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Recap: Blue Jackets Unveil NHL All-Star Logo

by Rob Mixer / Columbus Blue Jackets

With three blasts from the cannon and some pyrotechnic assistance, the Blue Jackets unveiled the 2013 NHL All-Star Game logo in front of a massive audience on the plaza outside Nationwide Arena.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was on hand for the unveiling, along with Linda Logan, Executive Director of the Greater Columbus Sports Commission, Nationwide Realty Investors President and GCSC Board of Commissioners Chair Brian Ellis, and Blue Jackets majority owner John P. McConnell. Blue Jackets fans turned out en masse for the event, which was highlighted by the unveiling, $1 hot dog and drinks, and various contests to win official All-Star apparel and tickets to the game.

As part of a six-week process, the NHL’s Creative Services team (led by senior designer Paul Conway) and the Frederick & Froberg Design Group partnered to examine the city of Columbus, its notable landmarks and traditions while aiming to capture the “core essence of the team” in the design.

The end result is a logo which prominently features key elements such as the Ohio flag – a significant part of the Blue Jackets’ identity that is connected to their Civil War history. According to a press release issued by the team, “the rendering of the Ohio State flag was illustrated in a way that expresses speed and movement and the small dimensional star with crossed hockey sticks was inspired by military insignia found on Civil War artifacts.”

“When you bring in an All-Star Game, it’s about the city, it’s about the organization, it’s about the arena,” Bettman said. “We know that we can bring a successful, celebratory event here. That’s what we did with the draft. In the final analysis, I stand here today and look at the remarkable turnout here to unveil the logo.

“I’m not worried about Columbus. Columbus is a great NHL city, and it’s only going to get better as the team gets more competitive.”

Bettman said the fan support in Columbus is one of the major reasons past events (such as the draft in 2007) were so successful, and one of the major reasons the city was high on the league’s list to host a future All-Star weekend. He said the NHL and its partners were convinced the All-Star weekend would be an excellent representation of Columbus as a city and hockey market, highlighting the ever-growing Arena District as an anchor in the process.

“We’re thrilled with all the vital signs here,” Bettman said. “No one is more committed than (McConnell) to making sure the team satisfies the interest of the fans, and it can turn around quickly. It will get back on track, because the commitment and the desire is there.”

Hosting an All-Star Game has been on the radar for the GCSC and the Blue Jackets since the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, where Nationwide Arena was packed with a near-record crowd and the Arena District was full of events including concerts, food vendors, and more.

Bettman said it has been a matter of when – not if – Columbus welcomed the All-Star celebration and he feels the event will confirm his strong belief in the market dating back 15 years.

“The draft was really a confirmation of what we already knew,” Bettman said. “We brought the draft here and we brought the team here because we knew it would all be good.

“Having gone through the draft, it was like ‘this is terrific’ just like we knew it would be. Bringing an All-Star Game, there was no issue. In fact, we’re thrilled to be doing it.”

The commissioner was asked how to describe the impact of a city hosting the All-Star Game, and responded by calling it both a celebration of the game of hockey and the resident organization.

For one week in late January next year, the Blue Jackets will be under the spotlight of the hockey world.

“We bring in people from all around the world and the events are covered in over 150 countries,” Bettman said. “It’s an opportunity for the city to show itself off, and it’s an economic engine.”

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