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Ohio State’s Gene Smith Wants Option Of Hosting First-Round Playoff Games Indoors – CalBearsMaven

Part of conversation regarding the seemingly inevitable expansion of the College Football Playoff is the opportunity for teams to host a first-round game. But if that were to happen, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith would prefer to play the game indoors at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis rather than in potentially inclement weather at Ohio Stadium.

“I want a clean environment. I don’t want a hard surface for the players,” Smith said during his press conference at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on Wednesday morning. “I know the fans would like to have it in the ‘Shoe, and maybe it’s snowing or we’re playing whoever, but that surface is a whole new ballgame.

“I would prefer to have the indoor elements and have a clean field. If it was this year, I would want C.J. (Stroud) to have good weather. It’s just that simple.”

Under last summer’s proposal for a 12-team College Football Playoff, the top four teams would have a bye while the five through eight seeds would host a playoff game. That could force a team from a warmer climate to play a game in unfamiliar elements, something that is enticing to fans of teams in the northern part of the country.

“I know our fans rally around that and they’d like to host Alabama up here (in December), but now we have the flexibility to move into domes,” Smith said. “Now we can move into (Lucas Oil Stadium) or Ford Field (in Detroit) or (U.S. Bank Stadium in) Minneapolis or whatever if we end up hosting.

“I think that’s important because who knows what the inclement weather could be like at that time of year in any of our places in the north, so we need that flexibility.”

Smith noted that Columbus doesn’t have the same harsh winters as elsewhere in the Big Ten footprint, which means that moving a playoff game would only be an option depending on the date of the first-round game, not a certainty.

“We’re south of the snow belt, so our weather is different than it is in Wisconsin or Minnesota,” Smith said. “I want that flexibility for the league, but depending upon the date that this thing ends up, we may look at the historical calendar and say, ‘Oh yeah, it’s OK to play in Columbus,’ so we don’t need to go do a deal that particular year with (Lucas Oil Stadium). The deeper you go in December, the more challenging it is here.

“We want the flexibility to go indoors. It’s not like automatic. Now, you have to come up with a strategy to predetermine that at some point in time because you have to cut the deal with the facility and do all the operations, ticket sales, all that. But a lot of that is going to be date-dependent, so I’m kind of anxious to see how this playoff schedule actually will end up. When will it actually start? That’s critical.”

If the Buckeyes do end up hosting a game down the line and move it to Lucas Oil Stadium, the site of the annual Big Ten Championship Game, Smith isn’t worried about a lack of crowd noise in a stadium that seats approximately 30,000 fewer fans or the inability for fans to travel to the game.

After all, Ohio State fans were out in full force …….

Source: https://www.si.com/college/ohiostate/football/ohio-state-football-gene-smith-wants-option-to-host-potential-first-round-college-football-playoff-game-indoors-lucas-oil-stadium-ohio-stadium

Part of conversation regarding the seemingly inevitable expansion of the College Football Playoff is the opportunity for teams to host a first-round game. But if that were to happen, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith would prefer to play the game indoors at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis rather than in potentially inclement weather at Ohio Stadium.

“I want a clean environment. I don’t want a hard surface for the players,” Smith said during his press conference at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on Wednesday morning. “I know the fans would like to have it in the ‘Shoe, and maybe it’s snowing or we’re playing whoever, but that surface is a whole new ballgame.</p…….

Part of conversation regarding the seemingly inevitable expansion of the College Football Playoff is the opportunity for teams to host a first-round game. But if that were to happen, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith would prefer to play the game indoors at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis rather than in potentially inclement weather at Ohio Stadium.

“I want a clean environment. I don’t want a hard surface for the players,” Smith said during his press conference at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on Wednesday morning. “I know the fans would like to have it in the ‘Shoe, and maybe it’s snowing or we’re playing whoever, but that surface is a whole new ballgame.</p…….

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