Buckeye Snapshots (Issue #5)

A recent scene from a Buckeyes’ game at the “Shoe.”

Listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, Ohio Stadium is hallowed ground for The Ohio State University football team.  The Buckeyes have played here since 1922.

Nicknamed the “Horseshoe,” the venerable stadium graces the west side of campus near the Olentangy River.  The journey to build this magnificent home goes back to the World War I era.

The Buckeyes playing field back in the 1910s is Ohio Field.  The unassuming name cannot hide the fact that this football home is less than adequate.  Seating is limited to 14,000, but some games find more fans viewing from the perimeter of the field as a standing-room only (sometimes in excess of 20,000).

The catalyst behind the need for a much larger stadium for the Buckeyes is traced to the success of the team in 1916, 1917, and 1919.  Ohio State’s first three-time All-American, Charles “Chic” Harley leads the team to numerous victories and conference championships.  Playing in the period before college football’s Heisman Trophy, Harley would have been a cinch to win this prestigious award as college football’s most outstanding player.  One might say that Ohio Stadium is the field Chic built.

Needing a much bigger stadium, Ohio Stadium is constructed with its unique horseshoe design.  Ohio Wesleyen becomes the first opponent to play here on October 7, 1922.  The original stadium’s seating capacity is 66,000, but it is far exceeded later in the 1922 season when the Buckeyes host the Michigan Wolverines before 71,138 spectators.

Field-level view during a youth flag football event. My grandson was participating.

Here are some quick facts about the “Horseshoe.”

  • Current seating capacity:  102,780
  • Fourth largest on-campus facility in the United States
  • Largest crowd:  110,045 for the 2016 Michigan game
  • Over 36 million fans have entered the stadium since 1922
Ohio State has captured many national football championships as evidenced by these banners. An additional one has been added for 2014.

18 thoughts on “Buckeye Snapshots (Issue #5)

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