Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Dark Blue Jacket CBJ draft party comparison

So, you're planning to go downtown tomorrow night for the great summer fun that is the NHL Draft.  And you hear that there are a couple different parties going on.  And you have no idea where to go to get your Columbus Blue Jackets fix.

Worry not, you poor, lost soul.  I've taken the guesswork out of this tough choice and put it into a simple table form for your reviewing pleasure:

DBJ's NHL Draft Party Comparison

Columbus Blue Jackets
Draft Party
The Hockey Writers 
NHL Draft Live Webcast

Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
R Bar Arena, Columbus,
6PM - 9-ish PM
(The R Bar is open at 10:30AM for lunch, though, so why not make a day of it?)
No cover, but have an ID certifying
you are over 21
Free in the Nationwide Arena garage
Use the Nationwide Arena garage and walk the .1 mile
VERSUS draft feed on the big screen augmented by local discussion simulcast on 1460AM "The Fan"
Live webcast featuring noted CBJ journalist/bloggers including The Hockey Writers' CBJ man, Rick Gethin, and prospect guru, Christopher Ralph; Ten Minute Misconduct's Jeff Little.  Guests will be brought in throughout the entire first round.
  • Free 10th Season T-Shirt for the first 500 fans
  • Free Public Skate in the Dispatch Ice Haus from 5PM - 7PM
  • Street hockey on the arena floor for kids
  • Locker Room tours
  • Food and beverage specials
  • Merchandise and used equipment sale
  • Prizes given away throughout the night
  • Investigate/purchase 2010-2011 ticket packages (and choose your seats)
  • Hang at Columbus' premier hockey watering hole with some of the Blue Jackets' hard core fans
  • Eat fine pub food
  • Drink adult beverages
  • Watch every imaginable event on the many TV's (and most likely the VERSUS draft coverage, which I guess would be on mute)
  • John Moore (6-7PM)
  • Derek Dorsett (7-8PM)
  • Antoine Vermette (8-9PM)
  • CBJ broadcast personalities (if you catch 'em walking by)
Ummm...R Bar management? 
Lots of people.  Lots of families.  Lots of stuff to do.  Lots of chaos.  Lots of lines (if last year was any indication).  Lots of excellent memories and up-close experiences.
Lots of cameraderie.  Serious
hockey talk with knowledgable peeps.
If you have kids, bring 'em.  If you're in a shopping mood, bring a credit card.  If you want to eat (and it's not a short event), bring cash.  If you want autographs, bring something for the guys to sign.  And, no matter what, bring a camera. 
Bring your ID.  Bring your credit card.  And, if you want to keep up with the talk, bring the latest copy of The Hockey News or a mobile internet device that will enable you to rattle off the name of the CBJ's second captain in less than 3 seconds.  (Seriously, the folks are really cool with the noobs.  No fear is warranted.)
While hockey fans of all ages are welcomed and will not feel ill at ease, this is a family-oriented event.  It's also a terrific way for the uninitiated to learn more about the great CBJ ticket packages. 
Adults only (not in an obscene's just that the event is being held at a bar), and especially for the serious CBJ fan who's looking to connect with other serious CBJ fans. 
Not that I know of.
Log onto the live webcast and take part in the live chat.

Now for my personal opinion: Because the two places are a whopping .1 mile away from each other (and accessible via a pedestrian bridge), I'd try to hit both if I did not have any children in tow.  The Nationwide event is really quite fun, even for adults, but the R Bar is an experience in and of itself.  

Sadly, I won't be able to attend either this year...but I fully expect to hear stories of revelry and awe for the rest of the summer from those who do go!  Have fun, be safe, and CARRY THE FLAG!


  1. I plan On going to the arean just for the free t-shirt then heading over to the "R"

  2. I intend to head to the arena tomorrow night with my kid. It's hard to beat free ice skating in the middle of summer. Also, the locker room tour should be interesting.

  3. @super way to try and screw the people going and staying at Nationwide

  4. OSU - If you've got kids, the whole Nationwide party is a blast. I took my nephew last year, and we did it all. Autographs, locker room, sat in the penalty box, floor hockey, food, Blue Line, used equipment sale...and lots and lots of pictures. The Jackets do that party right for the families. HIGHLY recommended.

    The Hockey Writers' event at the R Bar looks to be just as cool, but in a totally different way. Filling up a hockey bar in the middle of the summer for some hardcore puck talk over some cold ones? I'd go for that.

    Two great events, both within a quarter mile of each other!


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