Football: Mask policy and mobile entry among changes to Ohio Stadium for 2021 season

The Lantern
An updated mask policy and focus on mobile technology headline changes to game days at Ohio Stadium in 2021. Credit: Amal Saeed | Lantern File Photo

After a year without fans at Ohio Stadium, Ohio State announced a variety of changes to the gameday experience Tuesday.

Announced over a week after Ohio State reimplemented its indoor mask mandate , masks will be required in all interior spaces inside Ohio Stadium, including restrooms, elevators and the Huntington Club regardless of vaccination status. Vaccinated spectators will not be required to wear masks in outdoor areas such as entry gates, concourses and the seating areas.

Fans will access their tickets only through their mobile devices and will no longer receive physical, paper tickets. All fans will enter through a metal detector and scan their own ticket at one of 120 ticket pedestals.

Ohio Stadium will also transition to cashless payments for concessions, ticketing and merchandise transactions. Fans will be required to make payments with their phone or debit or credit cards as cash will not be accepted.

Parking at Ohio Stadium will follow suit and be cashless in 2021. Fans will scan a QR code upon entering their parking lot and pay $20, and those with season parking permits may access those — along with their game tickets — via the Ohio State Buckeyes app.

Several new traffic and shuttle patterns will surround Ohio Stadium, so arriving fans will need to make a note of which may apply to them. John Herrick Drive, the Herrick Bridge, Tharpe Street and Woody Hayes Drive will be closed to the public.

Carmack 1, rather than the Mount Hall Loop, will transport fans parking and riding from west campus and will drop them off at Herrick Drive Transit Hub located south of Ohio Stadium.

The long-standing tradition of Skull Session will also return to St. John Arena. The Ohio State University Marching Band will once again be at the forefront of the event, and staff, guests and members of both the marching band and Buckeyes football team must wear masks.

The front lawn of St. John Arena and the ROTC building will see the return of Fan Fest. The “Tailgate Guys” will move to the northeast corner of Lane Avenue and Fred Taylor Drive.

Consistent with seasons prior, Ohio Stadium will uphold its no-bag policy aside from those no larger than 5x8x1 inches or medical or childcare bags of 14x14x4 inches. Gates for bag entryways are the Band Center between Gates 10 and 12, or the Press Entrance between the Huntington Club and Gate 23.

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