Ohio StadiumBy Chris Licata

Football fans bleed silver and red in Ohio, and nowhere is that more evident than when watching a football game at Ohio Stadium. Home of the Ohio State Buckeyes the “Horseshoe,” as it is appropriately and affectionately called due to its shape, transforms the city of Columbus every Saturday into a ghost town. Officially Ohio Stadium’s capacity is listed at an impressive 101,568; however, on more than one occasion the Buckeye faithful have been one to push the Horseshoe’s seating limits.

Ohio Stadium was built in 1922 with a capacity of 66,210 – astonishingly large for it’s time. Though the first ever game against Ohio Wesleyan only drew 25,000 fans, later that season the dedication game against rival Michigan claimed to draw over 72,000. A few years later in 1925 in another game against Michigan attendance was recorded at 90,411 – prompting the University to discontinue the sale of standing room only tickets. Over the years a series of renovations brought capacity within the stadium to 90,000 and eventually to its present day status. Last November, once again against the Michigan Wolverines, the Buckeyes recorded their largest crowd ever when a record 105,708 fans packed the Horseshoe to see an Ohio State victory. . .

The Ohio State Buckeyes can rightfully claim to be one of college football’s most legendary programs. The program lays claim to seven National Titles (though one in 1961 is debatable due to the fact that the two major polls of the time placed them at No. 2), dating back to 1942 when legendary coach Paul Brown brought the school its first title. Championships in 1954, 1957, 1968 and 1970 cemented the program as elite and more recently head coach Jim Tressel has only added to that luster.

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Though they went home on the losing end of the stick last January, the Buckeyes have played in two of the last five BCS Championship games. The biggest win in recent years came in 2002 when the Buckeyes won an overtime thriller against the University of Miami 31-24 to claim their seventh National Title. Last year the Buckeyes spent the better part of the season ranked No. 1, however, were outplayed in nearly every facet of the game against the Florida Gators as Ohio State fell 41-14.

As they attempt to put the BCS debacle behind them, the Buckeyes once again enter this season with high hopes. Ranked No. 10 in the preseason coach’s poll, the Buckeyes will have seven home games in 2007, with the biggest one coming against No. 7 Wisconsin on November 3. Since the beginning of the 2002 season, the Buckeyes are a whopping 34-2 at the Horseshoe.

Like its Big Ten brethren of Penn State and Michigan, and Tennessee in the SEC, despite its enormous seating capacity tickets for the Buckeyes are always in demand. The secondary ticket market offers a wide variety of tickets throughout the season, but prices are extremely competitive. According to Ticketliquidator.com, opening day seats against Youngstown State range from $128-$440. Later on in the season, tickets for the Wisconsin game range from $152-$845.

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