Nationwide Arena: Control handed to private board

Source: Lucas Sullivan, Columbus Dispatch, May 20, 2012

Control of publicly owned Nationwide Arena has been transferred to a private, nonprofit board, a transition that could shield its operation from taxpayers and restrict access to public records. The Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority, created and governed by county commissioners and the city of Columbus, has given control of the arena to Columbus Arena Management, or CAM, the authority’s executive director, Bill Jennison, said. The management group consists of a four-member board that includes Columbus Blue Jackets president Mike Priest, Jennison and a representative each from Nationwide Insurance and Ohio State University. The group will operate in private, Jennison said, to allocate an estimated $250 million in casino-tax revenue that the city and county dedicated to the arena’s purchase and up-keep through 2039.

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