Ground was broken April 2, 1996 for Value City Arena at The Jerome Schottenstein Center – a testament to the vision of The Ohio State University Department of Athletics to provide modern, state of the art facilities for student-athletes, coaches, staff, supporters 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 as well as 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 a critical element in the Center’s funding. Named after a generous $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, after which the venue’s luxurious 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. $40 million was raised through gifts and private donations from loyal Buckeye supporters. 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.
Since the opening of the Center, the three Ohio State sports played in this facility, Men’s and Women’s Basketball and Men’s Ice Hockey, have excelled with numerous Big 10 Championship Titles, trips to the NCAA and NIT tournaments.
The 770,000 square foot multipurpose 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 Neil Diamond, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Justin Timberlake, Matchbox Twenty, The American Idol Tours, Tina Turner, Cher, Billy Joel, Ray Charles, Elton John, Usher, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Bill Cosby, Jimmy Buffett, the OHSAA wrestling and basketball Championships, The Frozen Four, Paul McCartney, The Three Tenors and recently Barbra Streisand. The Jerome Schottenstein Center, a nationally renowned sports and entertainment center, continues its tradition of making memories.