THE STORY BEHIND THE CANNON
The Blue Jackets Goal Cannon made its debut in Nationwide Arena on Opening Night 2007. Its presence in the arena was a long time in the making. In the summer of the Blue Jackets' inaugural year, the first drawings of a Blue Jackets cannon were conceptualized between the Jackets and Fusion Arts, a prodution company that specialized in staging and sets. The original concept depicted an enormous cannon that would live in the rafters and be lowered onto the ice for the Jackets' introduction. Billowing smoke and sound effects would trigger as the players skated under the barrel and through the enormous wheels. However the mechanics proved to be out of reach at a time when the main priority was getting the arena open and operating at world class level.
The concept was revisited over the years with one eye open on finding or creating the perfect cannon for the team. In the summer of 2007 that goal was realized when a search uncovered a craftsman in Illinois, Chris Olson, who designed and built authentic, working reproductions of Civil War era cannons. After traveling over 500 miles to personally inspect his craft, a deal was made and Nationwide Arena became home to a hand-crafted 12-pounder 1857 Napoleon cannon. Built in 2005, this real working cannon had been fired approximately 120 times before making its way to its new home. Since then the Blue Jackets Goal Cannon has seen plenty of action firing as the team take the ice and after every home team goal.
The Blue Jackets Goal Cannon sits proudly at section 111 where fans can have their photo taken with it before the start of the game and during intermissions. And when the puck goes into the visitors' net, get ready to feel the BOOM of its firing power as it celebrates another Blue Jackets goal!
|The Blue Jackets thank the Goal Cannon craftsman, Chris Olson, for creating an extraordinary piece that has become an integral part of Blue Jackets games. The Goal Cannon is beloved by fans and recognized league-wide as the pinnacle in game entertainment. A great deal of gratitude goes out to Chris for his craftsmanship and contribution to Blue Jackets lore.
Chris dedicated his life to his passion of building these masterpieces and took immense pride having one of his many creations become the Blue Jackets Goal Cannon. With his passing in June 2011, he leaves behind a legacy of mastery in his craft and many fond memories for friends created along the way.
|BLUE JACKETS GOAL CANNON FACTS|
|» Full Scale Barrel|
|» The wall at the breech is 2.5 inches thick and is
made of a heavy walled steel seamless tubing
|» Eight ounces of black powder is usual charge
when firing outdoors
|» Bore = 4.5 inches|
|» Length = 11 feet, 10 inches|
|» Width = 5 feet, 8 inches|
|» Weight = 1,564 pounds|
|» The main carriage consists of two 4" x 9" x 8"
solid red oak timbers
|» 57 inch wheels hand-carved from white oak|