"" Writer's Wanderings: The Shoe--the Ohio State Football Stadium

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Shoe--the Ohio State Football Stadium

With all of its expansion and remodeling, The Shoe still resembles a horseshoe and is the center of all activity on football Saturdays in Columbus, a city that lives and breathes Buckeye football.

Back in 1913, when OSU joined "the big nine," officials at the university began to talk about replacing the old Ohio Field that fronted on High Street. It wasn't until August 3, 1921 that ground was broken for the stadium after a quite vigorous campaign to raise funds.

At the same time as the building of the stadium the bridge over the Olentangy River which many fans cross today to get to the games was also constructed.

The site chosen for the stadium was subject to flooding so there was a seven foot high earthen wall made along the Olentangy. Eventually the river was also straightened some and a dike built along the east bank.

The stadium was completed in time for the 1922 football season at a final cost of almost $1.5 million. Expansion projects have included field and box seats and the addition of the south stands which brought the seating capacity to around 89,000 from the original 66,000. Lowering the field and adding onto a few other places brought seating capacity to 98,000. But on football Saturday, more than 100,000 usually pack the stadium.

My husband's fondest memories of the Horseshoe--aside from the wins over that school from the North--are of the ham radio club that had their equipment in one of the towers at the open end of the Shoe.


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