Blue Jackets Owners Seek Public Funding for Nationwide Arena

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President of the Franklin County Commission Paula Brooks says commissioners have not taken a position on a proposal initiated by the owners of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Team owners want to have a measure inserted in the state budget to allow Franklin County to raise the money to purchase Nationwide Arena by raising taxes on alcohol & cigarettes.

The president of the Columbus Blue Jackets says the team needs to cut costs and increase revenue after losing more than $80 million since their debut season in 2000.

Mike Priest says money that would have been available had the public agreed to fund the team’s arena was lost when taxpayers refused to pay a higher sales tax. Nationwide Insurance built the arena and charges the team $4 million a year to lease it. Priest declined to speculate on whether Columbus will lose its NHL team if the Blue Jackets’ losses continue