Moritz College of Law The Ohio State University
This Month @ Moritz

OSU Announces New Football Policies

It's not marked as a holiday on any official calendar, but thousands of Ohio State fans know what Football Saturday means: a home game for the Buckeyes, a huge crowd at Ohio Stadium, football-themed tailgate parties, plenty of scarlet and gray, and hopefully a victory.

Making the day as enjoyable, safe and family-friendly as possible is the goal of a number of policy changes that will affect the game day experience. These changes involve stadium security, parking and tailgating. Information on all aspects of game day (except the game itself) is compiled on a new website

Highlights include:

  • In accordance with state fire codes, Ohio State will be enforcing existing regulations regarding open fires in parking areas. The law prohibits outdoor grills and portable generators anywhere inside parking garages. Grills (propane or charcoal) may only be used in surface parking lots.
  • Lane Avenue between Olentangy River Road and High Street will remain open to vehicular traffic throughout game day. Columbus Police will maintain traffic on Lane Avenue.
  • Columbus Police, Ohio State University Police and other law enforcement agencies will continue to enforce Ohio's open container laws in and around parking lots.
  • The new 315 ramps to the OSU Medical Center are closed to football traffic. Only EMS vehicles will be permitted to use them.
  • Ohio State will implement a new policy to prevent scalping of student tickets. Fans using student tickets will be required to show current OSU student ID along with their ticket to enter Ohio Stadium.

Details of all policies and changes regarding parking, security, and game day traditions can be found below:

Getting There and Parking

Campus parking lots tend to fill early on game days. Fans should plan to arrive at least 1½ to 2 hours prior to kickoff. Officers from many law enforcement agencies assist Ohio State in managing traffic. Motorists should follow the directions of the officers to available campus parking. They are in constant communication with each other. They know when parking lots become full and can direct motorists to best available parking.

At least two hours before the game starts, some surface streets on and around campus become one-way, going toward the Stadium. At the end of the game, traffic patterns are reversed, going away from the Stadium.

A color-coded parking map is available at

Public Parking

Public parking is available in any "day-of-game" lot at a charge of $10 per vehicle (no charge with a current OSU permit). These parking lots include: parts of the Polo Field lot, Ag campus lots, Fawcett Center, Woody Hayes Facility, Blankenship Hall, the Buckeye lots at the Schottenstein Center, and West Campus lots. Free bus service from West Campus begins five hours prior to kickoff and continues until one hour after the game.

Campus garages available for day-of-game parking include the Ohio Union garage, Arps Hall garage, South Cannon garage, 9th Avenue garage, 11th Avenue garage and 12th Avenue garage.

Camper and RV Parking

Day of game parking – RV and camper parking is available at the Schottenstein Center in the Buckeye lots and Gray lots 3-7 (limited availability), and at 650 Ackerman Road (north of Ackerman at Fred Taylor Drive). Day-of-game camper parking is $50.

Season Permits – Recreational vehicles, campers and vans with season RV parking permits will be located in the Gray 3-7 lots, west of Bill Davis Stadium and north of Borror Drive.

Disability Parking

Disability parking is located in the north St. John Arena lots, which are off Lane Avenue and east of the Olentangy River. Cost is $10. A shuttle will provide continuous adapted transportation service to Gate 14 of the stadium beginning three hours before kickoff and continuing for one hour after the game. Drivers must present either a valid OSU disability parking permit, a disability permit issued by the Department of Athletics, or a valid state disability placard.

Season Parking Permits

Reserved lots for those who have purchased a season parking permit from the Department of Athletics are: the permit lots around Ohio Stadium, south French Field House, Sisson Hall, parts of the Polo field lot, the lot between Lincoln and Morrill towers and the lots south of Lincoln Tower, as well as the Northwest; Tuttle Park Place; and North Cannon (Medical Center) garages.

Free Shuttle from West Campus lots

Free shuttle busses will provide continuous service beginning five hours before kickoff continuing through one hour after the game for fans parking on west campus. Shuttles pick up and drop off fans at Mount Hall on West Campus and the Sisson Hall footbridge located just west of Drake Union and Ohio Stadium.

New ramps on 315 are not available for football fans.

Because the ramps serve the OSU Medical Center, only EMS vehicles are permitted to use them on football Saturdays. Traffic backups could delay emergency vehicles that are attempting to transport persons to the Emergency Department.

Construction will impact pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

  • The parking lot by Cunz/Lazenby off Neil Avenue is closed.
  • The New Hospitals Garage (located south of Rhodes Hall) is not available for football parking
  • The new Lane Avenue bridge is open.
  • Oval restoration is underway. Until September 14 only perimeter sidewalks are open.
  • Woody Hayes Drive west of the stadium is narrowed on either side of the bridge over the Olentangy as workers build a larger replacement next to it.
  • Under the Woody Hayes Drive bridge, Olentangy River Road is narrowed from four to two lanes.

Tailgating and Other Traditions

The university appreciates fan support and encourages ticket-holders to arrive early and enjoy food, music and the company of their friends at pre-game tailgate parties. However, those coming to the area for the game are expected to obey all state and local laws; treat fellow fans, including those supporting the opposing team, with civility; and respect the property of others.

Tailgating and Alcohol

Again this year, state laws regarding use and possession of alcohol will be enforced on campus and on nearby city streets, sidewalks and parks. Both Columbus Police and OSU Police will issue citations or make arrests for violations of the laws prohibiting open containers of alcohol in public areas, including university parking lots and garages. Persons engaging in underage drinking, public indecency, disorderly conduct and other violations are also subject to arrest. This policy will be in effect from the first game.In the interests of safety, sportsmanship, and consistency, we will not overlook behavior on game days that would not be tolerated at other times. The laws are the same on football Saturdays as any other day of the year.


In accordance with state fire codes, Ohio State will be enforcing existing regulations regarding open fires in parking areas.

  • Outdoor grills (propane and charcoal) and portable generators are no longer permitted anywhere inside parking garages. This includes the rooftop level.
  • Grills (propane or charcoal) may only be used in surface parking lots.

Lane Avenue

New this year, Lane Avenue between Olentangy River Road and High Street will remain open to vehicular traffic throughout game day. Columbus Police will maintain traffic on Lane Avenue.

Skull Sessions

The OSU Marching Band Skull Session starts two hours before kickoff of every home football game. Held at St. John Arena, the Skull Session is a popular concert/pep rally, with over 10,000 fans in attendance. The event is free, but seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Ohio Stadium Policies

Gates open two hours prior to kickoff.

Stadium Security

Increased security at large venues is a fact of life post-9/11, and Ohio Stadium on football Saturdays is no different. Fans should be aware that we have increased security personnel at each gate to assist with gate and crowd control for a more orderly entry into the stadium, check student identification and look for prohibited items.

Please allow enough time to enter the stadium and locate your seat and be respectful of all personnel – they are trying to ensure your safety and enjoyment. Early in the season in particular, please have patience as we implement these new procedures.

The following items are not permitted in Ohio Stadium:

  • Weapons of any type
  • Large bags or backpacks
  • Food
  • Beverages
  • Coolers or other containers
  • Video cameras
  • Cameras with professional lenses
  • Televisions
  • Radios without headsets
  • Chairback seats
  • Banners, signs or noisemakers or other irritants

All bags, small purses and containers are subject to search. Your cooperation with game management and security personnel will help maintain Ohio Stadium as a safe and secure environment for all Ohio State fans.

Fans with special health or medical needs should use gates 9, 14 or 25.

Student ticket policy changes

This year, Ohio State will implement a new policy to prevent scalping of student tickets.

  • Fans using student tickets will be required to show current student OSU ID (BuckID) along with their ticket when entering the gates of Ohio Stadium.
  • Every gate will be equipped with handheld scanners to scan barcodes on student tickets. Tickets will be scanned and not torn.
  • Students may exchange/allow any other student to use their ticket provided that student has a current BuckID.
  • Students wishing to let nonstudents use their tickets may upgrade their student ticket for a full-priced public ticket. The student will need to come to the ticket office and authorize the exchange, and also be required to pay the difference in the ticket price and any service charges that apply.
  • Upgrades of student tickets will not be allowed until the Wisconsin game, and must be done prior to the day of the game.
  • Fans with student tickets but no BuckID will not be able to enter Ohio Stadium.
  • Any student identified as abusing their ticket privileges or this policy is subject to disciplinary actions, including the loss of ticket buying privileges.
  • This policy will be expanded to faculty and staff with the 2005 football season.

Disability Seating

Reserved season seating for persons in wheelchairs is located at the top of the AA deck. Individuals who need wheelchair accessible or disability seating should contact the ticket office prior to the game so that they may be reseated. A handicap placard or doctor notification will be required.

Every effort will be made to find suitable seating for individuals requiring disability seating.

Elevators are located near sections 7, 10 and 37. These elevators may be used by individuals needing assistance in climbing to their seats in B deck or C deck.


Umbrellas may not be opened in the seating areas of Ohio Stadium. Fans may carry their umbrellas into the stadium for use before and after the game.

The OSU Medical Center

  • The Medical Center is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This includes game days.
  • The new State Route 315 entrance and exit ramps to the OSU Medical Center at 9th Avenue will be closed on game days. EMS vehicles will be permitted to use them, however.
  • The new Hospitals Parking Garage, located on Westpark Street, is reserved for patient and visitor parking ONLY. This garage is located on Westpark Street between Medical Center Drive and 10th Avenue.
  • Since the northbound exit ramp from State Route 315 at 9th Avenue will be closed, patients and visitors should use the Goodale Avenue exit. Take Goodale to Olentangy River Rd. Olentangy River Road to King Avenue. King to Cannon.
  • Patients and visitors coming from the north should use the Kinnear Road exit.
  • Signs will be posted to direct Medical Center traffic.