City OKs plan to keep Blue Jackets in Columbus, faces additional approval

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - City officials have approved a plan to keep the financially troubled Blue Jackets in Columbus until 2039 by allowing their home, Nationwide Arena, to be purchased with the help of casino revenue.

Under the proposal, the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority would buy the arena from Nationwide Realty Investors using state and other loans and receive part of tax revenues from a casino being built in Columbus.

Nationwide would invest US$52 million in the Blue Jackets and take a 30 per cent interest in the team.

WCMH-TV reports Columbus City Council approved the plan Monday. It also faces approval by the mayor and county commissioners.

The plan was developed amid economic concerns about the district around the arena. The team has made the playoffs once in its 11 years and attendance has declined.

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