Jackets want the county to buy Nationwide Arena

This is the first I’ve heard of this:

The Columbus Blue Jackets are leading discussions about the possible sale of Nationwide Arena to Franklin County, using higher taxes on alcohol and cigarettes to help fund the deal.

Preliminary talks have been held between Blue Jackets and Franklin County officials, state legislators and Nationwide Insurance executives over helping the National Hockey League club solve its economic problems, Columbus Business First has learned. One option under discussion calls for the county to buy the 18,000-seat arena from Nationwide so the team can work toward getting a better lease.

The issue is likely to come to a head in coming weeks as lawmakers decide whether to grant Franklin County the authority to impose or seek voter approval for an increase in alcohol and tobacco excise taxes. Such a provision could be added to the state budget bill that the General Assembly must pass by June 30.

ETA: a bit more from the Dispatch

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