Ground was broken April 2, 1996 for The Jerome Schottenstein Center – a testament to the vision of The Ohio State University Department of Athletics to provide state of the art facilities for student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans – a commitment to excellence.
After an aggressive construction schedule (3,888 cement trucks made their way to the building site to complete the 770,000 square foot building), the Center opened its doors November 3, 1998 for a Men’s basketball game kicking off an opening month with only one dark day.
First and foremost, the Schottenstein Center is the home of the Ohio State University Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams and Men’s Ice Hockey. The $115 million multipurpose facility also hosts a wide variety of special events, concerts, family shows and touring productions … Home of the Buckeyes – Arena to the Stars!
With no major public funding, private support from alumni and friends was critical. Named after a $12.8 million lead gift, the Center pays tribute to Jerome Schottenstein, late Columbus businessman, philanthropist and founder of Schottenstein Stores Corp. Additional “partners” include Huntington Banks, for which the venue’s Huntington Club is named; The Kroger Company which contributed to the Center’s Hall of Fame; and Nationwide Insurance, whose contribution went toward the venue’s extraordinary terrazzo floorscapes. Although the University received $15 million from the state for an initial design study, no student fees or University General Funds were (or are) used for the building.
The venue seats 17,500 for ice hockey, 19,500 for basketball and up to 20,000+ for concerts. It is the largest arena in the Big Ten. Averaging over 1 million guests per year, the building’s event line-up has included The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Justin Timberlake, Tina Turner, Billy Joel, Ray Charles, The Eagles, Jimmy Buffett, the OHSAA wrestling and basketball Championships, The Frozen Four, Paul McCartney, The Three Tenors, Barbra Streisand, AC/DC and Britney Spears. The Jerome Schottenstein Center, a nationally renowned sports and entertainment center, continues its tradition of making memories.
The Geiger Lounge, located in the Center’s Huntington Club Level, honors former Ohio State University Athletics Director, Andy Geiger. Andy Geiger served as Director of Athletics at The Ohio State University for 11 years. His time at Ohio State was known as the "Golden Era" for Buckeye athletics, resulting in new facilities, national championships, fiscal stability and academic excellence.
He assembled one of the premiere coaching staffs in America and successfully spearheaded a drive to upgrade the Buckeyes' aging facilities including the addition of the Jerome Schottenstein Center featuring 3 concourses, 52 luxury suites, state-of-the-art lockerrooms and training spaces for the men's and women's basketball programs and men's ice hockey (who moved from an ice rink with a capacity of 1200 to an NHL-caliber facility) - the biggest arena in the Big Ten conference.
Because of Geiger's commitment, Ohio State student-athletes and fans are able to enjoy some of the finest facilities in all of college athletics. Those facilities allow Ohio State to host Big Ten, regional and national championship competitions, bringing notoriety to the university, the city of Columbus and the state of Ohio.
The Schottenstein Center is committed to being an industry leader nationally recognized as the finest facility of its kind. We strive to provide the best in service to clients and guests. We will provide students with educational, leadership and employment opportunities as we reach out to the campus and central Ohio community through the presentation of world-class athletic, entertainment, and other related events.
We will operate in a fiscally responsible manner and strive to achieve the highest ethical standards. We celebrate uniqueness through the presentation of diverse events and programming, while providing a safe and welcoming environment for staff, guests, and participants. We will support the mission of The Ohio State University, the Office of Business Advancement and the Department of Athletics. We will work together as a team to achieve excellence beyond expectation.