Ohio State football: Horseshoe history

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

The home of the Buckeyes is one of the most recognizable monuments in football, and it's remained a work in progress during the past nine decades. Here's a look back at the 'Shoe's fascinating history.

That Chic Was Somethin'

A record 17,000 fans attended Chic Harley's final game at Ohio State. The school's first true superstar was so electrifying that Ohio Field, precursor to the 'Shoe, could no longer handle the hype. University trustees decided to build a proper venue three days later.

Good Investment

Ohio Stadium was dedicated on Oct. 21, 1922, and finished in May 1923. The final cost was just over $1.3 million. Held before the annual M------n game, the dedication ceremony drew President Warren Harding, Orville Wright, Knute Rockne and John Heisman.

Rock Solid

In the 1920s, people trusted wood. Concrete? Not so much. Ohio Stadium was one of the first built of concrete, and many were afraid it would collapse. Upon opening, it was the largest stadium west of the Alleghenies.

Drawing Power

The stadium's original capacity was listed as 66,210 - which many officials thought was far too large. During the first M------n game, more than 71,000 fans proved them wrong. More than 36 million have flocked to the 'Shoe over the years, including this Notre Dame game in 1935.

Man's World

When it opened, Ohio Stadium didn't have women's bathrooms. It was considered unfashionable for ladies to attend sporting events - or, apparently, to pee at stadiums.

Room with a View

Starting in 1933, a small group of students lived in the Horseshoe, under west A Deck, through the Stadium Scholarship Program, a work-study learning experience. They were originally known as the Tower Club. The last class moved out in 1999, and the dorms were soon demolished during an extensive $150 million renovation.

Stand and Deliver

Years ago, the 'Shoe was an actual horseshoe. Until 1935, temporary stands were erected in the south end only for hot tickets. Constructing and removing extra seats soon became a weekly task until permanent bleachers were completed in 2000.

Sources: The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio Historical Society, OhioStateBuckeyes.com, Wikipedia.org, Dispatch file photos