A Guide To Football In Ohio

Welcome to the ultimate guide for all things football in Ohio! From college games at the prestigious Ohio State University to high school rivalries and professional teams, the Buckeye State is a true haven for fans of America’s favorite sport.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the rich history, exciting game day experiences, must-visit locations, and unique fan culture that make football in Ohio an unforgettable experience.

Key Takeaways

  • Ohio is a football hub with a rich history, encompassing college and high school rivalries, as well as professional teams like the Bengals and Browns.
  • Stadiums in Ohio are an essential element of game day experiences. Notable ones include Ohio Stadium, Paul Brown Stadium, FirstEnergy Stadium, Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium among others.
  • Football fan culture is vibrant in Ohio – from tailgating traditions to must-visit locations before games such as The Oval. Columbus also offers hidden gems beyond game-day destinations that tourists can explore.

Overview Of Football In Ohio

Football is more than just a sport in Ohio — it’s a cultural phenomenon that brings together communities, schools, and universities. From high school rivalries to professional teams like the Browns and Bengals, there’s no shortage of football action to be found in the Buckeye State. Whether you’re planning a visit or just looking for some insider tips on how to experience game day like a local, this guide has got you covered. So grab your foam finger and let’s dive into everything you need to know about football in Ohio!

College Football In Ohio

College football in Ohio is a longstanding tradition that dates back over a century, with numerous programs and passionate fan bases spanning the state. At the heart of this enthusiasm lies the Ohio State University Buckeyes, one of the most storied college football programs in American history.

Apart from OSU, other notable college football teams include Cincinnati Bearcats, Toledo Rockets, Kent State Golden Flashes, Akron Zips – each carving out their niche within Ohio’s vibrant athletic landscape.

These colleges boast captivating rivalries and dedicated followers who are eager to support their school during every game day. From thrilling matchups in packed stadiums to tailgating traditions steeped in local pride, college football is more than just a sport for many residents; it’s an integral part of Ohio culture.

Ohio’s Professional Football Teams

Ohio is home to two professional football teams: the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns. The Bengals play at Paul Brown Stadium, named after their founder and legendary coach, while the Browns play at FirstEnergy Stadium.

While the teams’ recent performances may not have been stellar, Ohio’s passionate football culture means that both sets of supporters are always excited about what lies ahead.

Ohioans also love to show their support for their favorite team by wearing jerseys adorned with players’ names and numbers or flying flags on their cars during game season.

High School Football In Ohio

Ohio is home to some of the most competitive high school football programs in the country. Friday nights under the bright lights of stadiums across Ohio are a big deal for communities and fans alike.

One of the biggest events on the Ohio high school football calendar is the state championship tournament. The tournament brings together the best teams from across Ohio to compete for glory and bragging rights.

Fans looking to catch a high school game should keep an eye out for marquee matchups between rivals like Massillon Washington and Canton McKinley or St. Xavier and Elder in Cincinnati.

Many games take place on Friday nights, with kickoff times typically around 7 pm local time.

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Famous Football Stadiums In Ohio

Ohio is home to some of the most iconic football stadiums in the country. Whether you’re a fan of college or professional football, these stadiums are worth visiting. Here are some of the most famous football stadiums in Ohio:

Ohio Stadium: Home of the Ohio State Buckeyes, this stadium has been around since 1922 and seats over 100,000 fans.

Paul Brown Stadium: Home of the Cincinnati Bengals, this stadium opened in 2000 and has a unique design that lends itself to an amazing atmosphere on game day.

FirstEnergy Stadium: Home of the Cleveland Browns, this stadium underwent renovations in recent years to make it one of the best stadiums in the NFL.

Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium: Located in Canton, this stadium serves as home to high school football games and also hosts events for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Nippert Stadium: Home of the University of Cincinnati Bearcats, this stadium has undergone numerous renovations throughout its history and provides a cozy atmosphere for fans.

InfoCision Stadium-Summa Field: Home of the University of Akron Zips, this stadium can seat over 30,000 fans and features state-of-the-art facilities.

Dix Stadium: The home field for Kent State University’s Golden Flashes, Dix Stadium holds just over 25,000 people and is located in beautiful surroundings that provide stunning views during games.

Peden Stadium: The home field for Ohio University’s Bobcats is named after legendary coach Don Peden and provides a classic college football experience for fans.

Yager Stadium: This Miami University RedHawks’ stadium was expanded back in 2003 and features a sleek design that makes it one of Ohio’s most advanced sports facilities.

Fifth Third Field at Nischwitz Stadium: This baseball/football hybrid is unique not only because it’s part baseball stadium, but also because it’s the home field for the Dayton Flyers.

Whether you’re a die-hard Buckeyes fan or just love football, Ohio has a stadium for every kind of fan. From classic college football venues to state-of-the-art stadiums for NFL teams, these stadium experiences are not-to-be-missed!

Ohio State Football Tourism Guide

Discover the ultimate Ohio State football experience with our tourism guide filled with must-visit locations for Buckeye fans, hidden gems in Columbus and a tour of Ohio Stadium.

Must-Visit Locations For Ohio State Football Fans

Ohio State football fans know that there’s more to gameday than just the game itself. From tailgating traditions to must-visit locations, here are some of the top spots for Buckeye fans:

Ohio Stadium – Of course, any real Buckeye fan needs to make a pilgrimage to the Horseshoe at least once. Take a tour, check out historic photos and memorabilia, and snap a selfie with the iconic Rotunda.

Skull Session – Before each home game, the Ohio State marching band puts on an electrifying concert-meets-pep rally in St. John Arena. Watch the band warm up and get pumped up for kickoff.

The Oval – This picturesque green space is at the heart of OSU’s campus and is always bustling with activity on game day. Join in on the tailgating fun or just people-watch for a while.

Buckeye Grove – Just outside Ohio Stadium, this tree-filled area features memorials to all of OSU’s All-American football players. Pay your respects to legends like Archie Griffin and Eddie George.

Victory Bell – After every victory (and occasionally after losses) OSU players ring this large bell mounted outside St. John Arena as a symbol of their triumph.

The Blackwell Inn – Located right on campus, this hotel is a popular spot for visiting teams and fans alike; it also houses one of Columbus’ best restaurants, Bistro 2110.

Thurman Cafe – Just south of campus in German Village, this legendary burger joint has been featured on multiple food shows and offers truly massive sandwiches named after local celebs.

Short North Arts District – If you’re looking for something to do before or after the game besides tailgate (or nap), head north from campus to this trendy neighborhood full of galleries, boutiques, bars and restaurants.

No matter what you do before or after the game, make sure you’re decked out in scarlet and gray and ready to cheer loud for the Buckeyes!

Hidden Gems In Columbus For Football Tourists

Columbus, Ohio has plenty of hidden gems for football tourists to explore beyond the usual game day destinations. Check out these spots:

The Buckeye Room – a sports bar located inside The Bier Stube featuring Ohio State memorabilia and game day specials.

Thurman Cafe – famous for their enormous burgers, this spot is a popular pregame destination.

Schmidt’s Sausage Haus – known for their German food and historic atmosphere, this restaurant is perfect for fans looking for a unique dining experience.

The Book Loft – this independent bookstore features a section dedicated to Ohio State sports history and memorabilia.

Short North Arts District – just north of downtown Columbus, this neighborhood offers art galleries, boutique shops, and restaurants.

Remember to also check out the local’s guide to spots Buckeye fans will love for even more hidden gems in Columbus. Enjoy exploring the city beyond the stadium on your next visit to Ohio State football games!

Tour Of Ohio Stadium

Ready to explore one of the most iconic football stadiums in the country? Take a tour of Ohio Stadium and discover its rich history and impressive architecture. As you enter through Gate 23, you’ll be greeted by a larger-than-life statue of former coach Woody Hayes, commemorating his legendary career at Ohio State University.

One highlight is the press box, where media personnel gather to cover games and report on the latest developments in Buckeye football. You’ll also get an up-close look at some notable features such as Block O—the massive sign representing Ohio State’s spirit—and Buckeye Grove, where trees are planted for every All-American player from OSU.

Tips For Following The Buckeyes From Afar

If you’re unable to attend an Ohio State football game in person, don’t worry! There are still ways to stay connected and follow the Buckeyes from afar. First and foremost, make sure you have access to a reliable source for updates on Ohio State Football news and games.

Social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram or Facebook can help keep you up-to-date with everything happening within the team as well as fan feedback.

Another way to experience Ohio State Buckeye games is through virtual reality experiences that give fans immersive views of the stadium while providing interactive elements such as trivia quizzes about players or history of the team.

Finally, although experiencing tailgating in-person would be ideal when attending OSU football games; if it’s not possible then try creating a festive atmosphere around your TV viewing party by incorporating gameday traditions into your home setup (like colors of Scarlet & Gray) and preparing some traditional Columbus food items like Ohio-style chili dogs or buckeye chocolate treats.

How To Catch A Game In Person

Attending an Ohio football game in person is an unforgettable experience for any sports enthusiast. First and foremost, it’s important to plan ahead by checking the schedule and purchasing tickets early to secure your spot.

For Buckeye fans looking to catch a game at Ohio Stadium, there are many options for tailgating and pre-game fun around campus.

Parking can be a challenge on gamedays, so it’s best to research parking options well in advance and consider using public transportation if possible.

By planning ahead and getting familiarized with all that goes into attending an Ohio football game in person, you’ll have everything you need to fully embrace this beloved American pastime – from tailgates to touchdown dances!

Football Culture In Ohio

Ohio’s football culture is one of the most unique in the country, with passionate fans and unforgettable game day experiences. From tailgating traditions to stadium rituals, there’s no shortage of excitement for football enthusiasts.

Unique Traditions And Fan Culture In Ohio

Ohio has a rich history of football culture that is unique and full of traditions. Here are a few examples:

  1. Scarlet and Gray: Ohio State’s colors are deeply embedded in the state’s culture as they represent the Buckeye’s school spirit.
  2. “O-H-I-O” Chant: This popular chant is heard at every Ohio State game and involves fans raising their arms to spell out O-H-I-O, emphasizing each letter with a shout.
  3. Script Ohio: This iconic marching band formation features the band spelling out “Ohio” in cursive while playing the Buckeye Battle Cry.
  4. Carmen Ohio: The alma mater song of Ohio State University, sung at the end of every home football game.
  5. The Shoe: One of the most recognizable college football stadiums in America, with seating capacity for over 100,000 fans.
  6. Skull Session: On game days, Buckeye fans can attend this pre-game pep rally featuring the marching band, cheerleaders, and guest musicians.
  7. Buckeye Necklaces: A popular accessory among female Buckeye fans made up of alternating scarlet and gray beads.
  8. Mirror Lake Jump: An annual tradition where students jump into Mirror Lake on campus before the Michigan game as a symbol of cleansing and good luck for the team.
  9. Tailgating Culture: Football season in Ohio is synonymous with tailgating parties which include grilling, drinking beer, playing games and socializing before heading to nearby stadiums to watch games.

Ohioans’ love affair with football continues to gain momentum with each passing year as high school teams continue to produce record-breaking performances and college teams always seem to be vying for top spots in national rankings.

Top Stadium Experiences In Ohio

No football game in Ohio is complete without experiencing the unique atmosphere of its famous stadiums. The Horseshoe at Ohio Stadium has been home to the Buckeyes for more than 100 years and offers fans an unmatched gameday experience.

Another must-visit stadium in Ohio is Paul Brown Stadium, located in Cincinnati and home to the Bengals. The stadium features state-of-the-art facilities and offers breathtaking views of downtown Cincinnati.

Lastly, FirstEnergy Stadium – home to Cleveland Browns – provides a unique gameday experience with great food options and outstanding hospitality from passionate Browns fans.

Whether you’re rooting for your favorite college team or cheering on one of Ohio’s professional teams, attending a game at any of these stadiums will leave you with memories that last a lifetime!

Tailgating Traditions And Etiquette

Tailgating is an essential part of football culture in Ohio, with fans gathering hours before kickoff to grill up some burgers and hot dogs while enjoying the pregame festivities.

Whether you’re a seasoned tailgater or a first-timer, it’s important to know the dos and don’ts of tailgating etiquette. One key rule to remember is to be respectful of your fellow fans and their space – try not to encroach on someone else’s tailgate area without permission.

It’s also important to clean up after yourself, leaving no trash behind when you pack up at the end of the day.

Several resources are available for fans looking for more information on tailgating traditions and etiquette in Ohio. The Ohio State Game Day Guide provides tips for everything from parking and transportation logistics to pregame activities near campus, while local guides like “The Ultimate Guide To Tailgating In Columbus” offer specific recommendations for where to set up camp on game day.

Where To Eat, Drink, And Stay On Game Day

If you’re visiting Ohio for a football game, here are some great places to eat, drink, and stay on game day:

EAT: Buckeye Donuts – a local favorite that’s open 24/7. Grab a breakfast sandwich or one of their famous donuts before the game.

DRINK: Varsity Club – This sports bar has been around since 1959 and is located just blocks from Ohio Stadium. Enjoy cold drinks and food while surrounded by Buckeyes memorabilia.

STAY: Hilton Columbus Downtown – Located in the heart of downtown Columbus, this hotel is within walking distance of many pre-game activities and restaurants.

EAT: Thurman Café – This iconic burger joint has been featured on Food Network’s “Man v. Food.” Try their famous Thurmanator Burger if you’re feeling adventurous.

DRINK: Seventh Son Brewing Co. – A local craft brewery with great beer options and a laid-back atmosphere. Perfect for pre or post-game drinks.

STAY: Blackwell Inn – Located on the campus of The Ohio State University, this hotel offers luxurious accommodations with easy access to the stadium.

EAT: Schmidt’s Sausage Haus – A German restaurant that serves up delicious bratwurst and other sausages, along with their famous cream puffs for dessert.

DRINK: World of Beer – With over 500 beers from around the world, this bar is sure to have something for everyone in your group.

STAY: Hyatt Regency Columbus – Another great option in downtown Columbus that’s close to all the action on game day.

Remember to check out Ohio Stadium’s bag policy before heading out and review parking options if necessary!


In conclusion, Ohio is a state steeped in football tradition, from college to high school and professional teams. Whether you’re a die-hard Buckeye fan or just getting started with the sport, there’s something for everyone here.

With this guide, we hope we’ve provided you with everything you need to know about football in Ohio. From game day tips to hidden gems in Columbus and beyond, get ready to dive into all things football as you explore the Buckeye State.

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