Nationwide arena one of the best!!
For last game of the season (meaningless for Columbus) it was very well played and pretty intense. You could tell that Columbus really wanted to beat the champs (Blackhawks) on fan appreciation night. Arena is awesome hockey venue. Lots of refreshment stations and plenty of restrooms. I like the cannon firing after Columbus goals. Only downside was the profanity directed at my 14 year old daughter and her friend (they were wearing Blackhawk gear) during the game. You would think that young girls wouldn't be a target of abuse but I wasn't real surprised. It is a nice arena but I wouldn't attend to root for the opposing team as we also encountered some belligerence outside on the way back to the hotel.
Great venue in a downtown that is full of restaurants and pubs with-in walking distance.
Hawks fan in Columbus
The venue was fantastic. The staff was very friendly and helpful. The beer was cold and the game was exciting. Downside was the food choices in the area. We got there 4 hours before the game and every place around there had a 3 hour wait and the Chipolte wouldn't open until 1 hour before puck drop, the lost a lot of business because of that I'm sure. Had to get starbucks sandwiches until we could get into the game to get food.
Went with my son and we had a great time. Great place to watch game, arena is amazing, staff is excellent.
Decent NHL Experience
Compared to other NHL venues, Columbus is pretty average. Here are some of the positives: 1) The location is great. It's in a neighborhood with lots of parking and a lot of places to eat. That makes for a great pre-game atmosphere. 2) The Blue Jackets have a cannon they fire off after scoring goals. That's a nice touch that makes for a unique goal celebration. 3) The arena has a state of the art big screen and other amenities you'd expect from a modern arena. 4) The seats had great sightlines for the action. Here are the negatives: 1) The arena is asymmetric. The upper level on one side is completely different from the other. This is not only aesthetically repulsive, but it's inefficient as well. The classic bowl design is much nicer. 2) In spite of being a newer arena, there were still a shortage of restrooms, which leads to long lines in the intermissions. Seriously? 3) The Blue Jackets do a ton of gimmicks and promotions during media timeouts. It's very annoying. They present themselves more like a minor league baseball team than a professional hockey team. Perhaps the overall minor-league atmosphere is fitting though given the minor league talent the Blue Jackets put on the ice. Overall, the game was a good time and I would highly recommend NHL hockey to anyone. Nationwide Arena is an ok place to do that.