COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Saturday is a rare day for Columbus and its sports fans.
Although the biggest headlines will belong to Ohio State’s opener against Notre Dame in a top-five college football matchup, two other sporting events will take place before kickoff at Ohio Stadium, with the Crew and Clippers playing in the Arena District earlier in the day.
Occurrences similar to this in the sports world are called an “equinox.” Even though a “sports equinox” is more commonly a city having games from its NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL team on the same day, it’s rare enough that it’s safe to bend the rules and call Sept. 3 a “Columbus Sports Equinox.”
Let’s break it down:
12:05 p.m.: Clippers vs. Iowa Cubs, Huntington Park
The opener will be matinee baseball as the Clippers play the Iowa Cubs in the fifth game of a six-game series at Huntington Park.
The Clippers had won three of their last four games, including a split in their first two games against the Cubs, entering a game Thursday night.
The Clippers are in the midst of the final month of the International League season as they push for a spot in the playoffs. They were 2 1/2 games behind first-place Nashville in the IL West entering Thursday’s game. Only the top team in the West will qualify.
5:30 p.m.: Crew vs. Chicago Fire, Lower.com Field
A few hours after the final pitch is thrown at Huntington Park, we will have kickoff at Lower.com Field between the Crew and Fire.
The Black & Gold has just a couple of games left in the 2022 season as it pushes for a return to the MLS Cup playoffs. This match against the Fire will be crucial towards the team’s odds of safely making the postseason.
With just one loss in its last 14 matches, the Crew is sixth in the Eastern Conference with narrow advantages over teams just outside the playoff spots.
7:30 p.m.: Ohio State vs. Notre Dame, Ohio Stadium
Three miles up the road from the pitch, 100,000-plus will gather at the Horseshoe for one of the biggest Ohio State season openers.
The No. 2 Buckeyes and No. 5 Fighting Irish are hungry for a national championship, and the winner will get an early edge toward that goal. An added storyline is the homecoming for Notre Dame coach Marcus Freeman, a former linebacker and graduate assistant for the Buckeyes.
The only other guaranteed Columbus sports equinox is Oct. 1, when the Crew and Blue Jackets play at home the same day as the Buckeyes in football. If the Clippers win the IL West, they will also play that night in Las Vegas.