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Official Review by Miles Markiewicz, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
The first sports team brought together on the campus of The Ohio State University did not play on a football field. It was a group of guys wanting to play the game of baseball all the way back in 1881 that began the athletic program at OSU.
Since then, the baseball program has seen one National Title in 1966 and 14 Big Ten Championships throughout their history. The program does not have a storied history, but the Buckeye culture of Columbus and ideal location for Bill Davis Stadium give this experience some really nice moments.
Bill Davis Stadium was opened in 1997 and has been exclusively used for Ohio State Baseball ever since. It is located in the heart of the OSU athletic complex and sits right across the street from Value City Arena. Its proximity to the campus gives the experience a genuine college atmosphere and is a great trip for any college baseball fan.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
The food and beverage options are on point for a day at the ballpark, including classic options such as hot dogs ($4), brats ($5), soft pretzels ($5), nachos ($6), peanuts ($4) and popcorn ($4). The sodas come in small ($3), regular ($4) and large ($5). The concessions are also prepared for cold games of March with coffee ($3) and hot chocolate ($3).
You will really enjoy the extra variety provided at Bill Davis Stadium. The essentials are there, but they also offer cheese and pepperoni pizza ($7). Your best decision of the day will be the pulled pork nachos ($8), the most popular option in the stadium. These will sell out during games with large crowds so be sure to get in on this item early. They slow cook the pork to perfection and add on cheese and jalapenos. They are a bit pricey, but the parking is free so there's no problem spending a little extra on some great snacks.
Bill Davis Stadium has a seating capacity of 4,450. Unfortunately, the Buckeyes usually average around 1,200 for home games during the season. In typical Buckeye fashion, all of the features of the stadium help to create a great vibe. The video board in center field provides walk up music for the players and the Ohio State fight song after home runs. A horn goes off after a home run before the fight song which makes for an exciting moment.
There is general seating, so if you arrive to the game early enough you can sit wherever you like. Every seat offers a unique view. Behind the plate gives you a great view of the entire field, but sitting down the foul lines puts you near some student sections. The great part about the stadium is the flexibility to explore and try out different views.
Beyond the outfield sits the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, where the football team practices, and some campus buildings to set the stage. The entire game gives that authentic college vibe. If you can, try and pick out a big conference matchup towards the end of the season to make your visit to the stadium. This gives you the best chance for the biggest crowds and the best overall atmosphere. Without a lot of fans in the seats, the environment is uncomfortably quiet.
The view from Bill Davis Stadium gives off a campus vibe, and the athletic complex itself sits across the street from the main campus. The intersection of Lane and High marks the beginning of the OSU neighborhood, which is much farther down the street from Bill Davis Stadium.
However, this just means everything is more spread out than some smaller college campuses. If you enjoy doing a little exploring, make sure you come a little early to check out the iconic Ohio Stadium and even the downtown area next to Nationwide Arena, home of the NHL's Blue Jackets. Columbus has a lot to offer.
Buffalo Wild Wings on Lane and High is a really fun place to hang out before or after the game. If you're looking for some college dives, Out-R-Inn is a local favorite on the corner of High and Frambes. They have great drink specials during the week. The Varsity Club is the closest spot to the stadium. That's located on Lane and Tuttle and has some delicious burgers, cooked to perfection.
Buckeye fans are full of passion and excitement for their sports teams. If you're a baseball enthusiast, you can definitely find some fans sitting in the stands that are very close to the team and will be happy to talk some strategy with you, especially during games with smaller crowds.
Casual fans don't show up to watch Buckeye baseball as much as football, basketball or even hockey. The later in the season you are, the more likely a good crowd will show up for the games (if the team is competitive). Buckeye pride will still keep the fans clapping to the fight song and singing a verse to Hang on Sloopy during the seventh inning stretch.
Getting in and out of the athletic complex during baseball season is very manageable. Parking is free and there is hardly any traffic due to the small crowds. You shouldn't have a problem finding a place to park right next to the stadium, which decreases walk time considerably.
The concourses and seating area is very spread out and makes for easy navigation around the stadium. The lines for concessions will only be lengthy before the game, but even then aren't much of a concern. Just make sure you get in line for those pulled pork nachos.
Tickets to a game at Bill Davis Stadium will only cost you $8, so the value is there. Parking is free and the stadium is easily accessible. There is so much to do around Columbus before and after the game. You can make an entire day of this trip either with the family or a group of friends.
One point for students who get free admission and bring a little energy to the stands.
Another point for the layout of the stadium which offers many vantage points.
Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium gets another point for the name of one of their proudest former players.
The Ohio State University excels when it comes to its athletic programs. Baseball is given a lot of attention and Bill Davis Stadium a very nice complex to play games. You will enjoy a trip to Columbus for some authentic college baseball and the many other entertainment options found around the city. Make the visit when the Columbus Clippers are in town for a baseball doubleheader. Huntington Park is one of the highest rated minor league stadiums in the country, located in the heart of the arena district downtown.
Member Review by cadence80 on Apr 27, 2012
Like a lot of the other sports at Ohio State University that aren’t football or basketball, Buckeye baseball is hidden in plain sight. Within the neighborhood of athletic facilities on the northwest corner of the Ohio State campus sits Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium, a well-equipped ballpark most minor league teams would envy. Swisher’s name may sound familiar as the former Buckeye and current New York Yankee donated $500,000 for the installation of a new turf field. Currently in a bit of lull for the attention of Columbus sports fans, Ohio State baseball has been a consistent competitor in the Big Ten and puts out a great product for those paying attention.
2151 N High St
Columbus, OH 43201
20 Frambes Ave
Columbus, OH 43201
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