COLUMBUS (WCMH) — After shockingly low attendance at last week’s game, a total of 95,178 fans came out for Ohio State’s football showdown against Akron Saturday night.
While that attendance number is not record-breaking for the stadium, it is a stark difference from last week’s audience of 76,540.
“You know, I don’t think it’s one real big reason, plus the team, maybe folks are a little disappointed with it right now,” said Greg Berger, an OSU fan.
Ohio State announced major changes to its entry policy for fans this year, including digital tickets and going paperless inside the stadium, which cause some problems during the first week due to wi-fi issues.
“Some of it might be the ticket price, but most of it’s probably the COVID thing,” said Timmy DeMatteis, an OSU fan and vendor.
DeMatteis has been selling buckeye necklaces before home games for years but says he’s never seen attendance quite this low.
However, business owners along High Street said they’re still getting many customers.
“It was such a, such a tough year last year, so I don’t know if we’re out of practice or what, but business has been very good this year,” said Kelly Dawes, owner of College Traditions, a Buckeye gift and sportswear store.
She says due to the pandemic, the shop lost around 45 percent of its business in 2020, but this year, they’re nearly back to normal.
Her only hope now is that it stays that way.
“We do have more coming, but it’s just slower than usual,” Dawes said.