How many times have you watched the Buckeyes run out of that tunnel on a Saturday afternoon? Maybe you’ve been there, in the stadium, cheering them on. Or maybe you’ve watched from the comfort of your sofa, surrounded by all your favorite snacks for the game. Perhaps you’ve even been to the pregame Skull Session in St John Arena. But have you ever been behind the scenes, touring Ohio Stadium?
We were invited on a tour of the Shoe, courtesy of a company that Natalie does business with. And while it was very hot that day, we were excited to take a closer look.
Touring the Shoe
Our group met at the front of the Shoe, just on the other side of Jessie Owens Plaza. There were a number of us and at the beginning of the tour I wrongly assumed tours were only available for very large groups.
They divided us into smaller groups of about fifteen people each. This made it nice as we could better hear and interact with our tour guide.
We stepped inside the gates and prepared to head out onto the field. There were markings on the ground and our guide explained to us that the band, TBDBITL (The Best Damn Band in the Land) uses the markings to set their pace as they walk onto the field for performances. That’s right folks, we walked in the footsteps of the most famous band in Ohio, TBDBITL!
We headed out onto the field and I thought, this must be what it’s like to see for the first time as a Buckeye recruit. It’s amazing, no wonder we sign such talented young men!
Not long after we stepped on the field we were joined by Ohio’s favorite nut, Brutus. Brutus took time to meet and greet each group and was happy to take pictures. He went out of his way to high five the kids and give them some extra attention.
History of The Shoe
Our guide gave everyone a chance to get some pictures as he explained the history of Ohio Stadium. It was built in 1922 for a cost of 1.3 million dollars and at the time was the largest poured concrete structure in the world. The initial capacity was 66,210 and at the time, many university officials feared it would never be filled to capacity.
Over the years a number of additional improvements and expansions were made. Notably temporary bleachers were added at the open end of the horseshoe (the south end). Eventually those temporary bleachers were replaced with permanent seating leaving openings to allow the stadium to retain the horseshoe shape.
In 2014, additional seats were added bringing the official seating capacity to 104,851. Ohio Stadium is the third largest stadium in the country and the fourth largest in the world.
Touring Ohio Stadium
Our tour took about 90 minutes in all. In addition to the field (my favorite part of the tour) we toured the press box and the club and suite levels. Both of these locations offered amazing views of the field. Our guide also spoke extensively of the band and showed us to Steinbrenner Band Center.
Taking the Tour
I was surprised to find that you don’t have to have an enormous group to take the tour and that the cost is relatively affordable. The cost is $20 per adult and $10 per child under 18 with a minimum of $200 per tour. Children under two are free.
I did a little further digging on tours of the athletic facilities at Ohio State and found out that Schottenstein Center tours are available as well. As you probably know, the Schottenstein Center is home to the men and women of Ohio State basketball.
Tours of the Schottenstein Center are $10 per person for a minimum of $50 per group. Additional guests after the minimum are only $5 each and, again, children under two are free. I haven’t yet taken this tour but according to the website the tour includes: the arena floor, lockers rooms and strength training facilities and the club and suite level. I plan to take this tour in the near future, so be sure to check back for information on that experience.
The Ohio State University
There’s so much to do on campus at The Ohio State University. You can just walk around campus and explore, have a picnic on the oval or relax around Mirror Lake. Self-guided tours are always available and during certain times of the year they have additional offerings, such as haunted tours in the fall.
You can visit the Jack Nicklaus Museum ($10) to learn more about the golfing legend or visit the Wexner Center for the Arts (free during regular hours). Or visit Orton Hall and the free Orton Geological Museum.
Thanks for FindingOhio with us again today. We really enjoy sharing the amazing opportunities within the Buckeye State. Check back often as we share a new story every week. And, as always, we appreciate you sharing our content to your social media.