directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Ka-BOOM!

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


That's the sound we hope to hear over and over....and over again at Nationwide this season!

Aaron Portzline has posted some very juicy details in his blog regarding the new cannon that will be unveiled at Nationwide Arena on opening night this season:

-- the cannon (pictured right) will be fired when the Blue Jackets take the ice for the first time each game, when they score a goal and when they win. Last year, they would have fired it 170 times (41 games, 111 goals, 18 wins).

-- a smoke flash charge will be loaded in the cannon, resulting in a flash-quick flame and a plume of smoke billowing out of the cannon. High above the rink -- 109 feet, to be exact -- is a 3/4-of-an-ounce concussion explosive that sends the BOOM! around the rink. A piece of plexiglass will be installed a few feet in front of the cannon, just for added safety.

-- man, is this awesome or what?

-- the Blue Jackets have hired a sentry to stand guard of the cannon during games and play Civil War era songs on a trumpet. He'll be wearing Union garb. (I'm not making this up.) His name is Peter Quint, and he'll be available to answer questions and pose for pictures.

-- fliers will be placed in all 18,136 seats in advance of the first few home games. The Blue Jackets are very concerned that they may catch young children or the elderly by surprise, so make sure to spread the word to everybody in your section.

-- don't touch the cannon or the wheels. Seems the grease from your hands can ill-effect the steel gun and wheel covers. And that's before you chowed that Donatos.

-- the cannon is a hand-made "authentic replica" of a 1857 Napolean 12-pound Field Cannon. The "12-pound" refers to the size of cannon balls it is built to fire. Apparently this sucker has been fired about 200 times in southern Illinois before the Blue Jackets bought it. If you've ever been to southern Illinois, that shouldn't surprise you.

-- the fire marshall has spent lots of time in Nationwide Arena this summer. He's cool with all of this, as long as there's 15 feet of clearance when the cannon gets "blasted."

-- each blast registers about 105 decibles

-- each smoke flash charge in the cannon costs $12. Each "boom from the roof" costs $50.

-- the cannon weighs about 1,800 pounds

-- the cannon (caisson, included) cost "about $20,000" said a high-level VP with the Blue Jackets

As Portzline says this is awesome!

Kudos to the Jackets game op staff for making this wish from the fans out there come true. I think this is going to add tremendous value in terms of making a Jackets game a truly unique experience for the fans.

We all want a winning team first and foremost but lets also not forget that pro sports is all about entertainment. Even Stanley Cup winning teams lose home games throughout the year and if the game ops staff can still make the experience a truly enjoyable and unique one then its still a win.

The game ops is (and has been) doing their job and now its time for the Jackets on the ice to do theirs and really make this year an exciting one -- it all starts this Friday -- hopefully with multiple bangs!!!


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