Despite being at the bottom of the league standings, the Columbus Blue Jackets are consistently getting a good turn out at their games at Nationwide Arena. On Saturday night, the team played to a crowd of 18,808, which is 103.6% of the arena’s seating capacity.
Many teams who sit at the bottom of the standings struggle to fill the seats at their arena, and almost never sell out the stadium unless it’s a major rivalry game or a star studded team is coming into town.
This may come as a surprise to some, as the Blue Jackets have not had a winning season since 2016-17 and are currently in last place in their division. The team they were playing that night, the San Jose Sharks, is also near the bottom of the league. There was no rivalry or major milestones at stake in the game, yet the arena was filled to capacity.
The Blue Jackets ended up beating the Sharks 5-3 with goals from Gaudreau, Jenner, Laine, Nyquist, and Kuraly. Many fans come out to see the Blue Jackets star players in Gaudreau and Laine, but many were also there to watch Erik Karlsson, the Sharks defenseman who is having a very good year with 62 points in 47 games.
Despite the team’s struggles on the ice, fans continue to support them, filling the arena night after night. the Columbus Blue Jackets have a dedicated fan base that continues to support them. With a strong connection to the city and an engaging game day experience, the team has been able to sell out some nights this season.
The signing of Johnny Gaudreau is the summer looked to be a big step forward for the organization, many fans come to see him play, but the Blue Jackets are not having the season they wanted to have.
One benefit? The draft lottery. The Blue Jackets position in the standings means they have a high chance at a top 5 pick in this 2023 draft. The 2023 draft is looking like it’s going to be a strong one with the likes of Bedard and Michkov & many other talented players who are eligible.