I take on Journalism Night with the Columbus Blue Jackets


Sarah Fogle (senior)

Staff member Dillon Hittle (12) stands behind coach’s podium in Blue Jackets media room. “I snuck behind the podium for this pic and it was a dream come true.,” Hittle said.

Dillon Hittle (Senior), Reporter

  On Jan. 19, my journalism classmates and I took a trip to Nationwide Arena to attend Journalism and Public Relations (PR) Day with the Columbus Blue Jackets. I have been a fan of the Columbus Blue Jackets since I was nine, so any chance I get to go to a game I take, so being able to visit Nationwide Arena during the school day was something I have dreamed of.

    I was able to skate on the rink and tour all of the areas that journalists use, such as the press box and the interview room. The only area we didn’t tour (which was the part I was really looking forward to) was the locker room. I have been in the old locker room but the Blue Jackets renovated it over the summer, so I really wanted to tour it.

   My favorite part of the morning was the skating, as I got to skate where a lot of my favorite players skate, and I stood where my favorite player (Patrik Laine) often shoots from. After the tour and the skating, we got to have a Q&A with four of the people from different journalistic areas inside of the Columbus Blue Jackets organization. We met Jeff Svoboda (team journalist), Ben Jackson (team photographer), Dave Maetzold (Bally Sports On-Ice Reporter), and Todd Sharrock (Head of PR department). Listening to them explaining what they do and the challenges they have faced and currently facing was very entertaining. 

   After the session, we walked to North Market to eat some food and get ready for the game. I had a chicken sandwich from Hot Chicken Takeover (#notsponsored) and some sweet tea. The sandwich was immaculate and I enjoyed it very much! The scenery at North Market was unique, and I haven’t seen it anywhere else. We chose to sit at a table on the upper floor of the North Market and listened to the storm that was outside. 

   I was chosen to represent Westerville North’s journalism department in the fist bump tunnel before the game, so I had to arrive at the arena before the rest of the group. I didn’t realize how big some of the players were, especially players Erik Gudbranson and Kirill Marachenko, who were both above 6’5”.  After seeing the players and coaches enter the ice, I was escorted to the main concourse and I made my way up to my seats to watch the game. 

   Overall, I had so much fun cheering on my favorite team as they took on the Anaheim Ducks. From skating on the ice, to seeing professionals skating on the ice, I had a great experience at Nationwide Arena for the Blue Jackets Journalism Day. It was a dream come true.