The Columbus Blue Jackets announced special activities being held in conjunction with the National Hockey League club hosting its fifth home opener on Friday, Oct. 7, at Nationwide Arena against the defending Western Conference champion Calgary Flames. Game time is set for 7 p.m.
Party Time from 4 to 6:30 p.m.: Festivities begin with "Party Time" as Mix 97.1 will be hosting its Friday Night 80s Show live during a pre-game party for fans from 4 to 6:30 p.m. (weather permitting) on Battelle Plaza, located on the corner of Front Street and Nationwide Blvd. The event, hosted by Mix 97.1's Buzz Fitzgerald, will feature music, food and beverage and a special introduction of Blue Jackets players at 5 p.m. In addition, various prize giveaways will include tickets to the game, chances to win autographed sticks used by the players in the game, as well as one lucky fan having the chance to take a shot on goal during the first intermission for $97,100.
Special Giveaways: All fans in attendance will receive a miniature replica of the Stanley Cup, courtesy of the NHL and a 2005-06 Blue Jackets magnetic schedule, courtesy of Giant Eagle. In addition, 2,000 $1 Instant Tickets courtesy of the Ohio Lottery will be distributed to fans ages 18 and older.
Pre-Game in Arena: Fans attending the game will have a chance to visit the brand new Pepsi Parkway, located on the main concourse, which features a display honoring Ohio's hockey history, new interactive games, picnic tables and a kids-friendly concession stand. Fans will want to be in their seats by 6:45 p.m. for special pre-game entertainment. The show will include an elaborate video show, special effects, the annual welcome video from team owner John H. McConnell, an introduction of the 2005-06 Blue Jackets players and coaches and a special presentation of the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy to Blue Jackets left wing Rick Nash in honor of his leading the NHL in goal scoring during the 2003-04 season.
Emerson Drive to Perform National Anthem: Dreamworks Nashville recording artist and ACM (Academy of Country Music) 2003 Top Vocal Group/Duo winner "Emerson Drive"Â will be singing the anthems on opening night.
Hockey Cares Auction to Benefit Hurricane Katrina Victims: The NHL and NHL Players' Association will auction authentic, game-worn jerseys from each team's opening night game to benefit families devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Each player will wear a jersey with a special "Hockey Cares" patch on it during the first period of the game. The auction will then be held via the NHL's website, beginning at 12 p.m. ET on November 1 through 9 p.m. ET on November 10. Fans can log on to auctions.nhl.com to participate.