Backstory and Context
Ohio Stadium is the home of the Ohio State University's football team, the Buckeyes. Originally built in 1922, its unique two-tiered, horseshoe shape has earned it the nickname "the horseshoe" or "the shoe". Ohio Stadium arose from the rapid rising popularity of Ohio State football in the early twentieth century leading the University to a clear conclusion that a much larger stadium was needed than what it currently had. Shortly after construction was completed, Ohio Stadium hosted its first game in 1922 with a game against Ohio Wesleyan where capacity was strong from the outset as roughly 66,000 fans packed the new stadium to watch their Buckeyes. That capacity was quickly exceeded in the stadium's first year when OSU played Michigan at home paving the way for many future modifications to accommodate the ever-expanding popularity.
The Buckeye's popularity has only continued to grow throughout the years giving way for numerous expansions and renovations which have added to the seating capacity of the stadium. Adding seats to the original horseshoe design was modified several times over the years including temporary bleachers that later became permanent seating at the open end of the stadium. Before a renovation in 2001, the stadium included a track for the school's track and field team, the Jesse Owens track, named after track and field legend and Ohio State student Jesse Owens. The removal was necessary because the renovation involved lowering the field and adding a layer of seating. Eventually, an expansion of 2,500 seats began in 2013 which increased the seating capacity of the stadium to an all-time high of 104,851 making the "Horseshoe" the third largest stadium in college football.
For a lot of years the stadium also included a dormitory. During a period surrounding the Great Depression, Ohio Stadium began to house male students who had very little money. The Dormitory was set up barracks-style with rows of bunks for students to sleep and common lavatory areas. The dorm went through many changes, including the addition of females, but finally ended its use as a dormitory in 2000.
Throughout the stadiums history, it has been home to countless historic Buckeye football games, great football players, and legendary coach's. Notably, Ohio Stadium is both the birthplace of legendary football coach Urban Meyers career as well as his final stop in his college coaching journey. Urban Meyer began his coaching career in the "Horseshoe" as a graduate assistant under Earl Bruce before eventually making several stops in his coaching journey and returning home to OSU as head coach in 2011. After 9 seasons as OSU's head coach, multiple Big Ten championships, and National Championships, Urban Meyer elevated the popularity of the Ohio Stadium to whole new level and retired from coaching before being named assistant athletic director for the Ohio State University later in 2019.
In addition to being home to the OSU football team, Ohio Stadium is also home to the OSU marching band. Part of every Buckeye football game, the OSU marching band performs one of the oldest and arguably the greatest traditions in Ohio, the spelling out of O-H-I-O in Script. The Ohio State Marching band spells out "Ohio" with a sousaphone player The dotting of the I by the bands sousaphone player is known as one of the stadiums greatest traditions as famous Ohioans, such as Jack Nicklaus and Bob Hope, are sometimes given the honor of dotting the i after the scripting O-H-I-O.
Staff, Urban Meyer. (2019). Retrieved from www.Ohiostatebuckeyes.com: https://ohiostatebuckeyes.com/staff/urban-meyer/
Urban Meyer. (2019). Retrieved from www.sports-reference.com: https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/coaches/urban-meyer-1.html