New proposal would allow outdoor drinking on game days

Jack McLaughlin

The Arena District could become a whole lot busier on game days in the near future.

That’s because the Columbus City Council is considering the addition of a Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area in the vicinity of Nationwide Arena. The area would allow patrons to purchase and carry alcoholic drinks (from designated containers) within a predetermined downtown area during Blue Jackets, Clippers, and Crew games.


The DORA, which was initially proposed by Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther, could be voted on by council as early as July. It contains a nearly 20-acre stretch of Nationwide Boulevard that includes Field, Huntington Park, and Nationwide Arena. It also extends south to West Spring Street between Neil Avenue and West Street, including McFerson Commons Park.

It would go into effect three hours prior to the start of any home Blue Jackets, Clippers, or Crew games, and end at 11:59 p.m. on those evenings.

“This designated area is primed to be a popular destination for residents to enjoy many memorable evenings while frequenting local businesses and taking in a game,” said councilmember Emmanueal V. Remy in a prepared statement.

While some residents voiced concern for the level of disruption the DORA could bring during a June 24 council meeting, many Arena District businesses, such as Boston’s Restaurant & Sports Bar, would welcome it.

“We were actually iffy on it to begin with, but now that the whole plan has been discussed and we can see how it works, we’re all for it,” said Halee Wray, a Manager at Boston’s. “It would bring more people down here and keep them here for longer, too. Customers could hang out outside and have a few drinks while they’re waiting for a table, and a lot of people will wait longer because of that.”

While the council hasn’t voted on the topic yet, a decision could be coming next month, so make sure to check back soon.

If you like this, read: The List: Is your favorite patio open today?


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