Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Guess who's coming to dinner?

[UPDATE: It's clear from looking at the ongoing comments to this post that I've unintentionally delved into Sheldon Souray to Columbus "never let the truth get in the way of a good story" territory.  As readers of this blog know, I never intend to present rumor or innuendo as truth and make efforts to correct misstatements.  And I'm more than man enough to admit when I'm wrong on the fact, like I am apparently in this blog post.  Curiously, I've made assertions about Arch City Army members getting personal seat license privileges without paying for PSLs before and have never been corrected on this point until now.  Regardless, I apologize to ACA for the inaccuracy.  

I would further modify or delete this post outright except for three things: 1) From the comments, it appears that the ACA, as a more-or-less broker of CBJ tickets, is taking extraordinary efforts to ensure that their members fully utilize group member-purchased PSLs.  This is unique and noteworthy...and my post, as edited, could be construed to discuss this development. 2) The comments section has turned into a bit of a rap session about the group, and I don't want to shut that dialogue down unless the ACA guys tell me to.  3) I stand fully behind my "CBJ management likes the Arch City Army" assertion and think that message deserves to be driven home.

So there you are.  With nothing further, enjoy my imperfect blog post.]

Tonight's one the great "membership has its privileges" nights in the Columbus Blue Jackets season - the annual season kickoff at the Columbus Zoo.  To get a sense of what you (and I) are missing, here's the video from last year's party:

Now, this is an exclusive affair with one big requirement for entry: You have to have a CBJ Personal Seat License.

Well, that's until this year.  

This year, PSL holders were joined by...get this...members of the Arch City Army.

Yup, the Arch City Army.  Those wacky rabble rousers from the AEP Power Level (the grouping of seats formerly known as the 'upper deck') have been invited to play with the PSL holders.  Sure, they need to buy special Arch City Army ticket packages (while some have PSLs, note the benefits that ACA members get with the non-PSL  packages), but they got in.  And many of us who also buy ticket packages didn't.

This development shouldn't be surprising because I heard in talking with CBJ management that the Army is looked upon very fondly by the team.  The Army brings dedication, spirit and a deeper level of commitment than one sees from the average fan.  In an environment where the team is trying to boost the ambient volume in Nationwide Arena, the Army delivers.  And the Army helps deliver ticket sales.  

I've noticed with some amusement that a few in the CBJ social media circles have taken to suggesting how the Arch City Army should (or should not) behave, how they should (or should not) cheer and that the arena may even be a better place without their existence.  If I may, it's pretty clear that the team doesn't necessarily agree with this cadre of armchair experts.  

The Columbus Blue Jackets clearly LIKE the Arch City Army.  They want this nutty fan group to grow and are opening up the doors to the group as an enticement to get more people to join.  

So rather than toss criticism at the Army, perhaps the disgruntled might get on board.  Or at least let them enjoy their ride.


  1. Great post DBJ, just want to clear up something about the PSL. ACA does have PSL and are paying for them along with our ticket package. The early communication from us and CBJ got confused and was eventually cleared up.

    Our STH were excited at the chance to go to the event and some non-STH members were allowed to attend as we had a limited number of available spots open.

  2. This is not Factual the Arch city Army are paying for PSL seats in 227 The Members that went are paying for their PSL in either a half or full season tickets with either their family or close friends.

  3. Thanks to HSH_Brian and Superjacket for clarifying. I edited accordingly.

  4. As a year one PSL holder I am not upset one bit whether or not ACA members get extended some PSL perks without actually having PSLs (so long as I get my playoff tickets.) I will admit that one chant from last year bothered me, but I have not heard it repeated.

    While joining ACA is probably not in my future, I am thrilled that CBJ management has welcomed them so enthusiastically. The energy they bring to a game makes it a better experience for everybody. The CBJ community can't afford to turn anybody away or discourage anybody who wants to get excited about this team. ACA is going to be a loud and boisterous part of playing at Nationwide, visiting teams better get used to it.

  5. This is still not accurate. The Arch City Army has paid for 26 PSLs. We were given 26 invites to this event. This is similar to a business purchasing 26 season tickets (with PSLs) and allowing 26 employees to go to a PSL event.

    I'm not sure where the confusion about whether or not we purchased PSLs came from. I have been ACA's liaison with the front office since day one and PSLs have ALYWAYS been a part of our season ticket package.

    - Matthew Goshert
    Arch City Army

  6. Also I should learn how to spell always.

  7. Interesting writeup DBJ. I'm one of those guys in the social media circles who has not been a fan of the ACA. While the original idea and intent are great, the execution and image they began cultivating for themselves last year were nothing I wanted to be a part of. At times when I or others attempted to offer constructive criticism/feedback, I was responded to with a very confrontational and disrespectful attitude. Only in the past few weeks have I been able to engage them in civil discussion via Twitter. While I'm glad that they seem more open to feedback, they've got a lot of repairing to their image to do still. My parents were (up until this season) STH in 227 but due to the antics of the ACA have opted not to renew in that section. While I'm glad that the CBJ are embracing an organic fan group, I wonder if they comprehend how many long-time loyal fans they're alienating.

  8. DerDrache:

    I find it odd that after 5 games your parents would choose to move their seats for the season. What antics are you speaking of? If it was the cheering and chanting, I apologize however this is how ACA chooses to show their support for the team.

    It is funny how we are chastised for our responses to those who choose to bad mouth us in open forums like HF Boards, Twitter, and Facebook. Why not apply the same pressure to those fans who take it upon themselves to dictate how we should chant and operate our group. We have, and will, always be open to feedback. But Twitter is NOT the place to do it, 140 characters is just not enough. Our email address is always available archcityarmy[at]gmail[dot]com or find us in section 227 or R Bar and speak to one of the founding members.

    We are just as passionate about the Blue Jackets as any other fan, but we continually are challenged by other fans who say that we are not. We appreciate that many have their opinions about ACA and welcome them to contact us directly.

  9. @ACA_Brian: It was less the cheering and chanting and more the fixation on a certain defensemen's name and chants based on that. Loud, drunk and immature were how she summed it up. Her words, not mine. I wasn't present.

    Directing feedback towards your email address is a great move. Sadly, that wasn't the response that was generated last year. Instead, anyone who openly criticized or offered feedback was given 140 characters of 'F U, that's just how we roll, if you don't like it, you're not a real fan!' I'm glad to see that the ACA seems to be maturing beyond that but first impressions are tough to shed.

  10. DerDrache

    The chant in question was talked about among our membership and decided that we would not utilize it in a forum such as Nationwide Arena. We are a self-policing group and therefore certain things will be dealt with either during a game or after a game.

    Many may not see this and will continue to berate us because they are unaware or unwilling to take the time to talk to us about it. We have always welcomed feedback, the email has been available since January 2011. Not one of the CBJ fans who took it upon themselves to chastise us took the initiative to even send us a DM.

    We are a different group than anyone in Nationwide Arena are used to. We continue to grow and evolve into a group that will be a staple at Nationwide Arena. We respect the rules of the arena at all times, and any member who chooses to violate those rules will have to deal with Nationwide.

    I hope that those who use Twitter to base their opinions of us, will in time choose to meet us face to face. We are rowdy, yes we drink, and can get a little loud but that is the fun of every single one of the 232 members we have in the group.

  11. I am guilty of being excessive, I admit that. I am also guilty of supporting this franchise with everything I have.

    I am belligerent sometimes (Hockey+Beer+Red Wings=What Do You Want From Me?) but every time I have stepped outside the box too far, one of our founders are there to police the situation.

    I know we dont all see eye to eye with each other, and thats expected, but give us a chance to be what we know we can be.

    Hockey has been in my house since my birth (31 years), and I wear it proudly on my sleeve. I did not just decide to watch some games when we were granted this team.

    Respect goes both ways. I think the ACA is striving to continue to show respect to everyone. I have personally apologized to people I may have stepped out of line with, even when I didnt have to, and it never got acknowledged from anyone. Thats counter-productive, IMO.

    I dont like being called a part-time fan, nor do I appreciate it being assumed that I know nothing about the sport that Im "pretending" to support, and that Im some "Nordecke reject" (even though I fully support the Crew as well).

    Irregardless; the building is big enough for all of us come playoff time. Am I right?

    Carry the Flag, however you feel fit.

  12. while i too love that there is a group like this ... i do believe that the whole soccer-esqe fan is bad for hockey ... and the name is a miss in my view ... but hey i have the right to not like them or join them , just as they have the same right to do their thing ...

    as long as we all cheer for the same team ... im ok with it as long as they are not getting special treatment otherwise not given to others


    our enemy wears colors that are not union blue


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