Public-Private Arena Not Off Table To Help Blue Jackets

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Nationwide Arena(Photo: Steve Grant (flickr))
Nationwide Arena(Photo: Steve Grant (flickr))

The Blue Jackets continue to look for a solution to offset their financial losses and avoid a move to another city. WOSU reports a quasi-public arena is a possibility.

Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman said the Blue Jackets should not depend solely on the city to save the team from its financial troubles. Coleman said there needs to be a partnership.

“Probably Nationwide and other jurisdictions around and we’re looking at that right now,” Coleman said.

The Blue Jackets are losing as much as $12 million a year because of the lease agreement they have with Nationwide Realty Investors – which owns the majority of the private arena.

The mayor said the arena in the future could be public-private property. But he said the goal is to avoid a vacant building and a hit to the local economy.

“This isn’t really about hockey, it’s really about jobs and opportunities, business growth and the small business folks that are reliant upon an area of the city to be alive and vibrant,” he said.

Revenue generated from the west side casino also is being considered to help the Blue Jackets, but that’s not expected until October 2012. And Coleman said with each month that goes by the likelihood grows that the team will be forced to move to another city.

Nationwide Realty Investors president Brian Ellis said in a statement “the company is willing to consider almost any option that will benefit the team and Central Ohio.”

The Blue Jackets declined comment.

  • Lucky_bunni

    Aren’t there better things for the public to be thinking of spending money on currently? I say if the Jackets think they can find another city will to take them in this economy, best of luck to them.