January 20, 2023
The Columbus Blue Jackets are now on the cutting edge of fan entertainment. The team announced the opening of their new Fan Zone in Nationwide Arena, partnering with MVP Interactive to bring technology-forward, multi-generational experiences to the Fan Zone including two first-ever NHL in-venue experiences. The project was nine months in development.
“With the upgraded space and technology advancement of our new Fan Zone, we hope to provide fans with a world-class experience,” said Blue Jackets Vice President of Marketing Ryan Chenault, who added there is nothing like it in the National Hockey League other than the Hall of Fame located in Toronto.
The New Fan Zone Experience
The 4,000-square-foot space is located on the main concourse at section 118 and overlooks the OhioHealth Chiller Ice Haus, the official practice facility of the Blue Jackets. The newly designated area allows fans can take a shot on goal, block pucks like their favorite netminder or take a photo with their favorite player – virtually.
The Fan Zone includes the Slapshot Challenge, which marks the first time the experience has been in an NHL venue. Sports Director Clay Hall got a chance to try out the fan zone before Thursday night’s game against Anaheim. Hall went 5-5 against the animated goalie.
Also making its NHL arena debut, the Goalie Challenge has fans geared up, in net and blocking shots. Facing a projection screen, the fan is challenged to block five actual shots that are being shot by virtual players projected on the screen in front of them. A second screen enables another fan to control where the shots on goal are directed. Powered by an AI system in the net, each shot is registered in real-time to generate the user’s score. Immediately after, the fan will receive a video of their in-game experience that they can download and share on social media.
The Pose with the Pro MorphingStation experience gives fans a chance to take a photo with their favorite CBJ player. Fans get to choose from Boone Jenner, Cole Sillinger, Vladislav Gavrikov, Johnny Gaudreau, Elvis Merzlikins, or Zach Werenski and pose in position as if the player was standing right next to them. This experience brings fans virtually closer to players while furthering their connection to the team. This contactless activation registered fans by having them scan a QR code with their phone to start the experience. Once completed, fans can download and share the photo on social media.