Grassroots Group Wants To Keep Blue Jackets In Columbus

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The possibility of losing the Blue Jackets to another city has inspired some grassroots fervor in Columbus. And at a rally last night, members of a new group called “Forward Together” worked to drum up support for their cause.

If the Blue Jackets leave Columbus, the Arena District and the city could be in dire straits. That’s the basic message of “Forward Together”, says Committee member Julie Maurer. “We want the general public to know that it’s not just about hockey, it’s about the jobs, the tax revenue, all of the development that has happened here,” says Maurer.

Maurer was part of a small rally held in the Arena district’s R Bar – also known as the unofficial hang out for die-hard Blue Jackets fans. While Forward Together does not endorse any single solution, they want to compel public and private interests to find a way to boost to the Blue Jacket’s bottom line.

Every year, the team loses $12 million due to their leasing agreement with Nationwide Arena. And they’ve had a bad year on the ice. Following a playoff season in 2009, they’ve lost more games than they’ve won this year. Their coach was fired earlier this week.

Maurer says fans have to look beyond this season. “People are obviously anxious to support a winning team, but you can’t support a winning or losing team if you don’t have a team,” she said.

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