Nationwide Arena
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Nationwide Arena
Nationwide Arena
Nationwide Arena Logo.svg
Address 200 West Nationwide Boulevard
Location Columbus, Ohio
Coordinates 39°58?9.42?N 83°0?22.00?W / 39.9692833°N 83.0061111°W / 39.9692833; -83.0061111Coordinates: 39°58?9.42?N 83°0?22.00?W / 39.9692833°N 83.0061111°W / 39.9692833; -83.0061111
Owner Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority
Operator Columbus Arena Management
Capacity Ice hockey: 18,500
Basketball: 19,500
Concert: 20,000
Broke ground May 26, 1998[1]
Opened September 9, 2000
Construction cost $175 million
($249 million in 2017 dollars[2])
Architect 360 Architecture (formerly Heinlein Schrock Stearns) & NBBJ
Project manager Miles-McClellan[3]
Structural engineer Thornton-Tomasetti Group Inc.[3]
Services engineer M*E Engineers[3]
General contractor Turner/Barton Malow[3]
Columbus Blue Jackets (NHL) (2000-present)
Columbus Landsharks (NLL) (2001-2003)
Columbus Destroyers (AFL) (2004-2008)
Ohio Junior Blue Jackets (USHL) (2006-2008)
Nationwide Arena Interior during a Blue Jackets game in 2007

Nationwide Arena is a large multi-purpose arena, in Columbus, Ohio, United States. Since completion in 2000, the arena has served as the home of the Columbus Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League.

It is one of two facilities in Columbus, along with Greater Columbus Convention Center, that hosts events during the annual Arnold Classic, a sports and fitness event hosted by actor, bodybuilder and former Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In May 2012, Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman made a pitch to the NBA requesting an expansion or relocated team be moved to Nationwide Arena.[4]


The venue is named for the arena's original majority 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.

2012 Sale

On March 30, 2012, arena owners Nationwide Insurance and the Dispatch Publishing Group sold the facility to the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority (FCCFA). As part of the sale, Nationwide agreed to lend the FCCFA $43.3 million to finance the arena's purchase which will be paid back by 2039 with casino tax revenue collected by both the City of Columbus and Franklin County. In addition, the Ohio Department of Development agreed to a 10-year, $10 million loan to the FCCFA to assist with the facilities purchase. If the Blue Jackets meet annual roster payroll requirement, $500,000 of this loan per year will be forgiven. Nationwide Insurance will also pay the Blue Jackets $28 million to retain the arena's naming rights until 2022 as well as $58 million to purchase 30% ownership stake in the franchise. The Blue Jackets, in turn, agreed to remain in the city until 2039 or pay $36 million in damages.[5]


While the Blue Jackets held sole operational control of the arena from 2000-2012, the team contracted day-to-day operational and event booking to venue management corporation SMG from the arena's opening until June 30, 2010. On May 12, 2010, the Blue Jackets announced that SMG would not be retained as arena managers and further announced that a one-year, annually renewable, management contract had been signed with The Ohio State University.[6] The contract called for the university to take over both day to day arena operations as well as booking non-athletic events, with the Blue Jackets booking athletic events and maintaining overall control of the arena.[7] This arrangement made Nationwide Arena a sister venue to OSU's on-campus arena, Value City Arena. The university started booking acts in May 2010 and assumed day to day control of the arena on July 1, 2010.[6] As part of the 2012 sale of Nationwide Arena, the Blue Jackets and OSU joined with Nationwide Insurance and the FCCFA to form Columbus Arena Management (CAM). Columbus Arena Management currently operates both Nationwide Arena and Value City Arena and oversees budgeting and event booking at both arenas.[5]


The arena is of a brick design and serves as the center of an entertainment district located about one-half of a mile north of the Ohio State Capitol. Seating capacity is approximately 18,500[8] for hockey, 17,171 for arena football, 19,500 for basketball, and up to 21,000 for concerts. The death of Brittanie Cecil from injuries sustained from a hockey puck flying into the stands at a Blue Jackets game on March 16, 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, called the Arena District, houses bars, clubs and a movie theater. The Columbus Clippers, a AAA baseball team in the International League, play in the newly constructed Huntington Park nearby. Columbus uses the arena as a drawing point for the city with the other establishments feeding off of the foot traffic. The Express Live! concert venue, and Arena Grand Theatre adjacent to the Nationwide Arena property, completes the entertainment complex.


Blue Jackets Locker Room

Nationwide Arena includes a smaller ice rink called the OhioHealth IceHaus, which 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 three such facilities in the NHL, along with KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York, and Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

Fan death

On March 16, 2002, 14-year-old Brittanie Cecil was struck in the head by a deflected puck during the Blue Jackets' game against the Calgary Flames at Nationwide Arena. She died two days later, becoming the only NHL fan to be killed in a game-related accident. As a result of her death, the NHL mandated safety netting in all its arenas.

Former Ohio Penitentiary

Nationwide Arena was built near the site of the former Ohio Penitentiary, which had an eastern border of West Street. The arena itself is built over the prison's former parking lot. The arena's parking lot and an apartment complex are built where the prison formerly stood.



MMA and Wrestling

UFC 68 produced a number of attendance records for a mixed martial arts event. It was the first MMA event outside Japan to have at least 15,000 people in attendance. This record has since been outdone on a number of occasions, with the current holder being UFC 129 which had 55,724 people in attendance. However, UFC 68 still holds the highest attendance for a MMA event in the United States with just over 19,000 people in attendance, along with the highest attendance for a MMA event outside Canada and Japan.

On March 11, 2018, WWE will return to the Nationwide Arena to host Fastlane (2018).[14]


Other events


ESPN The Magazine declared it "the No. 2 stadium experience in professional sports."[16] The Ultimate Sports Road Trip rated it the best arena in the NHL saying "This newer arena in downtown Columbus is the anchor for the emerging Arena District, already burgeoning with shops, restaurants and hotels. The venue is spectacular, from its nostalgic brick and stone veneer to its sweeping concourses with blue mood lighting and modern amenities. The arena bowl has state of the art scoreboards and surround LED graphics boards which look 21st century high tech. With a separate practice rink built right in the facility, theme restaurants and great food selection, not to mention a raucous hockey atmosphere, this NHL venue is a must see!"[17]


  1. ^ "2 Arenas in Columbus Boost Redevelopment". Toledo Blade. Associated Press. May 27, 1998. Retrieved 2013. 
  2. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800-". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved 2018. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Nationwide Arena Facts and Figures". SportsBusiness Journal. October 2, 2000. Retrieved 2011. 
  4. ^ "Mayor Asks NBA to Consider Columbus". CBS Sports. May 11, 2012. Retrieved 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Caruso, Doug (March 30, 2012). "Taxpayers Now Own Nationwide Arena". The Columbus Dispatch. 
  6. ^ a b Pyle, Encarnacion; Joy, Kevin; Portzline, Aaron (May 12, 2010). "Deal Signed for OSU to Help Manage Nationwide Arena". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 2010. 
  7. ^ Jurich, Jami (May 16, 2010). "OSU to Manage Schott, Nationwide; Ticket Prices Likely to Fall". The Lantern. The Ohio State University. Retrieved 2010. 
  8. ^ "Nationwide Arena Quick Facts". Nationwide Arena. Retrieved 2013. 
  9. ^ "Zetterberg Nets Two as Wings' Dominance Puts Jackets' Season on Brink". ESPN. Associated Press. April 21, 2009. Retrieved 2009. 
  10. ^ "Columbus gets 2015 All-Star Game". 2013-11-02. Retrieved . 
  11. ^ "The 2013 NHL All-Star Game and NHL Skills Competition Refund Policy". The Columbus Blue Jackets Hockey Club. December 18, 2012. Retrieved 2012. 
  12. ^ "2012 NCAA Tournament Schedule". ESPN. February 27, 2012. Retrieved 2012. 
  13. ^ Johnson, Mike. "COMPLETE 2015 WWE PPV SCHEDULE". Retrieved 2015. 
  14. ^ Ravens, Andrew. "Date And Location Officially Announced For 2018 WWE FastLane PPV". Retrieved 2017. 
  15. ^ "Tournament Info". 
  16. ^ "The Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, home of the Columbus Blue Jackets". Retrieved 2013. 
  17. ^ "NHL Venue Rankings". The Sports Roadtrip. Retrieved 2013. 

External links

Preceded by
first arena
Home of the
Columbus Blue Jackets

2000 - present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Scotiabank Place
Host of the
NHL All-Star Game

Succeeded by
Bridgestone Arena
Preceded by

American Airlines Center
NCAA Women's Division I
Basketball Tournament
Finals Venue

Succeeded by

Amalie Arena

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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