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Traffic, parking and mask policies: Navigating changes at Ohio Stadium for Saturday's home opener

10TV has your guide for what to expect when you return to campus ahead of Saturday's game.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio State Department of Athletics detailed on Tuesday what fans can expect when they return to Ohio Stadium ahead of this Saturday’s home opener against the Oregon Ducks. 

Athletics Director Gene Smith encouraged everyone to show up early on game day, citing new ticketing operations and construction around campus as reason for possible delays. 

The university announced updated mask guidance, plans to go cashless, mobile ticketing and more in early August. Officials detailed those plans on Tuesday in preparation for the game.  

Below is your guide for what to expect when you return to campus on Saturday. 

Ohio State Buckeyes App 

The new official app is compatible with both iOS and Android devices. It features mobile ticket management, concessions ordering, venue mapping and free live audio of the game along with numerous other options. 

 For those fans who already have the Ohio State Buckeyes app, this new update is available now in the Apple and Google Play app stores. To download the app for the first time, visit the Apple App Store or Google Play, or search “Ohio State Buckeyes” in your device’s app store.

Game Tickets

Fans will no longer receive their game tickets in the mail and instead will display their tickets on their mobile device. Mobile tickets offer contactless entry into Ohio Stadium, and other athletics venues, along with greater convenience and safety. Fans can access their ticket online, transfer to family and friends, utilize Buckeyes TicketExchange, or donate tickets to charity. Mobile tickets will be available for fans to access as soon as they have selected their seats for the 2021 season and are paid in full. Options for fans without smart phones will be forthcoming.

More information on accessing and managing mobile tickets can be found by visiting Ohio State’s Digital Ticketing Guide.

Traffic and Shuttles

Ohio State continues to invest in the future of teaching, research and patient care through active construction projects that will change the way many fans enter and exit campus on game day. All fans should plan ahead, arrive early and allow additional time to get inside the stadium.

  • Fans parking and riding from west campus will now board shuttles at Carmack 1 – the far eastern parking lot – rather than the Mount Hall Loop, which is under construction. Shuttles will drop off at Herrick Drive Transit Hub, located south of Ohio Stadium, rather than the Sisson Lot. At the conclusion of the game, fans can board the shuttles at the Herrick Drive Transit Hub, which is within walking distance of Ohio Stadium, for the return trip to Carmack 1.
  • John Herrick Drive, including the Herrick Bridge and Tharpe Street, will be closed to the public, limiting access to parking. Please seek alternative routes.
  • Woody Hayes Drive will be closed to the public between John Herrick Drive and Kenny Road. Fans trying to access west campus or the Ag Lot parking should seek alternative routes along Lane Avenue and Fyffe Road.
  • COTA will not run transit service this season from the Fairgrounds or Crosswoods Park.
  • Fans will have access to COTA’s fixed-route bus service on game day. Lines 1, 2, 8, 22, 31 and 102 all serve the Ohio State campus area and most provide service every 15-to-30 minutes. 

Cashless Operations

Cashless operations will be utilized throughout Ohio Stadium this year, including for program sales, concessions, ticket office transactions and merchandise. Fans will be able to make purchases with Apple Pay/Google Pay or a credit or debit card. Cash will not be accepted.

Ticket Pedestals

All gates into Ohio Stadium will have ticket pedestals – there will be 120 such pedestals in the stadium –that fans will use for access into the game by scanning their ticket from their own mobile device.

Metal Detectors 

All Ohio Stadium entry gates will be equipped with the latest technology in walk-through metal detectors that guests will need to pass through for entry. Fans will not need to empty their pockets unless instructed by stadium security. The goal is for a frictionless entry into Ohio Stadium.

No Bag Policy

Ohio State will continue its no bag policies at Ohio Stadium and all athletic department venues. Small bags, no larger than 5x8x1 inches will be permitted. Guests with medical or childcare needs will be permitted to carry one bag, no larger than 14x14x4 inches, into the stadium through one of these two locations: the Band Center entrance between Gates 10 and 12, or the Press Entrance between the Huntington Club and Gate 23.

Med Center Restricted to Patients’ Needs

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center will be restricted to only patients, visitors, faculty and staff on game days. It can no longer be a “cut through” for fans walking to Ohio Stadium. If you are heading to the game, please be considerate of our patients and do not use the hospital as a cut-through.

Mask Policies

Ohio State University updated its mask protocols last week to enhance the health and safety of the campus community and to reflect updated guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Students, faculty, staff and visitors to all Ohio State campuses and medical facilities are required to wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status. Masks are required outdoors for unvaccinated individuals when they cannot maintain physical distancing. Vaccinated people are not required to mask outdoors.

Football game day mask policies include:

  • Skull Session – All staff and guests will be required to wear masks; the Marching Band and the football team will wear masks.
  • French Field House – All events will require masks for all staff and guests.
  • Ohio Stadium – Masks will be required in all interior public spaces, which includes the Huntington Club, elevators, first aid rooms, restrooms and press box. Masks will not be required for outdoor public spaces, which include the entry gates, concourses, concession stands and the seating bowl.
  • Public Transportation – Masks will continue to be required for all campus public transportation, including game day ADA and west campus shuttles.

The Ohio State University encourages everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

Additional 2021 Game Day Notes:

  • The Ohio State University Marching Band’s skull session will return to St. John Arena.
  • The “Tailgate Guys” will now be located at the northeast corner of Lane Avenue and Fred Taylor Drive.
  • Fan Fest, located along the lawn in front of St. John Arena and the ROTC building, will return this season with expanded offerings, including alcohol sales.

You can watch the briefing in the player below: 

Ohio State Football: Recent Coverage