COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX) — Thousands of Buckeye faithful pack The Shoe on game days. For Tony D'Angelo, the general manager of ABC 6 and FOX 28 news, being inside the Horseshoe is truly a family affair.
"This is a portfolio of a lot of our grandfather's work," D'Angelo said as he opened a binder full of pictures.
His grandfather, architect Howard Dwight Smith, designed Ohio Stadium.
"If you look at Ohio Stadium, he wanted to build it in a horseshoe so you would have more seats in the field of play," D'Angelo said.
And it was more seats that Smith was after.
"When they first built it, the school only wanted a 40,000-seat stadium," D'Angelo said. "He had the vision to make it bigger."
And Smith did, settling on a plan for 63,000 seats.
D'Angelo said he never met his grandfather, but his older sister did,
"At the core of our family, there was always this knowledge and deep respect, acknowledgment of the achievement and the philosophy of Howard Dwight Smith," actress Beverly D'Angelo said.
She said her grandfather died when she was 7 but the accomplishments of HDS were part of the family's DNA.
Inside her California home hangs sketches her grandfather drew.
"Speaking of the stadium, here's a sketch he did of the Parthenon in Rome," she said.
She said the design of the stadium was inspired by Smith's love of Italy's landmarks, from the columns of the stadium to the iconic rotunda.
"He delivered that in a wonderful way," Beverly said.
Most Buckeye fans see the stadium as an iconic gem. For this family, it's much more.
"It's kinda cool when you think about it," Tony said. "It's a big center point, not only for students who went to Ohio State but for people in Central Ohio."
" When I walk into OSU, probably unlike my brothers, I don't hear the roar of the crowds," Beverly said. "It's a feeling for me. And the feeling that I have is that my grandfather envisioned this, and he created it, and if you build it, they will come."
And come they do, with now more than 102,000 fans able to pack The Shoe at every game.
The family will be honored during this Saturday's homecoming game.