COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets announced today a host of activities planned to celebrate the National Hockey League club's seventh home opener on Friday, October 5 at Nationwide Arena against the defending Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks. Game time is set for 7 p.m. and doors open at 6 p.m., but the outdoor festivities commence at 5 p.m.
To kick off the first Nationwide Night of the year, several pre-game entertainment elements represent a salute to the Civil War connection honored in the team's name. Beginning at 5 p.m., Battelle Plaza (Front St. entrance) will showcase Civil War era fife and drum performers, Civil War re-enactors demonstrating the life of a soldier, and a craft station for kids to make their own Ohio state flag. Also starting a 5 p.m., fans are invited for free public skating and skate rental in the Dispatch Ice Haus until 6:25 p.m. Free cookies and hot apple cider will be offered before the game at both Battelle Plaza and the Dispatch Ice Haus.
Inside the arena, fans will be entertained by the 338th U.S. Army Stage Band, The Thunderbolts, performing on the Bud Light Terrace before the Opening Night show and during intermissions. Fans can also view the Ohio Civil War battle flags on display from the Ohio Historical Society and enter to win an autographed Blue Jackets jersey.
Fans are encouraged to take their seats by 6:45 p.m. for the start of the Opening Night pre-game show. This year's ceremonies feature a live skating performance by Olympian and six-time U.S. National Men’s Figure Skating Champion Todd Eldredge while the video show pays tribute to fans who submitted personal photos demonstrating how they “Carry the Flag.” Other highlights of Opening Night include the traditional player introductions and the unveiling of the new goal celebration.
As a commemorative giveaway, all fans in attendance will receive a Blue Jackets rally flag, courtesy of Nationwide.
Tickets for Opening Night and all regular season home games are on sale now at the Nationwide Arena Ticket Office, FSN Ohio Blue Lines at The Chiller Ice Rinks and The Mall at Tuttle Crossing, Ticketmaster Ticket Centers and online at www.BlueJackets.com and www.ticketmaster.com. For information on season tickets, mini-plans and group tickets, call (614) 246-PUCK or (800) NHL-COLS. Fans can also visit all FSN Ohio Blue Line locations for a wide array of new Blue Jackets merchandise including the Rbk EDGE jerseys.