Ohio State set to host 2021 Columbus HBCU Game, Kentucky State and Central State

JUNE 17, 2021


Columbus, OH — Today, Classic For Columbus, Presented by Nationwide and Huntington Bank, announced that the football game between Central State University from Ohio and Kentucky State University will now be played at Ohio Stadium on Saturday, August 28 at 2:30pm. This is a change of venue from the Historic Crew Stadium. Tickets for the rivalry game are on sale June 17 and can be purchased online at ClassicForColumbus.com.

“We are excited to bring the Classic For Columbus football game back to the Shoe,” said John Pace, CEO for Classic For Columbus. “It has been 25 years since our football game has been played in Ohio Stadium so bringing this tradition back is exceptionally exciting.” Pace continued, “And the game and associated events will raise over $300,000 for scholarships and education.”

“We look forward to welcoming Central State University and Kentucky State University to Ohio Stadium for the Classic For Columbus,” Gene Smith, Senior Vice President & Wolfe Foundation Endowed Athletics Director, said. “The football game is always a central part of the Classic For Columbus celebration and we think the experience on Aug. 28 at Ohio Stadium for these two Historically Black Colleges and Universities and their fans will be memorable.”

There is no better stadium in the world than the Horseshoe to experience college football and marching bands,” said Michael Doss, Classic For Columbus Education Ambassador and three-time Ohio State All-American. “If you value education, you have to support this event. Football helped me earn two college degrees.”

Classic For Columbus is a four-day celebration of educational, existential, and cultural programs held in downtown Columbus, Ohio. Festivities also include a Drumline and Greek Step Show, Battle of The Bands and a rivalry football game between two Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). This African American tradition started in Columbus and was an annual event in the city from 1992-1996. It then became the Ohio Classic and rotated between Cleveland and Cincinnati until 2005.

“At Nationwide, we recognize the value of connecting with diverse audiences and Classic For Columbus is an important community celebration of diversity and inclusion,” said Ramon Jones, Chief Marketing Officer for Nationwide. “We look forward to bringing this rivalry game back to Ohio Stadium, supporting the educational and cultural events, and showcasing what makes the HBCU experience so special.”

“We are proud to support the Classic For Columbus and the energy this event brings to equality, education, and economic development,” said Sue Zazon, Central Ohio Region President, Huntington. “We encourage our neighbors and friends to join us in this week-long celebration highlighting HBCUs who are preparing our nation’s next generation of leaders and talent.”

“Classic For Columbus is a family-friendly event with something for everyone,” said Pace, highlighting the college and career fair that he said will offer opportunities for entry and management level employment in several career fields. Pace noted that during the pandemic college visits have been prohibited. “We plan to showcase the full spectrum of universities and their college life. Families can also learn about the admissions criteria and financial aid. Our primary existential focus will be on financial literacy and wealth-building,” Pace said. The list of programs includes health and wellness as well as the C-Suites Program that links students with business executives who show them the operations and culture where chief executives work.

Home for the Classic is Ohio Stadium. Panaramic view (2007 photo by JoeBengo via wikipedia commons)

In addition, the Professional Football Player’s Mother’s Association (PFPMA) will host a panel prior to the football game, and a program in conjunction with Classic For Columbus.

On the campus of The Ohio State University, PFPMA will host a one-hour Health and Wellness exercise activity and community activation: Charg’d Up, that will be conducted by former NFL Baltimore Ravens, and Arena football player Philipe “Philly” Weeden from 9 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Known for transforming bodies and as Dr. Miami of Cleveland, Philly Weeden is going to lead a growing popular, fast-paced, upbeat, and uniquely energetic cardio workout.

Following Charg’d Up, PFPMA will conduct an engaging, in-depth panel discussion with NFL moms, NFL players and other special guests, as part of PFPMA’s signature Next Level Up -Beginning with End in Mind. The Next Level Up program is aimed to prepare high school and collegiate athletes, and their parents, with information and insight that will assist them in building a strong foundation for success so they will have the best possible outcome in their college career and beyond. Guests can get answers to their questions, first-hand from NFL moms, current and former NFL players, and other special guests who will share their journey about the road to college and professional sports and how to win the game of life.

“We are excited to be a part of this historic event that shares in our commitment to promoting educational programs in the areas of health and wellness, financial literacy, and developing student athletes,” said Gwendolyn Jenkins, PFPMA president. “Our partnership with Classic For Columbus helps us share our voice and give insights to student athletes and parents on how to prepare to win in the game of life at the next level, beginning with the end in mind.

Classic For Columbus has a robust schedule of cultural and entertainment events that are fundraisers for local nonprofit organizations, which will generate more than $100,000 for participating charities. Other events include a college and career fair, a golf outing with OSU football alumni, college alumni chapter development seminars, and professional development programs.

For ticket purchases, sponsorships, and additional information, go to ClassicForColumbus.com.