who still isn’t over – or at least wasn’t at the time of submission – the Buckeyes’ 2016 double-overtime win.
If you want to see even more of the fan-submitted field designs, Ohio State tweeted some of its favorites on Sunday before revealing the actual new field on Monday.