Ohio State football: Why is Ohio Stadium called The Horseshoe?

Ohio State football fans pack Ohio Stadium several fall Saturdays a year, a place that is better known to college football fans everywhere as The Horseshoe. So why is it even called that?
Ohio State Buckeyes
Ohio State Buckeyes / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

This is why the Ohio State football stadium is more often referred to as The Horseshoe.

Ohio State has one of the greatest and most historic football programs in the entire country.

Although the home of the Buckeyes is technically known as Ohio Stadium, college football fans everywhere know it more as The Horseshoe. It has been Ohio State's home turf for over a hundred years now, seeing multiple national champions and Heisman Trophy winners don the iconic scarlet and grey. Yet for some reason, we just get utterly infatuated about why it is called The Horseshoe...

It has everything to do with its architectural design to create the best viewing experience possible. At the time, nobody could have foreseen how impactful Ohio Stadium truly was for the sport we love. Thankfully, intelligence in design paved the way for not only our enjoyment as spectators, but for sports to eventually become big-time moneymakers and such a huge part of many local economies.

So if you live that Double Horseshoe Life like the good lord intended, you better buckle up, buttercup!

Ohio State football: Why Ohio Statdium is called The Horseshoe

The design of Ohio Stadium was the brainchild of architect Howard Dwight Smith way, way back in 1918. He wanted to do something different than college football stadiums across the country. He utilized many revolutionary concepts at the time, such as a slurry wall to keep the nearby Olentangy River from flooding the field of play. It also features an upper deck and was inspired by the Parthenon.

The other key component to the horseshoe design is so that every seat in the house faces the field of play. That has become customary in most stadiums built in the last 100 years, but back then, it wasn't always the case. If not for Ohio Stadium, we may not see the game of football explode like it did at all levels. To really appreciate the game, you have to take it in in-person and like, ... watch it!

Its stadium design is as unique as it is inspiring. Thus, it is not the least bit shocking that one of the most important programs in college football features an iconic stadium that became a total architectural game-changer. Sure, other stadium design innovations may have come from other sports like baseball or basketball, but the way we watch football today was shaped by The 'Shoe.

Other parts of the stadium have been filled in over time, but the look of The Ohio Horseshoe remains.

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