After speculating he could get as many as 50,000 of them in there, Ohio State AD Gene Smith has set the attendance limit for Buckeyes games this season -- and it's well south of that.
Ohio State on Tuesday announced in a letter to season-ticket holders that no more than 21,000 Buckeye fans will be permitted inside the Horseshoe this season. Those fans who do get in will be required to wear masks, and tailgating will be prohibited. Additionally, Ohio State will not hold the traditional Skull Session inside St. John's Arena before games.
The changes were made at the requirement of Ohio governor Mike DeWine and Franklin County government.
Ohio State averaged $53 million in ticket revenue over the past five seasons, according to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. Knocking roughly 80 percent off Ohio Stadium's 105,000 capacity would, in theory, drop the department's ticket revenue by $40 million, although many Ohio State fans may choose to turn their ticket purchases into a donation.
Students will be included among the 21,000 spectators.
“We understand not all fans will feel comfortable attending games for health and safety reasons, or may not be interested in attending due to reduced capacity guidelines,” the message stated. “Therefore, we are allowing all season ticket holders to opt out of their 2020 football season tickets commitment without longevity or eligibility penalty, if they wish.”
Decisions about which season-ticket holders and students will be allowed to buy tickets and where those tickets will be will come at a later date.
DeWine said Tuesday afternoon that it's too soon to say one way or another whether he'd approve Ohio State's plan.
As of now, Ohio State is scheduled to host five games this fall -- Rutgers (Sept. 26), Iowa (Oct. 10), Nebraska (Oct. 31), Indiana (Nov. 7) and Michigan (Nov. 28).
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.