Facts on commencement security, parking, facilities and weather
Columbus, Ohio – President Barack Obama will deliver the commencement address at Ohio State’s spring ceremony on Sunday, May 5 in the Ohio Stadium. Some 10,143 graduates will receive their degrees at commencement.
The ceremony will begin with a processional of graduates at noon and will last about two-and-a-half hours. Visit www.commencement.osu.edu for additional details.
The commencement ceremony — including President Barack Obama’s address to graduates — will be available via a live video stream. The stream begins at noon. Watch: http://commencement.osu.edu/video.html. Excerpts from the ceremony also will be broadcast on WOSU-TV May 6 at 7:30 p.m.
Please be aware that some seating sections will be closed for commencement.
Commencement guests are asked to arrive at Ohio Stadium at 7:30 a.m.
It is important to arrive early to assure you are seated by 11:30 a.m. in preparation for the commencement processional.
Admission tickets are required for any guest over the age of two. Guests are assigned to a seating section, but seating within the assigned section is first-come, first-served. Guests should enter the stadium through an open gate closest to their assigned seating section. The section number is printed near the top of the admission ticket. Once guests are inside the stadium, they may not exit and re-enter.
All commencement guests will be required to go through airport-like security. Metal detectors will be in place at all open gates of the stadium.
The following gates are open for guest screening and arrival:
East side: Gates 20, 22, 26 and 28.
West side: Gates 11, 13, 15, 17, 23 and 25
South stands: Gates 31, 35, 36, 37 and 38
Gates 20, 15 and 31 are designated wheelchair/medical needs entrance
To avoid lengthy delays please be aware that certain items are prohibited. Prohibited items include liquids of any kind, umbrellas, coolers, backpacks, large handbags, metal folding seat cushions, seats that clamp onto bleachers, noisemaking devices, mace or similar substances, signs, sticks or poles, weapons of any type. Neither graduates nor guests may bring any of these items into Ohio Stadium or the class assembly sites.
Guests are subject to visual inspection of person, bags and clothing capable of concealing prohibited items.
Permitted items include food, cameras, video recorders, uncased binoculars, small handbags, pagers, cell phones, seat cushions, “umbrella”-type strollers, clothes for weather conditions.
Food and beverages
Concession stands selling beverages and limited food items will open at 7:30 a.m.
Guests in a wheelchair or having restrictive mobility, and one companion, are permitted in areas designated for guests with permanent or temporary disabilities. Requests for accessible seating must be made at the time the graduate places their online ticket order.
An American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter will be present during the ceremony. Requests for interpretation services must be made at the time the graduate places their online ticket order.
Live captioning of the ceremony will also be available on the video screens in Ohio Stadium.
Medic trucks with EMS crews will be on site to assist with any medical emergency, and First Aid rooms located near Sections 16A, 17A, 11B, 12B, 23C, and 24C will also be available for assistance. Stadium ushers can provide directions.
Elevators are located in the following areas of Ohio Stadium:
Two elevators are located on the west side of the stadium between gates 17-23 for access to C and D decks.
Two elevators are located near section 7 on the west side for access to C deck.
One elevator is located in the south stadium near gate 39 and only provides access to seats located in the south stadium stands.
Elevator service will NOT be available on the east side of the Stadium prior to the ceremony. Guests with seating in even numbered B or C deck sections on the east side of the stadium should plan to enter at gates on the west side if elevator service is required.
Accessible restrooms are located throughout Ohio Stadium.
An online guest parking map is available: http://www.campusparc.com/docs/map-pdfs/springcommencement_130430.pdf?sfvrsn=6
Traffic and parking information is provided on 1650AM.
Guests are strongly encouraged to park on West Campus and use the shuttle service. The West Shuttle buses will run from West Campus parking lots to the Sisson Hall footbridge beginning at 6 a.m. until one hour after the ceremony concludes.
Parking lots on the east and west side of the stadium will be closed to public parking.
Parking is also available on a first-come, first-served basis in any of the permit zones around St. John Arena, Ag Campus, Schottenstein Center, the student residence halls, or on West Campus. No Ohio State parking permit is required. The Arps, Ohio Union, and Lane Avenue parking garages will be available at no charge.
Disability parking is located in the North St. John Arena Lot on a first-come, first-served basis. Shuttles to the stadium will be available. A permanent or temporary Ohio or other state-issued Disability Placard is required. You will be directed to available parking by traffic attendants. Please plan to arrive early as reserved parking is not guaranteed.
Traffic on Woody Hayes Drive will be restricted from approximately 11:30 to noon to allow for the graduates’ procession from French Field House to Ohio Stadium.
College Road between 11th and 12th will be reduced to one lane of southbound traffic. Northbound traffic will be detoured up High Street and signage will be in place. The parking lot at the Moritz College of Law will remain open, with access from the north. The effort is part of the final stages of the South High Rise project, encompassing curb removal and replacement, sidewalk replacement and landscape upgrades.
Inclement Weather Plan
If commencement cannot be held in Ohio Stadium due to inclement weather, the ceremony must be cancelled. No indoor facility on campus can accommodate the graduating class and 60,000 guests. Every reasonable effort will be made to hold commencement as planned.
If it is raining or rain is forecast on commencement day, graduates and guests should come prepared with appropriate rain gear. Ponchos, raincoats, and something to cover wet bleachers are advised for guests.
If weather is severe enough (heavy rain, thunderstorms, tornado watch/warning) to necessitate a delay in the start of the ceremony, instructions will be announced on site to graduates and guests.
After delaying the ceremony for as much as one hour, if the forecast indicates no change in the severity of the weather, cancellation of the ceremony will be announced, and diplomas will be distributed from other campus locations. Instructions will also appear in the commencement program.
If the ceremony is underway but is interrupted by severe weather, graduates and guests should follow instructions as announced. It is advised that graduates prearrange a meeting place with their family and guests in case the ceremony is cancelled. Graduates only will be admitted to the diploma distribution sites, which will be noted in the commencement program. St. John Arena, Drake Event Center, and various locations on West Lane Avenue are suggested meeting sites.