COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State has always had “The Best Fans in the Land.” But did you know that those fans can enjoy over 20 sports for free. That, combined with free parking and a product on the field that delivers excitement year in and year out, adds up to free fun for fans of all ages.
In order to celebrate Ohio State’s free admission sports, the Department of Athletics is officially launching the “Bucks On Us” campaign. Of the Buckeyes’ 36 varsity sports, over 20 do not charge admission to regular season home events. Those sports are: cross country, fencing, field hockey, men’s and women’s golf, men’s gymnastics, women’s ice hockey, women’s lacrosse, pistol, rifle, rowing, men’s and women’s soccer, softball, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, synchronized swimming, men’s and women’s tennis, track and field and men’s volleyball. (Note: NCAA/Big Ten Tournament contests may have an admission cost but all of these sports’ regular season home events are free to fans.).
A ticket into the contest isn’t the only thing that’s free at the “Bucks On Us” sports – there is also no charge for parking. Once in the venue, fans can also participate in free promotions, special giveaways and take advantage of concession offers for select games. After the game, many teams host meet-and-greets with student-athletes and coaches. In all, there are over 172 free events per year on Ohio State’s campus.
“It’s always been a priority of ours to offer affordable opportunities for families and fans to experience Buckeye athletics,” said Gene Smith, Senior Vice President and Wolfe Foundation Endowed Athletics Director. “We’re blessed to have amazing coaches and student-athletes that consistently produce a strong product on the field. They are undoubtedly energized by the way our fans pack their respective venues, creating a home field advantage that is second to none.”
Thanks in large part to a loyal and energetic fan base, many of the free admission sports enjoyed unprecedented success. The men’s soccer team, for example, won the 2015 Big Ten regular season championship in front of a season-high crowd of 3,448 against rival Michigan last November and averaged over 1,000 fans for its 14 home dates. The women’s soccer team finished 8-3-1 at home last year and had over 600 fans on six occasions. On the softball diamond, the Buckeyes set both single-game (1,627) and single season (9,359 total, 780/game) attendance records last spring.
The next chance that fans have to take advantage of free admission sports this week – the women’s soccer team hosts Wright State at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on Tuesday, Aug. 23 at 7 p.m. The next weekend, Aug. 26-28, the men’s soccer team hosts the annual Bert and Iris Wolstein Soccer Classic. Ohio State meets Virginia Tech on Friday, Aug. 26 at 7 p.m. and UC Santa Barbara on Sunday, Aug. 28, also at 7 p.m. Field hockey fans can get their first look at the 2016 Buckeyes on Sept. 2 and Sept. 4 at 3:30 and 3 p.m., respectively, as part of the Buckeye Invitational.