For the first time in a long time, Ohio Stadium is letting Buckeyes fans through its gates for a football game.
And sure, while the annual Spring Game—scheduled for April 17—isn’t necessarily as exciting or important as The Game or a last-season conference showdown under the lights, it’s still Buckeye football. And this year’s contest will see up to 19,180 in attendance.
“On behalf of the university and the Department of Athletics, I want to sincerely thank Gov. DeWine, Dr. Mysheika Roberts and Columbus Public Health, and Mayor Ginther and the city of Columbus for their collective leadership throughout this pandemic,” Senior Vice President & Wolfe Foundation Endowed Athletics Director Gene Smith said in a statement released by OSU. “We are not through this health crisis yet, but the collaboration among all of these entities has enabled us to safely return fans to our venues and, in particular, Ohio Stadium next week for the spring game.”
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It appears that Head Coach Ryan Day is excited to have the OSU faithful back as well.
“Thank goodness that we’re able to get some people in the stands,” he said during his weekly press conference on Monday, also citing the importance of fan presence when the Buckeyes host Oregon this year on Sept. 11.
But if you’re looking to get tickets to this year’s Spring Game, it’s likely going to be an uphill climb from here.
The school announced that over half the game’s tickets will be “appreciation” seats given to the Wexner Medical Center and other select campus groups whose employees have worked tirelessly this past year on the front lines of the pandemic.
While the school did make 4,500 tickets available to the general public, we take our football seriously here in Buckeye-land—even the preseason scrimmages—and these sold out within 24 hours.
The remaining seats were allotted to family members of football players and the team’s coaching staff.
And though fans will be allowed to attend the first Buckeyes football game since Nov. 23, 2019 when the Spring Game kicks off next week, not everything will be the same at the horseshoe. All attending fans must wear masks, remain six feet apart, and there won’t be any tailgating allowed, the school said.
But hey, in the scheme of things, this is a small price to pay to make sure fans are back, cheering on their Bucks after over a year and half of a silent Ohio Stadium.