The Ohio State University Department of Athletics has announced a proposed four-year renovation project for Ohio Stadium that will preserve and upgrade parts of the facility.
Gene Smith, vice president and Wolfe Foundation-endowed athletics director, announced the plans during a news conference at the stadium. The US$42m project will restore and re-coat the 94-year-old concrete on C-deck; upgrade power distribution systems for the east, west and south stands; improve and upgrade B-deck to include better lighting, larger televisions, an improved sound system and better scoreboards, which will improve the experience of fans with obstructed-view seats; and renovate the premium seating area to consolidate the university suites into one University Suite and add 35 loge boxes and 12 luxury suites.
The university has been planning for the upgrade for several years. In 2014, seats were moved for the south stands expansion. Prior to 2014, stadium seating capacity was 102,329. The 2014 project increased it to 104,944. In order to complete the next phase of the project, an estimated 2,600 seats will be removed, beginning with the 2018 season, returning the stadium to a game-day seating capacity of 102,854. Those seats will not be available for the 2016 season ticket holder seat selection process. However, they will be available this season for alumni and public purchase on a single-game basis. Even though seats will be removed, there will still be an overall gain of 525 seats over the pre-2014 south stand expansion. Most of the seats lost will be on B-deck in areas that can have obstructed views and where some fans traditionally consider the view to be less than ideal.
The proposed plan is subject to approval by the university Board of Trustees.
“We are committed to providing our fans, players and coaches with one of the best facilities in the nation,” said Smith. “We knew we had to get some of this done in order to avoid future degradation of the cement on C-deck. At the same time, we have fans requesting upgraded seating options. We see this as a great opportunity to accomplish both projects. It’s an important investment in a stadium that is beloved by so many.”
April 1, 2016