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Ohio State Ready to Unveil New Lacrosse Stadium

The 2023 season will kick off for the Ohio State Buckeyes on January 8th. You won’t find the Buckeyes indoors though at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center however. Instead, the Ohio State Buckeyes will be in their brand new state-of-the-art $24 million dollar new lacrosse-only facility.

The new stadium will be home to both the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams. I had a chance to speak to Men’s Lacrosse Head Coach Nick Myers last week to find out more about the new stadium and what it means for the Ohio State lacrosse program.

“It’s a home, it’s a classroom, it’s a place to teach, to grow, and to honor those that have come before us, and to put men’s lacrosse and women’s lacrosse in a venue that is uniquely their own. Our facility sends a strong message about how serious Ohio State University is about lacrosse and our hope is that it continues to inspire others to keep up.  You see what That Team Up North, Penn State, and teams across the region have done and I hope others in the conference are looking at that too.
-Nick Myers, Ohio State Men’s Lacrosse Head Coach

Coach Myers also spoke about the important role that Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith and the development team played in helping bring the stadium from an idea to reality.

“It stems from the support that we get from Gene Smith and Dan Cloran that raised every dollar of the $24 million. Credit to the construction crew that’s done a remarkable job. It’s been a fun process to be part of those meetings and to see a lot of unique features in terms of the fan experience.
-Nick Myers, Ohio State Men’s Lacrosse Head Coach

The layout and the design of the new Ohio State lacrosse stadium were intentional. Speaking with Coach Myers, you could get the sense that this stadium was built with both the players and fans in mind.

From the fan perspective, the stadium will hold somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 fans. The Buckeyes drew over 5,000 in their final home game last season, The stadium will offer different types of seating, from traditional bleachers, to berm seating, a standing-room-only section, and an observation deck. Ohio State has one of the loudest and most passionate fan bases around. I have no doubt that the new lacrosse facility will be one of the louder and more intimidating atmospheres in college lacrosse for opposing teams.

(An artist rendering of the lacrosse-specific stadium. Ohio State Athletics)

Aesthetically, the stadium no doubt will be the class of the Big Ten, Division 1 lacrosse, and the Midwest. The iconic red border with the helmet stripe outlines the field. The faceoff dot will feature the Ohio State logo outlined by the state of Ohio. Myers hopes to host high school games as well as the OHSAA state championship at the field in the future.

Remember how we chatted about the Buckeyes practicing outdoors when they kick off practice on January 8th? The field has heating coils underneath the stadium. Coach Myers spoke about how not only this will allow the Buckeyes to practice outside but was done in the interest of player safety.

“The biggest challenge in January and February outside isn’t the temperatures, it’s the field freezing. We can get the snow off, but the field is so hard and has a layer of ice on it. It can feel like you’re skating around or running on cement and you can get shin splints, so you’re more likely to have injuries. The system is designed to kick in if the temperature falls below 40 degrees and will keep that soft feeling on the turf and have it play the same way it would be in June or July, which is pretty amazing.
-Nick Myers, Ohio State Men’s Lacrosse Head Coach

Finally, the stadium will also include a shooting space separate from the field. This is a place where players can hang with their teammates or be on their own with their stick, a ball, and a wall.

The space sits at the north end of the stadium between the home and visiting locker rooms. It has 20-foot ceilings and cement walls all the way around. It’s a place where guys can go and shoot or hit the wall. Lacrosse players fall in love with the game with a ball, a stick, and a wall. It was important to create the space in our stadium for our athletes to be able to go over and train and have their medicine.
-Nick Myers, Ohio State Men’s Lacrosse Head Coach

Looking ahead to the 2023 season, Coach Myers will welcome a familiar face to the new stadium for a scrimmage in late January. His younger brother, Patrick Myers, will bring his Lafayette Leopards in to play the first game in the new stadium.

Ohio State has not unveiled its entire lacrosse schedule for 2023, but it did give us a sneak peek at its home slate. Coach Myers shared with me he is excited about the schedule this year, but that it will also probably be one of the most challenging schedules in Buckeye history.

In addition to playing in one of the strongest conferences in Division 1 Lacrosse, Ohio State will also welcome Air Force, Cleveland State, North Carolina, Detroit-Mercy, and Cornell.

I cannot wait to visit the new stadium this spring to see the Buckeyes in action at one of the marquis venues in Division 1 lacrosse.