The Columbus Blue Jackets (CBJ) will take the ice for their 22nd season at Nationwide Arena on Friday, Oct. 14. As the Blue Jackets' trio of National Hockey League (NHL) All-Stars Johnny Gaudreau, Patrik Laine and Zach Werenski look to lead Columbus back to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, here’s what you can expect to experience when the puck drops.
Before the Game
Be sure to arrive to any Blue Jackets game with plenty of time to spare.
DORA (Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area) is activated in the Arena District three hours before the start of each game, meaning you can score an alcoholic beverage to-go from participating locations and enjoy a your drink anywhere within the DORA boundaries.
On special nights, such as Opening Night, the Blue Jackets will host a ‘Party on the Plaza’ prior to the game with music, vendors and activities on Battelle Plaza, located on the corner of Front St. & Nationwide Blvd.
There are more than 18,000 parking spots within walking distance of the Arena, but if you're worried you can always reserve a spot in advance. Find out how and get information on ride share drop offs here.
Looking for a good pre-game spot? Check out the Arena District Gameday Guide or review some of these recommendations:
Whistle & Keg
A prime location on the plaza featuring pour-your-own taps. Plus, bring your own food!Learn More
Happy hour still available on game days, along with an extensive menu and plenty of seating.Learn More
If you don't have any Jackets gear, be sure to suit up with one of these local retailers!
At the Arena
Doors open one hour prior to the start of the game. All tickets are mobile, so if you have concerns about connectivity, add tickets to your Apple Wallet or Google Pay in advance. If you don't have a smart phone, take your confirmation email to the box office for assistance.
IMPORTANT! Nationwide Arena has a "no bag" policy, which prohibits any bags larger than 8”x5”x1”, with the exception of diaper and medical bags. All children over the age of 2 are expected to have a ticket. Sensory packs are available to be picked up at guest services at any time throughout the night if needed.
Food & Drink
There’s no reason to go hungry (or thirsty) at the game. There are tons of great spots for food & drink throughout the arena. Find them using the beer finder or concession locater.
The official beer of the Columbus Blue Jackets is BrewDog's Cannon Blast, an easy-drinking pale ale as smooth as a fresh sheet of ice. This beer was made for the fans, named by the fans, and is available throughout the arena.
IMPORTANT! Nationwide Arena is a cashless experience.
Cheers, Chants and Cannon Blasts
When joining 'The 5th Line' for a game, there's some things you should know.
Prior to every game and after each Blue Jackets goal is scored, the team fires an 1857 Napoleon replica cannon that can be heard around the arena. See it up close in Section 111. The cannon, and the Blue Jackets' name, are tied to the city & state's contributions to the Union Army during the Civil War.
There's some other traditions, too. Before each game when the PA announcer introduces Blue Jackets anthem singer Leo Welsh, fans respond with a loud, affectionate, 'LEO!' When Stinger starts beating his share drum it's a call for a 'CBJ' or 'Let's Go Jackets' chant, and after the cannon sounds for a goal be prepared to celebrate with Locksley's "The Whip", a goal song from a local band with a catchy refrain. Listen once and you'll know the refrain by heart.
There's plenty of ways to celebrate a Blue Jackets victory.
DORA stays activated until midnight on the day of the game. If you're headed outside the Arena District, check out the many restaurants & bars in the Short North or the various other options for nightlife and entertainment around the city.