THE OHIO STADIUM STORY
WITH the sudden growing pains following admission to the Big
Nine it was only a question of time until Ohio
Field would be outgrown. The space there was limited and the
High St. frontage was too valuable for permanent athletic use. The Athletic
Board began to take notice of this situation. At its May 28,
1913 meeting it authorized the appointment of a committee “to confer with President
Thompson for discussion of the plan of moving the athletic field to
a new place.” At this meeting, the minutes show, the committee on
improvement of the present seating capacity reported that “it does not
favor any extensive improvement upon the present equipment” although it
was for keeping “the present equipment in repair.” Nearly a decade
was to elapse before the Stadium was to become a reality.
Because of his long, intimate and influential connection with the project
as it developed, Prof.
French was generally credited with being the father of the stadium
idea. But there is evidence that Prof. F.W. Ives, a Wisconsin alumnus,
was the first to give tangible support to it. Ives, a member of the
engineering drawing department of which French was chairman, offered $100
toward the building of a stadium.
A preliminary discussion of the idea was under way soon after the close
of the 1916 championship season. At a February 3, 1917 board meeting
the sole topic of discussion was “the plans for the new stadium.”
The minutes gave no details.
In the summer of 1918 the idea of a new athletic plant and stadium was
still germinating. At an August 13, 1918 board meeting, Prof. French
reported on “the new plans of Architect Smith for the new Athletic Field
and Stadium.” Again no details were given but it was Architect
Howard Dwight Smith, 1907, who finally drew the plans for the horseshoe-shaped,
double deck stadium finally built in 1921-22 and completed in time for
the 1922 football season.
There was further discussion of the idea of a new athletic plant and
stadium in the early months of 1919. At the March 21 board meeting,
for example, “General discussion of plans for a new field constituted the
business for the evening.”
Money was the great problem and various ideas were suggested.
During World War I the 83rd Division football team at Camp Sherman, Chillicoth,
Ohio, had been rather successful financially and otherwise. With
the end of the war the sprawling camp fell into disuse except as a mustering
out place for returning soldiers. It was known that there was a sizeable
sum in the Camp Sherman fund. At the March 21 meeting the board adopted
a motion to name a committee “to see if the Camp Sherman fund could not
be obtained toward a new stadium.” Nothing came of this move.
In the end it developed that a stadium could be financed in only two
ways: by public subscription and by profits from intercollegiate athletics,
chiefly football. The plan for a stadium campaign which, in effect,
would take the public into partnership began to take shape toward the end
of 1919 after the close of a third highly successful football season.
Public interest in Ohio State football reached unprecedented heights in
Columbus and throughout Ohio for that matter. It was now quite clear
that a much greater seating capacity than Ohio Field could ever afford
along with much improved playing facilities were badly needed and this
need must be met soon.
The resulting Stadium campaign, finally put on in the fall of 1920 after
being postponed once, was the solution. The time was propitious seeing
that Ohio State won its third Big Ten championship in 1920. The Stadium
campaign capitalized on the enthusiasm generated by the great football
successes achieved in 1916, 1917, 1919 and 1920.
It was not enough, however, merely to ask the public to contribute to
a Stadium fund. It had to be given something in return for its money.
Various schemes were devised to this end. As it worked out, $100
came to be the standard subscription from the alumni and public and $25
from students. In return, Stadium subscribers were guaranteed certain
preferences as to football tickets in future years and there was talk of
perpetuating their names on bronze tablets to be erected on the Stadium
walls whenever finances permitted. In time it developed that this
would cost something like $30,000 and the expanded athletic program, followed
by the bleak depression that began with the stock market collapse of 1929,
never permitted this luxury. But tablets identifying donors of $5000
or more were erected on individual Stadium boxes.
First plans for a Stadium campaign were announced in the winter of 1919-20.
The original goal was $600,000. At the outset plans called for a
stadium to seat at least 50,000 with the first games to be played in it
in the fall of 1921. Lowry F. Sater, 1895, Columbus attorney, was
A Stadium Number of the Alumni Monthly in February, 1921 gave more details.
The Stadium was to be horseshoe-shaped
and around its perimeter and along the adjoining east bank of the Olentangy
were to be twenty baseball diamonds, to the south of the Stadium six soccer
and football fields, besides a running track, jumping pits and tennis courts.
the Olentangy was to be straightened and diked to prevent flooding, and
the plans called for a new bridge across the river to replace the old trestle
north of the Stadium site, with a new east-west roadway, a new power plant,
a new gymnasium, and even a new armory projected in the Stadium area.
The opening of the Stadium campaign finally was set for the week of
October 18 to 23, 1920 centering in Columbus but including the entire state
and major alumni centers elsewhere. The John
Price Jones Corp., of New York City, was brought in to provide professional
fund raising know-how. The Stadium Committee decided meanwhile that
“a temporary delay would be wiser than too-suddenly sprung campaigning.”
The campaign and the Stadium Week observance were tied in with and followed
the formal celebration that fall of the University’s semi-centennial.
Samuel N. Summer,
1905, Columbus industrialist, was chairman of the campaign executive committee
and did yeoman service. In his job he had the help of six special
committees headed by campus and civic leaders such as Prof. French, J.L.
Morrill, 1913, alumni secretary, Simon
Lazarus, leading Columbus merchant, and others. Carl E. Steeb,
University business manager, was treasurer.
Stadium Week in Columbus was marked by all the carefully planned hoopla
and natural enthusiasm that the campus and the town could muster.
There were pageants, demonstrations, parades and stunts. On Monday,
the first day, there was a tremendous athletic pageant downtown with nearly
4000 students in athletic costume participating. It culminated, as
the Monthly reported, in a “mammoth demonstration of physical education”
on the north lawn of the Statehouse. It was estimated that a throng
of nearly 100,000 saw the parade. On another day the campus infantry
and artillery regiments paraded downtown with full equipment. On
Friday afternoon still another parade downtown was made up of fifty-one
floats representing fraternities, sororities and independent campus organizations.
Each noon and daily at 5 p.m. there were music, stunts and short “pep”
talks from a stage on the west front of the Capitol grounds. The downtown
newspapers carried reams of publicity.
Billboards were used and a huge horseshoe
with electric lights denoting the progress of the campaign was suspended
in front of the Deshler Hotel. At nearby Gay St. a big transparency
was stretched across High St., bearing the plea, “Boost Ohio Stadium.
It’s for Columbus.” The response to the campaign enthusiasm was boosted
by the fact that the 1920 football team had won another Western Conference
title, its third in four seasons, not counting the “unofficial” 1918 season.
During the campaign a special play was made for large givers with subscriptions
of from $1000 to $5000. Earlier, at its December 2, 1919 meeting,
the Athletic Board voted that $100 be “the minimum subscription for Patron.”
It was voted also that patrons “be allowed the privilege of ten years’
option on two seats and names to be inscribed in corriders (sic)” and that
patrons “contributing over $1000 be given an option on four seats.”
Experience proved that the donors came to expect such preferential treatment,
originally intended for a term of years, to be permanent. This helped
to complicate the ticket distribution in later years.
Steps went forward, meanwhile, for the selection and engineering survey
of a site for the Stadium. In effect, a deal was worked out whereby
the Animal Husbandry Department agreed to surrender pasture land west of
Neil Ave., bordering on the Olentangy in return for a promise of new buildings
and other facilities west of the river. Like the Stadium itself,
this was to take time but this was how it worked out.
An important move taken at the November 10, 1920 board meeting was the
appointment of a 7-man Stadium construction committee. It consisted
of President Thompson as chairman, Prof. French as vice chairman, Summer,
Steeb, Prof. D.J. Kays, J.N. Bradford, University architect, and Athletic
Director St. John.
On Ohio State Day, celebrated across the nation November 26, 1920, it
was reported that subscriptions had reached $923,775. This was broken
down as follows: alumni and citizens, $544,500; Ohio outside of Columbus,
$144,948; from other states, $77,727; and campus – students and faculty
- $156,600. The measure of enthusiasm can be gauged from the fact
that earlier there was talk that $300,000 was the most that could be expected
from Columbus, apart from the campus, while the actual response was nearly
double that figure.
By January 20, 1921 the total figure stood at $1,001,071. The
July, 1921 Monthly gave it as $1,042,689, divided as follows: Columbus,
$565,980; campus, $156,969; Ohio, $196,127; and outside of Ohio, $120,887.
The contract was let presently to the E.H. Latham Co., of Columbus,
on its bid of $1,341,017. The campaign itself was over but the books
were still open as there was a gap of $300,000 between the contract price
and the amount pledged. All expenses of the campaign were paid by
the Athletic Department so that every campaign dollar pledged could go
into the Stadium.
Ground was broken for the Stadium in formal ceremonies August 3, 1921.
Governor Harry L. Davis wielded the first shovel, followed by President Thompson,
Chairman Summer and a galaxy of official, campus and stadium committee
dignitaries. A crowd of 2500 was present along with the regimental
band, sparked by the national and University colors. The audience
dutifully sang “America” and “Carmen Ohio.”
Completion date for the Stadium was set for October 1, 1922. Concurrently
with the erection of the Stadium the University let a contract for the
new bridge and roadway over the Olentangy just north of the Stadium at
a cost of $117,900. His unique design calling for a double-decked,
horseshoe-shaped structure won for Architect Smith the gold medal of the
American Institute of Architects for “excellence in public work.”
The University trustees, meanwhile, at their April 25, 1921 meeting
adopted an important resolution under which the Stadium was to be built
and fixing the responsibility of the Athletic Board. By now the project
was known officially as the Ohio Stadium. More than $1,000,000 having
been raised, it was now up to the building committee to see the project
to completion. It was stipulated, among other things, that the University
itself was to incur no financial obligation in connection with the Stadium
and that the cost of the structure was not to exceed $930,000. Before
it was completed it was to cost twice that much.
The long trustees’ resolution, after reviewing the background of the
campaign and its successful conclusion, went on:
And whereas, the Board of Trustees of the Ohio State University has
approved the project for the erection of a Stadium and has given its permission
for the prosecution of the campaign upon certain conditions, to-wit, -
1. All matters pertaining to the location of the Stadium, the final
choice of the Supervising Architect, and the adoption of plans and specifications,
shall be subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees.
2. A clear title to all buildings and structures erected shall follow
the land, divested of all claims of all persons whomsoever.
3. The interests of the University shall be so safeguarded that no
financial obligation shall be incurred by it in connection with the erection
or completion of the proposed Stadium structures.
4. A plan for the expenditure of the Fund shall be submitted to the
Board for approval before the letting of any contracts, and all contracts
shall be open for the inspection of the Board.
And has further approved the appointment and personnel of the committee
for the purpose of planning and completing the construction of the Stadium;
and has designated the site upon which the structure shall be erected.
And whereas, it is expedient that this board now declare its policy
and recognize its responsibilities growing out of the foregoing facts;
therefore be it
Resolved, by the Athletic Board of the Ohio State University,
that this board hereby accepts the trust imposed upon it by the subscribers
to and donors of the Ohio Stadium fund, recognizes the fact that said fund
is in its possession subject to said trust, and declares its purpose to
carry out the object of said trust by proceeding at once with the letting
of the necessary contracts for the erection of the Ohio Stadium.
Resolved, that this board hereby ratifies and confirms all acts
and agreements of the Campaign Committee, known as the Ohio Stadium Committee,
including the designation of the treasurer of the fund; and all acts and
agreements of the building committee heretofore referred to and known as
the Ohio Stadium Building Committee; and all expenses heretofore incurred
by said building committee are hereby approved as within the purposes of
the trust imposed upon the fund.
Resolved, that this board hereby accepts all the conditions imposed
by the Board of Trustees of the Ohio State University; declares its purpose
to conform all future action in the discharge of the trust to the wishes
and direction of said board of trustees and specifically directs its committee
and all other agencies subject to its original control to observe the directions
and wishes of said board of trustees in all respects.
Resolved, that the Ohio Stadium Building Committee heretofore
appointed, be and it is hereby authorized and directed to invite bids and
enter into a contract or contracts properly secured, for the erection of
the principal structure to be known as the Ohio Stadium in accordance with
the plans and specifications heretofore adopted, or as hereafter modified
at a cost not to exceed nine hundred and thirty thousand dollars ($930,000.00)
and the preparation and drainage of the playing field therein and appurtenances
thereof; such contract or contracts shall be made in the name of the Ohio
Stadium Building Committee as agent of this board; all moneys now in the
hands of the treasurer of the Ohio Stadium Fund or hereafter coming into
his hands from the collection of subscriptions heretofore or hereafter
made, or otherwise are hereby specifically appropriated to the discharge
of such contract or contracts and the expense of administration incurred
by said committee.
The University trustees formally approved the plans and specifications
of the Stadium at their May 25, 1921 meeting. The building committee
directed the engineers to submit plans to contractors for bids to be opened
June 17. Letting of the contract to the Latham firm was approved
July 7. The design finally adopted called for a double-decked, horseshoe-shaped
structure on a north-south axis lying in the bottom lands bordering the
Olentangy River. Clyde T. Morris, 1898, of the civil engineering
department, was the engineer in charge, assisted by William S. Hindman,
also of that department.
The Stadium was to have a seating capacity of 63,000 and was to be built
of concrete. There was some difference of opinion over both the size
and the materials to be used. Dr.
T.C. Mendenhall, sole surviving member of the original faculty in 1873
and an influential trustee in 1921, was insistent that the seating capacity
be held to 35,000. The argument was that a large stadium was not
needed and would never be filled. There was also some argument on
political grounds that brick be used instead of concrete.
The site chosen was so low it was subject to flooding from the Olentangy.
To offset this it was necessary to make an earth fill to an average depth
of 7 feet. In time also the river was straightened and a substantial
dike was built along the east bank but this did not come about until the
PWA period in the depression.
Various ideas were proposed in connection with the Stadium. There
was even talk of its use with a sort of open air theater – this came about
years later, but underneath the structure – and for public meeting purposes
such as commencement. The original plan made no provision for a running
track and this was one of the first things added. A petition was
also presented to the Athletic Board to provide roque courts. This
was referred to the Stadium engineer “with a recommendation that the courts
be constructed in a suitable place.”
Steady progress was made on the Stadium construction. Prof. French
presented the report of the Stadium engineer at a January 19, 1922 board
meeting. A motion was adopted that “the necessary steps be taken
along the lines of the special committee of the Stadium Building Committee
to insure completion of the Stadium by October 1, 1922.”
To make the Stadium ready for actual use involved a lot of details,
e.g., the purchase of 3000 chairs for the boxes, a flagpole at a cost of
$381, the numbering of the seats, and 1200 identification badges for employees.
A major item was the installation of cables for telegraph and telephone
service. There was also need for a score board and for liability
insurance. At its May 7, 1923 meeting the board approved the building
of an outdoor cinder track at the Stadium and the erection of a fence across
the open end of the horseshoe.
The Stadium engineer was authorized also to make plans for a new Varsity
baseball field in the area northeast of the Stadium. Another recurring
problem was the necessity of oiling the ground underneath the Stadium itself
to settle the dust. Years later this was solved permanently by blacktopping
it. On December 5, 1923 the board authorized the construction of
a 6-lap track and straightaway under the west side of the Stadium together
with tennis courts and the grading of the Varsity baseball field at a cost
of $5650. It was not until May, 1926 that purchase of a canvas cover
for the football playing field was approved.
Meanwhile early in 1922 a subcommittee named to consider the matter
of financing the completed Stadium foresaw that with funds in hand and
with anticipated collections on Stadium subscriptions between January and
May construction expenses could not be met until the June 1 payment.
On the basis of a 4-year statement of receipts and expenditures, with a
similar estimate for the future, it was felt that “the loans could all
be paid off by April 1, 1927.” This proved highly optimistic.
In any case, the subcommittee recommended to the Stadium Building Committee
that it “recommend to the Athletic Board that the necessary steps be taken
to secure loans of funds as may become necessary for the completion of
the Stadium this year and that the Stadium Building Committee be authorized
to proceed with the construction accordingly.” The building committee
approved the subcommittee report January 18 for transmittal to the Athletic
The estimated schedule of expenses to complete the Stadium by October
1, 1922 totaled $1,488,168, of which, $1,341,017 applied on the Latham
contract. The remainder covered office expense, engineer payroll,
and “grounds and extras” – the last in the amount of $81,920.
Stadium Fund subscriptions were shown at a face value of $1,078,114
of which $975,428 was paid. Athletic profits for 1921-22 came to
$134,000, leaving loans to be negotiated in the amount of $378,740 from
Columbus banks. Such borrowing was on unsecured personal notes signed
by Athletic Board members and was divided unevenly between two major Columbus
At the June 15, 1922 board meeting, Engineer Morris presented his final
estimate of the cost of the completed Stadium. The total expense
was now given as $1,491,761 and the amount to be borrowed as $386,000.
Authority was given the treasurer to borrow “from time to time as the funds
may be needed a sum not to exceed $386,000, on the best possible terms.”
Taken from: OHIO STATE ATHLETICS 1879 – 1959
By James E. Pollard
Undeniably one of the most recognizable landmarks in all of athletics,
Ohio Stadium is now in its 80th year as the home of Ohio State football.
Built in 1922, “The Horseshoe” has just undergone an extensive three-year
renovation, preservation and expansion project that will ensure its longevity
for years to come.
With 101,568 seats now closely surrounding the playing field, this
grand old structure, standing tall along the banks of the Olentangy River,
is at the same time both intimate and intimidating.
Unique in design with its double-decked horseshoe look, Ohio Stadium
is listed in the National Registry of Historic Buildings. And for the more
than 34 million fans that have passed through its gates, there is nothing
like a Saturday afternoon in Columbus with all the pageantry and fanfare
that surrounds every Ohio State game. That is why year-in and year-out, the
Buckeyes rank among the national attendance leaders.
As a result of the recent renovation, there are a number of changes,
including all new bench seats in the upper half of “A” Deck and all of “B”
Deck. The three rows of Hospitality Suites and the Press Box on the west
side are new, as are the 19 rows of seats on the northwest corner of “C”
Deck. Additionally, the concourses have been widened in both “B” and “C”
Decks, and the numbers of restrooms and concession stands on both levels
have increased dramatically.
Earlier changes were equally striking, beginning with the lowering
of the actual field 14’6” at the completion of the 1999 season. By the following
fall, a new scoreboard and a permanent South Stands were in place. So, too,
were the completely new “AA” Deck and 19 new rows of seats on the east side
of “C” Deck.
It was truly an amazing 12 months of dedication by the more than
750 construction workers involved in the project. Their tireless work and
pride helped make Phase II (the second year) a reality.
The total cost of the renovation project is $194 million. Nearly
80 percent of that figure will be covered by the sale of the 81 Hospitality
Suites and the 2,500 Club Seats on the west side of the stadium. Naming Rights
gifts and revenue generated from increased ticket sales and concession income
will cover the remaining 20 percent. No tax dollars or state or university
money was used.
With an original capacity of 66,210, skeptics doubted the $1.3 million
structure would ever be filled. But they were quickly quieted when an overflow
crowd of 71,385 showed up for the dedication game against Michigan Oct. 21,
From that impressive beginning, Ohio State has gone on to lead the
nation in attendance 20 times. Last year, the Buckeyes averaged a school
record 103,432 fans in six home games, including a record 104,407 in the
game against Illinois.
Of course, all of those records could change this year. Ohio Stadium – 80 years old and looking better all the time!
Ohio Stadium Quick Facts
First Game Ohio Wesleyan, Oct. 7, 1922
Dedication Michigan (10-21-22)
Original Capacity 66,210
Present Capacity 101,568
Largest Crowd 104,553 vs. Washington State (9-14-02)
Highest Season Avg. 103,532 (2001)
Total Attendance since 1922 34,336,562
OSU’s All-Time Record 334-101-20
First Artificial Turf 1971
PAT Installed 1990
Designed by architect Howard Dwight Smith in the summer of 1918, the double-deck
horseshoe-shaped Ohio Stadium was added to the National Register of Historic
Places by the National Park Service on March 22, 1974.
|Ohio Stadium Facts Sheet|
|Total sq. ft. of A concourse||399,978 sq. ft.|| ||536,850 sq. ft.|
|Stadium Circumference||2,562 sq. ft.|| ||2,892 sq. ft.|
|Length of stadium||704 ft.|| ||919 ft.|
|Width of stadium||596 ft. 6 in.|| ||679 ft. |
|Sq. ft of ground stadium was built on||419,936 sq. ft.|| ||624,001 sq. ft.|
|Number of acres||9.8 acres|| ||14.5 acres|
|Note: Stadium field was lowered 14 ft. 6 in.|
|Acres of playing surface (sports turf)||1.4 acres|| ||1.6 acres|
|Height of speaker cluster (from grade level)||106 ft. 10 in.|| ||180 ft. 4 in.|
|Height of speaker cluster (from field level)||106 ft. 10 in.|| ||194 ft. 10 in.|
|Height of scoreboard (from grade level)||106 ft. 10 in.|| ||147 ft.|
|Height of scoreboard (from field level)||106 ft. 10 in.|| ||161 ft. 6 in.|
|Width of scoreboard||106 ft.|| ||158 ft. 2 in.|
|Height of scoreboard||44 ft. 7 in.|| ||42ft.|
|Height of video screen||25 ft.|| ||30 ft.|
|Width of video screen||37 ft.|| ||90 ft.|
|Height of stadium outbuild (from grade level east and west)||98 ft. 3 in.|| ||136 ft. 7 in.|
|Height of press box roof (from grade level)||118 ft. 10 in.|| ||168 ft. 10 in.|
|Height of press box roof (from field level)||118 ft. 10 in.|| ||183 ft. 4 in.|
|Height of flagpole (from grade level)||131 ft. 6 in.|| ||146 ft.|
|Total flagpole height||147 ft. 6 in.|| ||162 ft. (16 ft. in ground)|
|Number of men’s fixtures||186|| ||437 (135% increase)|
|Number of women’s fixtures||91|| ||723 (695% increase)|
|Family restrooms||0|| ||24|
|Concessions (Points of Sale)||80|| ||194 (143% increase)|
THE ULTIMATE SPORTS ROAD TRIP
By: Andrew Kulyk & Peter Farrell
September 17, 2005 - Columbus, Ohio is one of the largest cities in America, so one would think that the four major sports would be elbowing to tap into this market. Yet of all the pro sports only the NHL Blue Jackets play here... because basically, Columbus is a Buckeyes town. That's Ohio State Buckeyes. And it is Ohio State football which is steeped in the very fabric and traditions of this city, and it is a buzz that can be felt throughout the entire area.
Ohio Stadium opened in 1922 on the campus of Ohio State University just north of downtown Columbus. Unlike some of its peer venues which opened as small stadiums and were later expanded, this facility had an original capacity of over 66,000 seats, mammoth for a building of that era. Of course, the building was eventually expanded, to an official capacity of 102,329 seats. And a good thing too, because every single one of these seats is filled to the brim, and the team has ranked in the top five in total attendance going back decades.
The building is nicknamed "The Horseshoe" , due to its double deck horseshoe design, and the open end zone used to hold portable bleachers, although the most recent renovation, completed in 2001, installed permanent seating in that end zone.
Other state of the art renovations included widening of the concourses and new suites and club seats on the west side of facility. A video scoreboard and companion dot matrix board is displayed high above the south end zone.
Traditions and rituals are an important part of the game day experience at Ohio Stadium. The team's marching band is a big part of the show here. Nicknamed "TBDBITL" (The Bast Damn Band In The Land), the band holds a pregame rally and concert in an adjacent arena, then proceeds parade style into the stadium.
The pregame field performance is not to be missed. A montage of traditional songs, including the "Buckeye Battle Cry" is performed, with the band's Drum Major leading the charge throughout. The show ends with the band's spelling out the word "Ohio" in script, and the ultimate honor is bestowed on the individual who gets to "dot the I".
Normally given to a fourth year sousaphone player who is selected via a rigorous winnowing down process, three non band members... Woody Hayes, Bob Hope and Jack Nicklaus (see picture above) stand as the only three people outside the band to have had this honor.
The tailgate and party scene here at the Horseshoe is awesome... a veritable ocean of red and white all around the stadium. The really cool party zone near the stadium is Lane Avenue, north of the building. Plenty of college pubs, eateries, many with live music and portable bars and food stands in their parking lots, even a major hotel with live band and a jumbo video board. It is all an electric atmosphere.
Parking around the stadium campus periphery is generally $10, although some charged $20 and even a couple of $5 lots if you look hard enough. But be prepared for a lengthy walk, as parking closest to the stadium is reserved for pass holders.
People here are passionate about their Buckeyes. Big Ten rival Michigan is the most despised opponent (t-shirt examples: "Ann Arbor is a Whore"; "In Poland they tell Michigan jokes"), and it is that passion which makes The Horseshoe one of the premier college football venues in the land!
OHIO STATE EXPECTS ATHLETICS TO TURN A PROFIT
June 3, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures
Columbus, Ohio - After losing $148,000 a year ago, Ohio State's athletic department will bank
$23,400 for the 2009-10 fiscal year, according to numbers released by athletic director Gene Smith.
Smith said the surplus came because of cost hold-downs and revenue increases in concessions
"We had a good year," Smith said. "There were some revenue increases in certain categories,
but the expenditure controls by our unit managers and coaches were outstanding. So we feel really good."
Smith said the department has proposed a school-record $128 million budget for fiscal year 2010-11 which could be approved soon by Ohio State's athletic council. That's $10 million more than the budget for the current fiscal year.
The men's basketball team, which came up short of accounting projections by more than $350,000 a year ago, met financial estimates this time around because of reduced accounting projections and bigger crowds watching the Big Ten co-champions.
University athletic officials hope they have weathered a tough spot.
The Buckeyes benefit from having eight home football games this season - one more than 2009. In addition, the university's board of trustees already has approved an increase in ticket prices of as much as $7 per ticket (to $70 for a reserved seat) for football and as much as $1 per ticket for men's basketball (to $23-$30 per game). In addition, fees at the university's golf courses are going up. Those increases still will take place.
Offsetting that is Ohio State's 7 percent tuition increase for in-state students starting this fall.
The department said the 2009-10 men's basketball team had revenues of $14,843,000 and expenses - including salaries, benefits, travel and other costs - of $3,684,000, to net more than $11 million.
Football and men's basketball are the only two of Ohio State's 36 intercollegiate sports - the
most among all NCAA schools - that do not lose money.