Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 12/05/13 at 07:07 PM ET
from Lucas Sullivan of the Columbus Dispatch,
A citizens’ group has turned in petitions seeking a public vote to stop the city from paying on its purchase contract for Nationwide Arena.
The Columbus Coalition for Responsive Government submitted 17,200 signatures to the Columbus City Clerk office today to amend the purchase ordinance and stop payments to purchase the arena by Jan. 2016....
Owners of the Columbus Blue Jackets urged for the public purchase because the team was losing money. The deal saved the Blue Jackets about $9.5 million a year and allows the team to keep all concession and parking revenue from hockey-related events. The team agreed to remain in Columbus through 2039 under the deal.
City and county officials said keeping the team solvent is important because of the revenue generated in and around the Arena District.
Opponents called the purchase a bailout and said the public should have been given a vote on public financing for an arena.
“This is not about the Blue Jackets, we say ‘go Jackets,’ ” said coalition president Jonathan Beard in a news release. “This is about what we believe to have been an abuse of the public’s trust in Columbus City Council.”
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