COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets and Nationwide Arena have driven an economic impact in excess of $2 billion since 2000, according to a new study released April 22. Economic impact studies conducted by the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University also reveal the significance of the National Hockey League franchise and arena as a catalyst for development of downtown Columbus and the Arena District, where 7,000 people are now employed.
Commissioned by the Columbus Blue Jackets, Nationwide Realty Investors, and the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority, the study sets a benchmark for the franchise's initial impact on central Ohio and the success of the district.
"In 1997, the community was resolved to press forward with the vision of taking this once blighted area and turning it into a viable center for commerce, entertainment and residential growth," said Brian Ellis, NRI president. "During the playoff run for the Blue Jackets and the opening of Huntington Park, it's a good time to recognize the impact realized and the potential for greater economic strength for the area."
"We are incredibly proud to be a key economic driver responsible for the growth of the Arena District through the expansion of businesses, employment and tax dollars," said Mike Priest, Columbus Blue Jackets president. "The Columbus Blue Jackets and Nationwide Arena have quickly become an integral part of central Ohio's business and entertainment landscape."
The John Glenn School conducted two economic impact studies assessing the impact of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Nationwide Arena, and the Arena District since the arena opened in 2000.
Highlights of the economic impact study measuring the impact of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Nationwide Arena include:
–Columbus Blue Jackets and Nationwide Arena have driven an economic impact in excess of $2 billion since 2000.
–More than $850 million of spending in central Ohio is directly attributable to the Columbus Blue Jackets, Columbus Destroyers and Nationwide Arena.
–An estimated $160 million in indirect spending in area hotels and restaurants that can be attributed to out-of-town visitors attending Columbus Blue Jackets games and other events in Nationwide Arena.
–More than $2.3 million in grants and donations made by the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation to 80 different non-profit organizations since inception in 2000.
–Approximately $4 million in local income tax revenue was generated by the Columbus Blue Jackets and Columbus Destroyers since fiscal year 2002.
Highlights of the study assessing the economic impact of the Arena District include:
–Over $1 billion in investments have been committed to the Arena District, including $700 million already invested and $350 million in future investments.
–$6.13 billion in sales revenue and $1.46 billion in payroll were generated by Arena District businesses from 2000–2006
–$1.6 billion in annual sales were generated by Arena District businesses in 2006, compared with $78 million annually in 2000.
–More than $350 million in wages were paid by Arena District businesses in 2006.
–172 business and more than 7000 jobs are now located in the Arena District.
"Taken as a whole or separately, the results speak for themselves," said Priest. "We are reminded of the incredible partnerships and remarkable leadership of John H. McConnell and others, giving Columbus the NHL franchise and Nationwide Arena. Today, our entire community benefits from their vision and we are happy to be a part of the growing strength of our downtown."
The study was conducted using data provided by the Columbus Blue Jackets, Nationwide Realty Investors, the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority, Experience Columbus, Nationwide Arena, the city of Columbus, the Greater Sports Commission, the Columbus Chamber of Commerce and The Ohio Economic Development Information Network (The Ohio ES202 Network).
Game 4 of the Blue Jackets Stanley Cup Playoffs first round best-of-seven series against the defending champion Detroit Red Wings is set for Thursday, Apr. 23. Face-off at Nationwide Arena is set for 7 p.m. ET.