Spring game could move to Cincinnati in '13

After bringing in the largest crowd in the country for its last spring game, Ohio State might take the show on the road next year.

That might also make it a tougher ticket.

The Buckeyes confirmed Wednesday that negotiations with the Cincinnati Bengals and officials in Hamilton County are taking place to stage the 2013 Scarlet and Gray Game at Paul Brown Stadium on April 13 because of construction at Ohio Stadium.

“We are very appreciative to be in discussions with the Cincinnati Bengals,” athletic director Gene Smith said in a school release. “We look forward to continuing our discussions and look forward to an opportunity to bring the Buckeyes into Cincinnati and closer to our southern Ohio fans.”

By default, the Buckeyes would be playing their exhibition in front of fewer folks than they did in April for Urban Meyer's first spring game. The crowd of 81,112 was the largest in the country this year, and Paul Brown Stadium has a listed capacity of 65,535 -- but even with fewer fans, the Buckeyes could benefit from the move.

Staging the game outside of Columbus might be a positive public relations gesture for fans in a different part of the state, and it could also get the Buckeyes some attention from recruits in the Cincinnati area as well.

But perhaps most important is that it will allow work on Ohio Stadium to continue as portions of the A and C decks are stripped of coating and concrete that dates back to 1922, a project that will begin with sand and water blasting in December.

The stadium had $194 million in major renovations from 1999 to 2001. The spring game was played in Columbus Crew Stadium in 2001. The soccer stadium only seats roughly 20,000.