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How Has Nationwide Improved Your City?

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01-12-2008, 04:59 PM
  #1
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How Has Nationwide Improved Your City?

Hi Everyone:

Just a quick question, as there is a raging debate in Edmonton on building a new entertainment facility.

How has Nationwide and the growth around it improved your city?

I've been there and I love what has happened. Just curious.

Thanks - hope to see you guys in the playoffs.

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01-12-2008, 05:15 PM
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Robert
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Build it.

The area now known as the Arena District was a blighted crime infested area. Now, it's the bright star of the city. But beware, it's taken ten years and Nationwide reality has spent millions in the development of the area.

It takes some cash to build it before the payback. But from what I understand there is some oil money in Alberta, if you can pry some of that cash out of Calagry it could be done.

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01-12-2008, 05:22 PM
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Thanks for responding. I was really surprised by how vibrant the area was. I was VERY impressed with Nationwide - what a facility.

Would you say that the area is busy during non-game nights?

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01-12-2008, 05:26 PM
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DJAnimosity
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The area is fairly hopping on weekend non-game nights, but not so much during the week on non game nights. But Nationwide Arena has a pretty full slate of other events, like concerts, that generate foot traffic in the area.

The Arena District is a wonderful addition to the city. I honestly can't picture the city without it.

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01-12-2008, 05:29 PM
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Thanks for responding. I was really surprised by how vibrant the area was. I was VERY impressed with Nationwide - what a facility.

Would you say that the area is busy during non-game nights?
Thursday's and Friday's are busy with people from Nationwide going out for drinks after work. And since most of the bars closed on the south side of OSU's campus, the bars just north of the arena have become prime hangouts for college kids.

I will say though that during the lockout, the place was pretty much a ghost town.

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01-12-2008, 05:30 PM
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Thanks for the responses guys - I really appreciate it.

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01-12-2008, 05:42 PM
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There are other venues throughout the year in the area but the biggest and most significant draw is the hockey.

I will be honest, in the last few years several resturants in the area have gone belly up. Profits from hockey nights and the other weekend entertainment was not enough to keep them in the black.

We have a triple A baseball team in the city and plans for a new baseball park are in the works, it will be in the Arena area. That will help local establishments during the summer.

Edmonton is so hockey savy I don't think the summers in an Edmonton Arena district will suffer quite as much. Any chance the local CFL team could put their park in the area? They play in the summer, that would be a nice fit.

Edit: one more point, the Columbus Arena District was planned and is like a little village. Brick streets and stuff like that. No huge areas of tarmack as in the Philly sport complex area. One does not want huge parking lots, the Arena district uses nicely built parking garages...


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01-12-2008, 05:45 PM
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Yep, Huntington Park will help keep business afloat in the summer. Boston Pizza (a Canadian favorite) is going into the area too, which will be a cool addition. Pizza, beer, and sports on the tube after a baseball game in the summer will be awesome.

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01-12-2008, 05:47 PM
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Yep, Huntington Park will help keep business afloat in the summer. Boston Pizza (a Canadian favorite) is going into the area too, which will be a cool addition. Pizza, beer, and sports on the tube after a baseball game in the summer will be awesome.
I was at BP last night. It was great, a buddy of mine walked in and they were playing the Jackets game.

Thundermugs baby!

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01-12-2008, 05:50 PM
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I was at BP last night. It was great, a buddy of mine walked in and they were playing the Jackets game.

Thundermugs baby!
Awesome, can't wait.

Don't know what a Thundermug is, but I look forward to trying it!

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01-12-2008, 05:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJAnimosity View Post
Yep, Huntington Park will help keep business afloat in the summer. Boston Pizza (a Canadian favorite) is going into the area too, which will be a cool addition. Pizza, beer, and sports on the tube after a baseball game in the summer will be awesome.
A huge Tim Horton's in the area would be sweet......the only thing that can replace my Labatt Blue is a big cup of Tim Horton Joe.... I do like Canada, regardless of some perceptions....hell, half my family lives in Muskoka.. But I do love the good ole US of A too.....

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01-12-2008, 05:59 PM
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Great idea, Bob - I've always thought a 24-hour donut shop in the Short North/Arena District would go over well. Guess I'll continue to have to settle for Buckeye Donuts on campus for my late night donut/gyro fix.

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01-12-2008, 06:03 PM
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Awesome, can't wait.

Don't know what a Thundermug is, but I look forward to trying it!
Haha a Thundermug is just a litre of beer. A good night at BP is some Szechuan pizza, 2 or 3 thundermugs of Rickards Honey Brown and a game on the screens.

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01-12-2008, 06:05 PM
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Don't think we'll be lucky enough to have Rickards on tap, but I'm sure I'll be able to find something to suck down.

Szechuan pizza sounds great, too.

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01-12-2008, 06:05 PM
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I think Nationwide has been great. But I'd hesitate to extrapolate too heavily from our experience to what other cities should do.

1) Columbus lacks entertainment facilities proportionate to the population of the city.
2) The particular geography of Columbus made the area a logical success, since now there's something between the arts district and downtown.
3) I'm not sure how the stadium was payed for, and don't know the financial details, but I could see ways to botch that.

All in all, I love the fact that the Arena district exists - the city is better for it.

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01-12-2008, 06:21 PM
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Guys, your arena district is amazing. Really walked away impressed.

As Oiler Buzz mentioned, on the Oiler board there are a bunch of posters who think that a similar development in Edmonton would do nothing for our currently dead downtown.

Great replies.

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01-12-2008, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
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Guys, your arena district is amazing. Really walked away impressed.

As Oiler Buzz mentioned, on the Oiler board there are a bunch of posters who think that a similar development in Edmonton would do nothing for our currently dead downtown.

Great replies.
I went to a game in your town back in 2003....what a great time we had on White Street.

But ya'all need a new Arena, I had a great time there though and the fans were awesome. I talked to many fans with my CBJ sweater on and is all they wanted to do was ask me about Columbus hockey. Great town!

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01-12-2008, 08:08 PM
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When I moved to Columbus is '06, it was really clear that the Arena Distict was the place to move. I love it. I am a 6 minute walk from the Arena, from bars and other places to go at night. It's really a great area.

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01-12-2008, 08:35 PM
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We really do need a new facility here in Edmonton. I love our barn to death, with all of the history and all - but it's time for a more modern arena.

I really appreciate the feedback everyone - thanks again. I look forward to going back to Columbus in April or May for business.

The perfect scenario would be and Oil/Jackets playoff series.

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01-12-2008, 09:59 PM
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I lived in the area 10 years ago and I have family there now. Its about as complete a transformation as you can imagine. I've worked downtown for 15 years and its a completely different environment now. I wish I was a kid again because working and living downtown would be great.

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01-12-2008, 10:15 PM
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One of the keys to the Arena District is that it is OWNED by Nationwide Insurance, one of the largest insurance companies in the USA. Nationwide owns a huge amount of real estate in Columbus, including the "district" around the arena itself, and has their LARGE office buildings right around the corner. They not only own the district for blocks around the arena it, they actively manage it and are developing it.

Add to that this fact: the team itself is owned by 3 very wealthy Columbus families who have a history of acting like "city fathers" in Cbus and have substantial business and real estate interests in city properties. Their influence with city government and other defacto "city fathers" has made the arena district what it is today. It's one of the surprising things about Columbus that many other cities don't have... a strong civic minded cadre of wealthy people and businesses who cross-pollinate each other's projects. Doesn't hurt to have the extremely wealth Wolfe Family as a minority owner in the Jackets. They also own the newspaper, tv station and several radio stations in town.

Next piece of the Arena puzzle: Huntington Park (AAA baseball) right across the street from the Nationwide. Huntington is yet ANOTHER one of those local giganto businesses that it extremely civic minded, and not coincidentally, a major corporate sponsor of Blue Jackets hockey, and advertiser on the local tv, newspaper and radio stations (owned by a minority owner of the Jackets). Nationwide recently gave $50 million dollars to rename and rebuild the local Children's Hospital "Nationwide Hospital" ...which is where Blue Jacket Foundation money flows. Interestingly enough, McConnell is the former Chair of Ohio Health (Riverside Hospital, et al) which is yet ANOTHER major sponsor of Blue Jackets hockey. All very inbred if you ask me, to the benefit of us all.

PS: Tim Horton's sucks. Terrible donuts.


Last edited by JACKETfan: 01-12-2008 at 10:22 PM.
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01-12-2008, 10:52 PM
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We're getting a BP? Damn. That'll be different.

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01-12-2008, 10:57 PM
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We're getting a BP? Damn. That'll be different.
Yep, going in the old Red Star Tavern space. Nice and close to the ballpark.

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01-12-2008, 11:04 PM
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Yep, going in the old Red Star Tavern space. Nice and close to the ballpark.
How cool! I kinda miss them from Toronto, now and then.

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01-12-2008, 11:08 PM
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Yep, going in the old Red Star Tavern space. Nice and close to the ballpark.
When does it open?

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