The threat of the Columbus Blue Jackets leaving Ohio may be over as Ohio State University takes over Nationwide Arena’s management contract.
On June 1, OSU will take over full management responsibilities for Nationwide Arena. In previous years, the Blue Jackets' fate was uncertain in Ohio because of an expensive contract they had with the arena’s current management company, SMG.
Some believed the Blue Jackets may leave because of the expensive contract, which had the Blue Jackets paying $5 million in rent per year to the management group.
According to a statement given by Blue Jackets President Mike Priest, “There are significant disadvantages to our current economic model as it pertains to arena operating costs and finding a solution is critical to ensure that the remarkable economic growth and development that has taken place in our community continues.”
OSU has provided the solution to this economic problem facing the Blue Jackets. Under this new contract, the expenses facing the Blue Jackets will be lower than the expenses and rent they have to pay to SMG now. This is good news for the Blue Jackets and will most likely ensure that the Blue Jackets won’t be leaving Columbus any time soon.
Most likely this new partnership between Nationwide Arena and OSU will keep the Blue Jackets in Columbus, which is where they belong. The Blue Jackets have had so much success in creating one of the largest fan bases in the NHL that it would be a shame if they had to leave because they couldn’t afford to stay in Columbus.
Thanks to OSU the fate of the Blue Jackets is more secure, and fans don’t have to worry about their favorite NHL team leaving Columbus anytime soon.