|Location||200 West Nationwide Blvd, Columbus, Ohio 43215|
|Owner||Nationwide Financial Services|
|Operator||Columbus Blue Jackets with day to day operations managed by SMG|
|Construction cost||$175 million|
|Capacity||Ice hockey: 18,144|
Arena football: 17,171
|Columbus Blue Jackets (NHL) (2000-present)|
Columbus Destroyers (Arena Football League) (2004-2008)
Ohio Junior Blue Jackets (USHL) (2006-2008)
Columbus Landsharks (National Lacrosse League) (2001–2003)
Nationwide Arena is a sports and entertainment arena in Columbus, Ohio. It opened in 2000 and is the home of the Columbus Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League, who were joined for the 2004 season by the Columbus Destroyers of the Arena Football League. It was also home to the Columbus Landsharks of the National Lacrosse League from 2001–2003. And, in 2006 it began hosting the Ohio Junior Blue Jackets, a Tier 1 junior ice hockey team that is a part of the United States Hockey League (USHL).
The venue is named for the arena's owner, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, whose world headquarters are located across the street. Nationwide's real estate development affiliate, Nationwide Realty Investors, financed and developed the project—making it one of very few privately financed arenas in the nation.
The arena is of a brick design and serves as the center of an entertainment district located about one half mile north of the Ohio State Capitol. Seating capacity is approximately 18,136 for hockey, 17,171 for arena football, 19,500 for basketball, and up to 20,000 for concerts. The death of 13 year-old Brittanie Cecil from injuries sustained from a hockey puck flying into the stands at a Blue Jackets game in 2002 led to the installation of nylon netting to catch pucks that fly over the acrylic glass at all professional ice hockey arenas in the NHL, AHL, and ECHL.
The area surrounding Nationwide Arena, appropriately called the Arena District, houses a variety of bars, clubs and a movie theater. Constructed as a seamless entity, Columbus uses the arena as a drawing point for the city with the various other establishments feeding off of the foot traffic. The Lifestyle Communities Pavilion concert venue, and Arena Grand Theatre adjacent to the Nationwide Arena property, completes the entertainment complex.
Nationwide Arena also houses a smaller ice rink called the Dispatch IceHaus (formerly named the CoreComm IceHaus). This facility serves as the practice rink for the Blue Jackets and is also used for youth hockey games and open skating times for the public. This facility makes Nationwide Arena the first NHL arena with an on-site practice facility and one of only two such facilities in NHL (the other being the Prudential Center, home of the New Jersey Devils).
Former Ohio PenitentiaryEdit
Nationwide Arena was built at the site of the abandoned Ohio Penitentiary. Although, believed to be built over the prison, the arena is actually built over the prison's former parking lot. Nationwide's parking lot is built where the prison formerly stood. Many prisoners were executed at the prison, and a fire killed 322 of prisoners locked in their cells. Some fans and employees who frequent Nationwide claim experiencing paranormal activities. Whether skeptics or not, some Blue Jackets fans jokingly blame supernatural beings for unsuccessful seasons since the team's inception, as well as the death of Brittanie Cecil.
- The arena hosted the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. .
- On Tuesday, April 21, 2009, a record hockey crowd of 19,219 watched the Blue Jackets lose to the defending Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings by a final score of 4-1 in a Western Conference Quarterfinal game.
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