Ohio Stadium Was Built On A 'Lie'


UPDATED: Wednesday August 29, 2012 6:41 PM

When Ohio Stadium was under construction in the early 1920s, it was supposed to be designed to hold 60,000 people.

The stadium was built to replace Ohio Field, which was on the corner of Woodruff Avenue and High Street.

"It held about 15,000 people, and they were throwing over 20,000 people in there, and they thought stands were going to fall with so many extra people in there," said Larry Romanoff, the Ohio State Football Director Of External Relations.

Lynn Saint John and Thomas French pushed to build a new home for the Buckeyes.

"All through 1920, they argued with people because they wanted to build a stadium for 60,000 people, and everyone said you cannot do that," Romanoff said. "So, they said they would do it for 30,000 people, and they built it for 66,000 people. They basically lied to everyone."

The construction cost between $1.3 and $1.5 million.

Romanoff said that the two were vindicated when they put more than 70,000 people in the stadium, standing room only, for a game against Michigan.

Many traditions followed with the creation of the new, bigger Ohio Stadium.

"Script Ohio is another awesome tradition, and that started back in 1930s," Romanoff said.

According to Romanoff, it is an unknown fact that the band at the University of Michigan started the script tradition.

"We adapted it and started moving it to the tune 'Le Regiment," Romanoff said. "That's been an absolute wonderful tradition at Ohio State. People call it one of the greatest in the country, our Script Ohio."

At the center of the tradition is dotting the "I."

"We've had a few special people like John Glenn, Woody Hayes and Gordon Gee that have been allowed to come out and dot the 'I,'" Romanoff said. "Very few people other than sousaphone players who have been able to dot the "I."

Moving the stadium into the modern ages cost significantly more than the $1.5 million initial construction cost.

The university spent $200 million to increase capacity by adding a new press box and adding real stands in the south end in 1997.

This summer, Ohio State further enhanced the fan experience by adding a new, bigger scoreboard and sound system.

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