Arena Experience

A Taste of Tastes to Come

Posted by DerDrache on September 10, 2014
Arena Experience, Columbus Blue Jackets / 1 Comment

Once again, the Columbus Blue Jackets were kind enough to allow members of The Union Blue to attend their annual preview of some of the upcoming season’s new food offerings. Being a foodie and knowing what Chefs Ed Kowalski and Chef John DiGiovanni have served up in the past, I’d been looking forward to this event for a while. Some of the new and exciting things to keep an eye out for when strolling Nationwide Arena this year include: Continue reading…

Dancing Kevin: Here’s What Really Happened Sunday Night

Posted by Gregin120 on December 31, 2013
Arena Experience, Columbus Blue Jackets / 7 Comments

A brush fire of sorts erupted yesterday when word spread on Twitter that Kevin Schroeder aka Dancing Kevin was prevented from dancing shirtless at Nationwide Arena on Sunday when the Blue Jackets hosted the Pittsburgh Penguins.  But how could this be? They sell a freaking sandwich named after the guy inside the arena, amiright? The fact that the arena was filled to capacity thanks to a large cadre of visiting Penguins fans only added to the intrigue, and became the gas thrown on the fire. Did Nationwide security personnel cave in to Penguins fans and tell Dancing Kevin to put his shirt on?

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2013 Hockey and Heels

Posted by AlisonL on March 17, 2013
Arena Experience, Columbus Blue Jackets / 1 Comment

#CBJHnH Program

Last night brought the Phoenix Coyotes to town and also marked the 2nd “Hockey and Heels” event put on by the Columbus Blue Jackets. I was very excited to go to since last year’s quickly became my favorite hockey event of the season. I think getting more women involved with – and loving – hockey is something to be supported. There are a lot of very smart female hockey fans and we are constantly fighting to get the hockey world to realize that women who follow the great game aren’t just puck bunnies, or people looking for distraction “while the men watch” (ahem). So kudos to the Blue Jackets for giving women a night to hang out, talk hockey, and enjoy some girl time.

The Jackets continue to uphold their reputation for doing things for their fans in high style. Hockey and Heels was held in the Founder’s Club and was set up with a bar at the ready (complete with a ‘signature drink’) and a full spread of goodies to snack on. Every attendee received a $50 gift certificate from Meyer’s Jewelers, a raffle ticket for event giveaways and, upon leaving, a Blue Jackets wine glass. It was great to see a lot of familiar faces but also a lot of new ones. Everyone was pretty excited and grabbed seats, packing the room full and it was time for the event to get underway.

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The Blue Jackets get Social

Posted by AlisonL on January 22, 2013
Arena Experience, Columbus Blue Jackets, TweetUp / No Comments

 photo 20130121_194745-1.jpg

What happens when your favorite NHL hockey team places a priority on social media? Well – you get some pretty cool things happening. We’ve seen Trivia Tuesday’s, real-time practice blogs, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram sites from the Blue Jackets, but as a start to the 2013 season, our friends at Nationwide Arena unveiled something completely new – the CBJ Social Station. If you were online during last night’s home opener, perhaps you saw a new hashtag floating around: #CBJSocial – that refers to a suite reserved by the organization for fans who want to be engaged in social media while enjoying some Blue Jackets’ hockey. Do you want to be there? Well you do if you answer yes to any of the following questions:

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How the Cancellation of the All-Star Weekend Took So Much More Than a Game

Posted by AlisonL on November 27, 2012
Arena Experience, Columbus Blue Jackets / No Comments

The ASG Logo Being Removed from Nationwide. Photo Courtesy Jim Heath

When news came down this past Friday that the long predicted cancellation of the 2013 All Star Game was a reality, I found myself feeling numb. I share the ‘fan perspective’ (no lawyerly knowledge here) on Union Blue and while we here have tried to steer clear of opining on the lockout, game cancellations and speculation on the ASG, it’s now my duty to reflect on the first part of this mess that has truly become a reality and hits not only the Blue Jackets, but Columbus directly.

One of my fellow contributors gave me a gentle nudge today…”you’re writing about the All-Star Game, right?” Yeah. I guess I will. But what more can I say that hasn’t already been said? I mean, we all know the facts by now: no All-Star Game in 2013 for Columbus and the only assurance we have of getting one in the future is that the league is going to work to bring the game back to Columbus “as quickly as possible”. Not too reassuring, eh? Lori Schmidt did clarify that we shouldn’t read too much into the exact wording but still, for the beleaguered Jackets fan, this is one more event that leaves us feeling slighted.

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The Foundation of Hockey…Brought to You

Posted by AlisonL on September 27, 2012
Arena Experience, TweetUp / No Comments

Perhaps the biggest gift professional athletes have is that they make the most difficult things look easy. When we watch players play hockey, they seemingly glide effortlessly across the ice at ridiculous speeds. What we marvel at is their stick handling, the dekeing en route to a gorgeous goal, the fight that rallies the crowd. But about seven months ago, I decided I was going to play hockey. Now, when I watch hockey, while I appreciate all those things, my commentary is “did you see that transition?” “I can’t BELIEVE what that guy just did on his skates!”  That is because the first thing I had to do was learn how to skate…as most everyone will tell you, skating is the foundation of playing hockey. You have to be a good skater before you can be good at hockey.

There are a lot of phenomenal skating classes out there today, including those offered by the local Chillers but sometimes, committing to an 8 week class, and the associated fees can be a challenge when one is still trying to figure things out.

It is with this in mind, that the Union Blue is proud to bring you a Hockey Skating Class!

Join us SUNDAY, October 21st – 4 – 6 PM for two hours of on-ice instruction on how to SKATE LIKE A HOCKEY PLAYER!

Come out and join us at The Ice Haus!

For $20, you can join in a class that will show you not just “how to skate” but the techniques that are unique to skating for the game.

You don’t need to be a great skater – you just need to be able to move on the ice in skates without having to hold on to the boards at all times. Even if you are currently playing hockey, this class can help you focus on doing things the right way and honing in on your skating technique.

You don’t need to own skates – you can rent them at the rink.

If you have a stick, you can bring it, but you don’t need any pads – just yourself and skates on your feet.

We’ll also have a visit by Stinger, Jackets TV some Blue Jackets swag to give away…and perhaps a couple more surprises.

If you would like to join us, RSVP today. To state your intent to join, you can comment in our Forum HERE. To confirm your spot, we need to receive your money. Once you have commented that you’ll be joining, I’ll message you mailing information. To ensure that everyone can get attention during the class, spots are limited so RSVP TODAY.

If you have any questions, you are also more than welcome to email me at

Learning how to skate has only grown my appreciation for the sport of hockey and the work that goes into playing at even the most basic level. I love my time on the ice, and even though there’s a lockout, we can still bring hockey to life in Columbus.


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2012 Schedule Showcase – The Predators Come to Nationwide

The Schedule Showcase continues this week with a look at the November 23rd home match up against the Nashville Predators. Ah Nashville. The team we love to hate. The Friday match up will represent the first time these two teams match up in the 2012-13 season so both teams should have been able to settle in to their new rosters and see what they are really bringing to the ice this year. The intrigue should continue to run high with Nashville and Columbus being the topic of a lot of off-season conversation.

So once again, without further ado, read on to see our thoughts on what this matchup will bring.

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2012 Schedule Showcase – The Blue Jackets Take on the Wild

Looking forward to the 2012-13 schedule, there are a few games that already are drawing the attention of the fan base so we’re putting these together into a “Schedule Showcase”. The optimist in us has us believing in the schedule as defined (no lockout) and looking towards the first Friday night game at Nationwide against an in-conference opponent. October 26th against the Minnesota Wild. Last season had the Jackets going 2-1 against the Wild, and with the off-season acquisitions of Ryan Suter and Zach Parise, the Wild certainly became a “team to watch”. Consider also that Minnesota is the former home of our head coach, Todd Richards, and winger, Colton Gilles, and this match up looks to be one that will not only be entertaining, but also a good benchmark for what these new Jackets will bring to the ice.

Here at Union Blue, we’re going to take a quick look at what to watch for, what new players are on the horizon for this match-up in the form of a prospect spotlight, and the game experience. So let’s get on with it!

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Words into Action

Posted by AlisonL on June 17, 2012
Arena Experience, Columbus Blue Jackets, Team Discussion / 1 Comment

The proverbial cat is out of the bag. The Blue Jackets have announced their new slogan (thankfully retiring the “Gotta See it Live” tagline of the past two years) and have introduced “Join the Battle”.

Join the Battle

2012 CBJ Tagline

Keeping with our rich CBJ history as fans, much debate ensued over if this was “good enough” or “better” than what CBJ have marketed in the past. Which to me, shows we can’t wait for some real hockey action to start, but, that aside, I believe that this new tagline is a great next step for an organization that might finally, finally be ready to turn the corner.

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Front Street Friday

Posted by AlisonL on May 18, 2012
Arena Experience, Columbus Blue Jackets / No Comments

As my colleagues continue to provide tremendous hockey-focused coverage here, every now and then its fun to pop in and look at what the Blue Jackets are doing in the off-season away from the on-ice product.

My Favorite Bug

Today was the inaugural “Front Street Friday“. For those of you on twitter, you can follow updates by searching the hashtag #CBJFSF. You could not have asked for a more beautiful day, and it always amazes me to take a look at the tremendous location that the Arena District has become. As a born and raised Columbus-ite, we couldn’t have imagined that 30 years ago!

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