Wednesday, February 14, 2007



It was a long snowy and yucky drive to Columbus from Washington. We left early in the morning and soon were in Virginia driving through the rolling Appalachian Mountains. The weather would go from clear and sunny to stormy with poor visibility and then back to clear and sunny again. It was a strange drive. It once again, made it very hard to see much of the countryside. We did do a lot of up and down driving on winding roads. I thought for a moment that we were back on the coastal highway on the west coast. The snow soon chased that thought out of my mind. We arrived in Columbus in the early evening and stayed downtown in a hotel right across from the Nationwide Arena. We were told that this used to be a very run down part of the city, and with the building of the arena, things changed around. The surrounding buildings are beautifully constructed and the area is aptly named the "Arena District". This is a case where the entire inner city, with good planning has been built up and is certainly something for the city of Columbus to be proud of. Besides the arena, there is lots of green space, shopping, and restaurants. The arena itself is the cornerstone of the area and is one of the nicer rinks we have been to in our travels. It is very large with lots of open concourse space. It is also a short 5 minute walk from a few downtown hotels so is very convenient. The away teams stay at these hotels and the Sabres were staying at the same hotel as us. There were also lots and lots of Sabre fans. There were a few buses that had come down to Columbus and a many also drove. The rink was loud and very noisy for the whole game and when Buffalo scored, it was amazingly loud for an away team goal. They made it lots of fun and it was a great atmosphere. Columbus won 3-2 giving us a 15 and 10 win record. It's getting pretty even with the wins and losses. In the afternoon the wonderful public relations people arranged for Graham to speak to their sales and marketing staff. It was quite a large group and Graham's message was well received. It was back to the hotel after the game and we were on our way in the morning to Pittsburgh. We continue to get closer and closer to our 30 city number. This was stop number 25, giving us 5 more stops to go.

Graham's Game Report

Jan 26, 2007
Nationwide Arena
Buffalo Sabres vs. Columbus Blue Jackets

The crowd for this Blue Jackets home game was a noisy sell out but the noise favoured both sides fairly equally as thousands of Sabres fans made the trek to Columbus and made their presence known. The Sabres looked strong in opening up a 2-1 lead after two periods with the Jackets getting strong goaltending from Fredrik Norrena, including a stop on a late period penalty shot by Daniel Paille to keep them in contention. Goals from Rotislav Klesla and Dan Fritsche brought the home team back in the third for a 3-2 Columbus victory. Ted Drury netted two power play goals for Buffalo and Rick Nash notched a powerplay marker for the home side. The game had quite a festive atmosphere with fans of both teams battling for vocal supremacy. This hockey only arena is one of the nicest we've seen on our tour and I'm sure some day soon the Columbus faithful will be rewarded for their support of this young franchise.

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