The newest addition to Nationwide Arena.
On Thursday, I had the chance to check out the new CBJ fan zone on the main concourse at Nationwide Arena. The fan zone, which is not yet open to the public, includes an Esports lounge in the replica of the team's locker room and three areas to play interactive games like an accuracy challenge, a shooting speed challenge, a scoring challenge, and a goalie challenge.
Ryan Chenault, the Blue Jackets Vice President of Marketing, told me that they've been working on this for over three years.
"The thought process actually started in 2019 as we were getting ready for our 20th [anniversary]," Chenault said. "And we were looking at how we might utilize and enhance the arena and the fan experience."
Chenault also said that these fans will be able to feel what it's like to shoot on an NHL goalie, try to stop shots from an NHL player, and take pictures with their favorite Blue Jackets player.
"[It's] no additional charge so anyone can come in here," Chenault said. "It's a fan zone. For fans of all ages. So that is your middle-aged guy that wants to come with his buddies. It's also the mom that comes with her kids and wants to do it."
Chenault added that this fan zone will be unique around the league.
"We're still not aware of anyone that has an experience like this," Chenault said. "So it was really important for us to kind of look at it from that angle."