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Nationwide Arena Gets Improved

by Staff Writer / Columbus Blue Jackets
The best arena experience in professional sports has gotten even better.

Nationwide Arena, which opened its doors in 2000, may not have gotten a facelift in the hockey off-season, but it certainly got a spa treatment. A greater concession menu, as well as physical improvements to the Center Ice Lounge, the Pizzuti Club Lounge and the Bud Light Arena Pub (formerly Blue Jackets Bistro), will keep the arena a great place to enjoy an event.

“We have the premier sports entertainment facility in the country,” said Larry Hoepfner, senior vice president of business operations for the Blue Jackets. “We need to constantly improve to stay on top.”

The dedicated fans of the CBJ, the most frequent patrons of the facility, will certainly enjoy the expanded food menu, which includes most notably Skyline Chili in three locations in the arena: sections 105, 206 and the Bud Light Terrace, located near sections 112-117.

The Bud Light Terrace is also where the fans can find other new menu items like the Cinnabon CinnaPretzel, the Meatball Sandwich, Spicy Chicken Wings, and Kettle Chips. The Meatball Sandwich is also available near section 102. Section 108 is home to the new Caramel Corn and Turkey Wrap, which also is available in sections 202 and 217.

With tickets to the Center Ice Lounge, fans have prime, event-level seats to watch a hockey game and to relax in a nearby upscale room equipped with five flat-screen televisions and comfy sofas. This year the lounge is more spacious with an additional bar, more seating, a larger menu and more men’s and women’s restrooms. Additionally, Center Ice ticket-holders can take advantage of the nightly Action Station featuring specially prepared cuisine.

The Blue Jackets organization also redecorated the Pizzuti Club Lounge, adding some more color and graphics. The area now has more seating at the center bar, three flat-screen TVs and upgraded refreshment choices including the “Buzz of the Month” drink special.

The Bud Light Arena Pub now contains several flat-screen TVs, making it a popular hangout before, during and after hockey games.

Other improvements include added lighting to Huntington Hall on the lower concourse, more high-top tables through the arena to give fans more room to enjoy the top-rate food and new carpet on the club and suite levels.

“We want to take care of our fan base by creating a pleasant environment full of all the amenities that they deserve,” Hoepfner said.

Those who operate the arena, just like those who skate or perform in it, are striving to make the 2006-07 season a memorable one for the people of Central Ohio.

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