In 2011, The City of Columbus and Franklin County announced plans to use casino tax revenue to purchase Nationwide Arena from Nationwide Insurance and the company that owns the Columbus Dispatch newspaper.
The goals were to protect the more than 20-thousand jobs directly and indirectly related to arena operations, and to bail out the struggling Columbus Blue Jackets. This year, shortly after the purchase was made formal, the National Hockey League locked out its players for the second time in eight years. In this installment of our annual end of the year interview with Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman, he discusses the purchase, as well as the possibility of bringing an NBA team to Columbus and his Anti-Poaching agreement. Jim Letizia asked Coleman if the arena purchase was worth it.