Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Life > Experiences

The Ultimate Guide to Your First Buckeye Game Day

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at OSU chapter.

Ohio State has a lot to offer, but one of the biggest parts of OSU culture is football. Say what you will about the sport, but there is nothing quite like college football. With one of the biggest football fan bases in the country, Buckeye Nation creates a game-day energy that cannot be found anywhere else. Whether you enjoy the game of football or are just there for the fun of it (equally valid reason!), every OSU student should go to at least one home game throughout their college career, though I encourage many more.

With all the hype around OSU football and the pure chaos that happens when 100,000 people crowd the stadium to be part of the action, though, it can be intimidating and downright scary if you don’t know where to start. To help you avoid some of the typical mistakes of a football game first-timer, I’ve compiled my top six tips that will make your first experience every bit as magical as it should be.

1. Join the pre-game party

The fun of football starts long before kickoff. You’ll see students at block parties in the wee hours of the morning and families tailgating outside the stadium set up since yesterday. Many would argue that the pre-game festivities are even more fun than the actual game, so make sure you budget some time to get hyped up, whether that’s at a bar, a tailgate or a house party. If that scene isn’t for you, the best place to be before the game is the Skull Session. This pep rally is an Ohio State tradition that takes place in St. John Arena approximately three hours prior to the game. It includes performances by the marching band, as well as remarks from the head coach and players themselves, all to cultivate that amazing OSU game-day energy we talked about. The Skull Session is completely free to attend, as well, but get there early because with all those fans, seats fill quickly!

2. Know where to enter and where you’re sitting

This may seem obvious, but look at your ticket ahead of time! It will say which gate to enter through and you can show it to the ushers to locate your row and seat number. The Ohio State Buckeyes app, where you can find your tickets, has all of the info you may need. If you’re unfamiliar with the layout of the stadium, check out a map ahead of time so you don’t get lost. The Shoe is big and there will be what seems like a million people entering at the same time. Pro tip: Add your mobile ticket to your Apple or Google wallet for easy access as you enter.

3. Be aware of the stadium rules

The biggest thing to note here is that you can’t bring bags into Ohio Stadium. Small bags no bigger than five by eight by 1 inches are permitted though, so try to fit all your essentials into a small wallet or fanny pack. Also, be prepared to walk through a metal detector before entering.

4. Watch the halftime show

Once you see the Ohio State Marching Band perform, you’ll understand why they call it The Best Damn Band in the Land (TBDBITL for short). For football enjoyers and non-enjoyers alike, the halftime show is not to be missed. It can be tempting to use this time for a bathroom or food break, but you won’t want to miss out on the excitement of a TBDBITL performance. It’s a visual show as much as a musical one, so keep an eye on the screens for an overhead view of the show.

5. Note all of the Buckeye Nation traditions

There are so many uniquely “Ohio State” things that characterize game day in the Shoe. This includes the cheers from the student section, aka “Block O,” the ringing of the Victory Bell after a win, singing Carmen Ohio all together after the game and so much more! Ohio State football has a history rich with tradition and being a part of the fandom as a student will create memories to last a lifetime.

6. Be safe and have fun!

As always, remember to be aware of your surroundings and stay with your group. Game days are meant to be fun and exciting, and your first one is bound to be special no matter the outcome of the game. Enjoy the atmosphere and cheer on the buckeyes loud and proud! O-H!

For more resources to have handy, check out https://ohiostatebuckeyes.com/gameday/.

Hi! I'm a second-year student at Ohio State, majoring in Communication and Anthropology. I'm from rural northwest Ohio and enjoy reading, writing, baking, and traveling. In my free time I love exploring Columbus and being active in various student orgs around campus. I'm passionate about learning about other cultures and social issues in my community and around the world, and wish to use my writing to inspire, inform, and connect to the women around me.