Columbus' Arena District is what developers call a mixed-used planned development. It blends residential, cultural, commercial and other uses seamlessly, making it a popular destination for 614 residents. Covering 75 acres of the downtown area, the Arena District has transformed the downtown area of Columbus.
How We Got Here
Part of what we now know as the Arena District was previously the home of a piece of the Olentangy Industrial area, developed after 1900, and the Ohio Penitentiary that operated from 1834 to 1984. The prison was demolished in 1997. Other companies that made their homes in this area of Columbus were the Jaeger Machine Company, Belmont Casket, the City of Columbus lighting plant and water works, as well as numerous lumber yards, factories and more than 16 residences by 1925.
The area was almost abandoned by the mid-1990s and a blight on the downtown Columbus area. But in 1996, the City of Columbus, which owned the 23 acres on which the prison had sat for 150 years, devised a development plan. With the aid of investors, the seed for the area was planted. The outcome has transformed this area of Columbus into a vibrant destination for local sporting events, concerts, cultural events and commerce.
What You Will Find in the Arena District
Nationwide Arena: The namesake of the Arena District and the home of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Nationwide Arena was completed in 2000 and offers fans entertaining ice hockey games. It also has the ability to host 20,000 concert goers.
Express Live: Don't be fooled. This concert venue might be under a new name, but it's still part of the Promowest Productions family, which means you can expect to see all of your favorite artists making their way to the stage. It can host 2,000 concert goers inside and 4,500 at its outside Amphitheatre.
McFerson Commons Park (Arch Park): Located opposite of Nationwide Arena, the park is named in honor of Dimon R. McFerson, who was the chairman of Nationwide Insurance from 1992 to 2000. The Arch, which is the focal point of this 2.21 green space, was recovered from Columbus’s Union Station when it was demolished in 1979.
Huntington Park: Completed in 2009, Huntington Park is the home of the Columbus Clippers. With a cost of $70 million to build, it is not part of the original Arena District site but has been incorporated into the community.
Join Us In the Arena District
Coming events at the Nationwide Arena include the Dave Matthews Band on July 8 and the inaugural Promowest Fest, a three-day concert festival that will be held in the Arena District starting July 17. And don't forget about Red, White & BOOM! on July 1. We'll be open from 7 a.m. that Friday until 1 a.m. during the event.
While you’re in the Arena District stop by Sandman’s Cheesesteak restaurant for a taste of the best cheesesteak in Columbus. Our walk up window at 111 Nationwide Boulevard makes service quick and easy, or you can take a seat inside while you enjoy one of our delicious menu offerings.