Fans join the battle at open house/select-a-seat event
More than 750 fans attended the Blue Jackets' open house and select-a-seat event, held Saturday afternoon at Nationwide Arena.
Attendees had the chance to purchase several different season ticket plans, sit in the seats they bought tickets for, participate in street hockey, take locker room tours, buy food and receive autographs from Blue Jackets players Nikita Nikitin and Mark Letestu, as well as head coach Todd Richards.
Dozens of fans bought season ticket packages, from six-game flex plans to full season plans for every home game at Nationwide Arena.
"This event definitely exceeded our expectations," said Joe Andrade, vice president of ticket sales and service for the Blue Jackets. "Overall, it was a successful day for us."
Fans enjoyed taking the afternoon as a chance to explore the arena before the season officially kicks off with the first home game against Calgary on Fri., Oct. 4 at 7 p.m.
"It's nice to come in and get an idea of where things are at," said Lisa Calcara, who purchased a quarter season plan in Section 217 with her husband, Mike. "We're ready for the season to start. We know tickets are going to go fast and we wanted to make sure we bought the seats we wanted and the games we wanted to see."
Other fans bought season tickets to experience Blue Jackets hockey with their family and friends. Jeremy Gutierrez and his sons played street hockey, went in the bounce house and took a locker room tour during the open house and are looking forward to their six-game flex plan.
"We're relocating to the Columbus area and we're big hockey fans," said Gutierrez. "This was a great opportunity to physically sit in the seats you want to watch the game in and get that experience before the opening face-off. We wanted to make sure we secured our seats."
Richards' favorite part of the select-a-seat event was the opportunity he had to speak to fans and see the long line he signed autographs for, which he said is indicative of the level of excitement for the NHL season to begin.
"It's great interacting with the fans," said Richards. "Most of their reaction was excitement for this season. It's great to see the young fans because we want them to get attached to this team, the success of the team and the players on the team."
Click here for a photo gallery of Saturday's open house and select-a-seat event.