Would Columbus Embrace a Blue Jackets Playoff Run?
The Columbus Blue Jackets are putting together one its best seasons in franchise history as they gear up for the NHL’s Stanley Cup Playoffs. Despite The Jackets on-ice success, they are currently ranking 27th in home attendance in the National Hockey League with 81% arena capacity. Only Florida, Dallas and Phoenix (all non-traditional hockey markets) trail the Blue Jackets in attendance.
It has been stated for quite some time that solid on-ice performance and a sustained playoff run will bring Columbus sports fans out in droves out to Nationwide Arena in Columbus’ arena district. Ten plus losing seasons can certainly be attributed to the lackluster attendance figures.
If Tuesday night’s raucous home finale was any indication, Columbus is certainly ready for playoff hockey. The home crowd of 16,000 plus was on their feet for the final ten minutes of the game cheering the Jackets onward to victory. The true testament will be whether or not the Jackets can keep visiting fans from Pittsburgh, New York or Boston out of Nationwide Arena if they happen to face off against these storied franchises in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
A playoff run will not only be critical for The Blue Jackets increasing its fan base, but also the city of Columbus. According to Pittsburgh Business Times, three playoff games in Pittsburgh in the first round would provide $10 million in direct spending, a bounty that is bound to grow the deeper the Penguins go.
The Blue Jackets and the city of Columbus would likely reap similar economical benefits if they were to host numerous playoff games. The restaurants and bars in the Arena District would certainly see an uptick in business in the spring months, as fans would pack the destinations around Nationwide Arena.
We’d love to hear from Columbus sports fans. Are you going to embrace The Blue Jackets during a playoff run? Comment below!
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