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For 84 of its 116-year history, Ohio State football has been played in venerable Ohio Stadium. Listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, this cathedral of college football was opened in 1922.

While we have become accustomed to crowds over well over 100,000, the stadium was originally built to seat 66,210. That figure itself was considered outlandish. At the time, overflow crowds at Ohio Field would barely reach 20,000.

Thanks to the popularity of Charles "Chic" Harley in the late 1910's - and the school's first Big Ten championships - Ohio State football was reaching unprecedented heights. Director of Athletics, Lynn W. St. John, and Thomas French, a professor and member of the athletic board, were the visionaries that saw a need for a new stadium.

Three years prior, French had asked Howard Dwight Smith, a graduate and faculty member of the OSU School of Architecture to render blue-prints for a new stadium. His design called for two decks, in a horseshoe shape, inspired by ancient ruins of Greek and Roman empires. Those plans were approved on May 24, 1921. An extensive fund raising campaign netted over $1,000,000, and on August 3, 1921 ground was officially broken for the structure just east of the Olentangy River.

The project was completed in time for the 1922 season, and on October 7th, in front of 25,000 fans who witnessed a 5-0 decision over Ohio Wesleyan. Ohio Stadium was officially dedicated two weeks later against Michigan. This time, over 70,000 passed through the turnstiles, the largest crowd at the time ever to watch a football game in the Midwest.

The "Horseshoe" was given a massive face lift from 1999-2001, making it one of the finest facilities in all of college football. The field was lowered 14 feet, extra seats were added, luxury suites installed, and south stands made permanent. The renovations, at a price of nearly $194 million, still maintained the architectural integrity of Smith's original design, while adding all the modern amenities of the 21st century, including a new state-of-the-art of scoreboard.

Ohio Stadium is as vital to the Buckeye experience as the game itself. Since 1949, Ohio State has never finished lower than fourth nationally in average home attendance. From 1951 through 1973, OSU led the nation in attendance 21 times, including 14 straight from 1958 to 1971. That support has transitioned to the Buckeyes play on the field as well. All-time OSU has won nearly 77% of its games played in the "'Shoe", including 89% since 2001.