Nationwide Arena Game Day Improvement Suggestions

The Columbus Blue Jackets game day arena experience has taken steps in recent years to become more unique but could take steps to further create a distinct experience at Nationwide Arena.

The feature of Nationwide Arena that sets it apart from other arenas around the NHL is the cannon.  It is hard to imagine a time now when a Blue Jackets goal was not followed by the thunderous boom of the cannon.  The cannon owes its existence to a combination of circumstances.  Fan groups had been pressing the club for years to add the cannon as a goal celebration.  It  tied the team more to their Civil War namesake.  The cannon was approved by then team president Doug MacLean.  He had avoided doing it for a long time but when he sensed his impending dismissal he approved it knowing he would never have to deal with it.

One change that would improve the game day experience is one Columbus Crew SC has already done; having as many local brands at the concession stands around the arena as possible.  Understandably Nationwide Arena sells Cold Stone ice cream because it ties in with the sponsorship of Tim Hortons but wouldn’t it be more of a Columbus flavor to carry Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams?  Who wouldn’t be excited to arrive at the arena and see Wendy’s hamburgers for sale and for premium concession stands to sell Thurman burgers?  Contracts would have to be worked out and deals reached but just adding one or two local flavors to the menu would increase the feeling of a Blue Jackets game as a Columbus experience.

The Blue Jackets should seek to emphasize the character of Columbus through gamedays at Nationwide Arena as well.  Instead of using piped in Top 50 hits it would create a unique atmosphere to have a pep band playing at Nationwide Arena for breaks in the action and after goals.  Columbus is unique in that it is essentially a college town that has grown and evolved into a major league city.  By combining those two ideas, a college style pep band at a major league sporting event, the Blue Jackets will have created a one of a kind experience at Nationwide Arena.

Even if these changes never see the light of day I hope to see the team at Nationwide Arena trying out inventive ideas to make the experience one of a kind.