Ohio Stadium Saturday

I know, the title is lame. But since I’ll be spending 11 or 12 hours there today, I figured I might as well dedicate this post to the place I have spent every Ohio State home game Saturday for the past 29 years: Ohio Stadium, a.k.a. The ‘Shoe.

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Today’s game is a special one as it’s a night game. Night games at The ‘Shoe are simply something you don’t forget and want more of. I wish I’d done some research on night games (those that start at 7:30 p.m. or later) because they’re fascinating. One thing I can tell you is that when I originally started going to games in 1992 as a student, the night games were very rare. At that time, they had to bring in extra light standards that somewhat arced over the ouside the stadium and onto the field. Now permanent lights grace the upper edge of the stadium much the way professional stadiums have them. As a traditionalist, you would think I dislike these, but I absolutely love to see them against the bright blue sky when evening comes during a game. It takes my breath away.

Night Game at Ohio Stadium

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I have been told by many people over the years that I should become a Redcoat or a stadium usher due to my knowledge of the stadium. It’s really not a complicated place. The north endzone is the rounded or closed side, the south endzone is the open end, which now has permanent seating installed but at the time I began this streak of home attendance, they were temporary/seasonal and they were open (meaning there were not the metal backings between each row of seats to connect them and keep out the wind). My first and second year season seats were in the south stands, and I can honestly say that I have never been colder at games than those years. And I rarely get cold. I remember thinking I had frostbite on my feet one year at a Michigan game. The wind was brutal and Michigan’s offense more brutal. I don’t think we had a good showing against TTUN in the years I sat in south stands.

South Stands at Ohio Stadium

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My favorite seats in the stadium are easy: rows 1-4 of D-Deck. I hear those of you who think you know the stadium contradict me and say C-Deck, but yes, Virginia, there is a D-Deck. It’s directly below the pressbox. Added at some point of the renovation craze to make more money off of the rich dilberts needing more of the prime seating in A and C decks (those who usually park next to the stadium 10 minutes before game time and leave at halftime), D deck gives the best possible view of the field, in my humble opinion. J and I had season seats there for two or three years and I have never forgotten it. If I had to choose a second favorite location, rows 1-5 of 15-19 C would be it.

I don’t have any photos from D-Deck available, but please enjoy this batch of Buckeyes I made last night at the request of my friends from North Carolina coming up to the game today…lol

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When walking up to B, C, or D deck, I never take the stairs. I always seek out the ramps. There is something so old-school and sensory about walking up those ramps. I think I did walk stairs at some point, because I can tell you that to D deck, there are 13 flights of 19 stairs to get there (I know way too much about things that don’t matter), but the ramps are a connection to the past, to the old stadium. In some stairwells, you can walk the stairs that were built on the exterior of the stadium during the renovation years, and see the original exterior of the stadium that you see in older photos with the swags of laurels draping the gray concrete in red highlights. I touch them whenever I pass them. I’m nothing if not superstitious.

Former outside of Ohio Stadium before the renovations

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What I haven’t told many people is that I think this is the year my streak of 29 years of home games ends. I say 29 and mean 28, because we all know the 2020 season didn’t allow fans, so I suppose that’s an asterisk year. It’s been a hard decision and I’m not stopping going, I am just going to begin opting out when we play Akrons and Miami of Ohios and Western Michigans in September when the temperature is 99F and 100% humidity. Time for someone else to pick up the banner and run with it during those games. I’ll still attend at least half of the games, or the ones that interest me. My parents are getting older and I’d like to spend time with them on the weekends, and watch games with J and T in their new house. I think I will struggle watching the Buckeyes on their own field and not being there smelling the hot dogs and being crammed in like a sardine, but I also think it will be a nice feeling waking up late, spending the $20 I’d normally spend on parking going out for coffee and a donut, and folding laundry while I yell at the TV for a first down.

Early season game at Ohio Stadium

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Or maybe I’ll become an usher and earn money while watching…so many choices.

However you spend it, happy Saturday. Enjoy the space.

Beth

4 thoughts on “Ohio Stadium Saturday

    1. It started with watching football on Saturdays with my grandpa after he’d finished farming. Always wished I could have taken him to the stadium for a game.

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