On Oct. 7, 1922, Ohio State defeated Ohio Wesleyan in its first game at Ohio Stadium.
Almost 100 years later, the Buckeyes are still competing for glory on the gridiron in what’s become one of the most iconic, storied stadiums not just in college football, but in the world: The ‘Shoe.
Last season, Ohio Stadium reopened to full capacity after limiting the number of fans to family and select others for the first time ever in 2020. Ohio State and athletics director Gene Smith made the move to mobile ticketing in 2021 among other changes a year ago, but The ‘Shoe still largely resembles its history that began a century ago.
One major change coming this season is renovated field turf. For the first time since 2014, the playing field at Ohio Stadium was facelifted, and it will feature a new-look design , including updates to the end zone font and kickoff locations.
As the Buckeyes prepare to begin the 2022 season and commemorate 100 years of Ohio Stadium, here are some do’s and don’ts to make the most of your Ohio State football game day experience.
DO: Arrive at least 30 minutes prior to kickoff
The Big Ten Conference and Ohio State previously announced kickoff times for select games this fall. Each game, Ohio Stadium is almost always packed both in and around the stadium whether kickoff is set for noon, the afternoon or evening.
Getting to The ‘Shoe and on time for for kickoff is crucial to starting game day on the right foot. There will be some wait times at the gate, and locating your seats will be a maze in itself.
Gates open two hours prior to kickoff at Ohio Stadium. The South end zone entrance is a popular entrance for students near the RPAC and gates 36 and 38.
DON’T: Wait to download tickets to your phone
Ohio Stadium accepts mobile ticketing, so your phone will be key to get inside and watch the Buckeyes try to reclaim the Big Ten Championship for the first time in two seasons.
It’s best to add the digital tickets to your mobile wallet, like Apple Wallet or Google Pay and ensure they’ll be on your phone when you arrive at the ticket kiosks. Last season, the athletic department addressed updated game day experiences after long wait times and failed ticketing systems resulted in delayed entries.
DO: Attend Skull Session at St. John Arena and watch the Team Walk to The ‘Shoe
This is your chance to get pumped up and excited for the game with head coach Ryan Day and the entire Ohio State roster.
Two hours and 20 minutes before kickoff, the Ohio State Marching Band will perform their musical renditions of the pregame and halftime shows at St. John Arena across from the north rotunda of Ohio Stadium.
Day and the Buckeyes participate in Skull Session by attending just before they go inside the stadium. Ohio State’s skipper will address the crowd, and one player will also take the microphone to share words ahead of kickoff. The team then walks together from St. John Arena to Ohio Stadium through the north rotunda.
Skull Session is a fun pregame event with lots of people and even more to see, so make sure to check out one of Ohio State’s oldest traditions that dates back to the Ramp Entrance in 1928.
DON’T: Bring cash or a bag
In 2021, Ohio Stadium became cashless, and all major credit cards are accepted in addition to Apply Pay and Google Pay. This includes concession stands, merchandise and parking lots, so it’s important to make a plan and prepare.
Ohio Stadium also doesn’t permit bags of any size, and wallets may be no larger than 5 inches by 8 inches by 1 inch. Game days don’t require too much to bring other than yourself, your phone and any spirit wear.
DO: Sit in Block “O” North or South student sections
Ohio State’s official student section is Block “O,” a student-organization founded in 1938, according to its website .
Packing more than 2,500 member students at every home football game, Block “O” also has 10 sections and isn’t just limited to football. Block “O” attends Ohio State men’s and women’s basketball, gymnastics, lacrosse, soccer, volleyball and more.
Block “O” does have a membership fee; however, it’s included in the Block O North or South ticket packages or can be purchased for $20 during Welcome Week or any time throughout the semester.
DO: Exercise caution and promote healthy lifestyles
While masks are no longer required in most areas on campus, the pandemic is still ongoing.
Ohio State updated its COVID-19 protocols in May before the start of the summer semester. According to a release , masks remain optional in most indoor spaces, and the COVID-19 vaccine is still required for all students, faculty and staff.
Make sure to familiarize yourself with restroom locations and evaluate your health before leaving for Ohio Stadium.