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Nationwide Arena and Schottenstein Center recipients of 2023 Venue Excellence Award

July 5, 2023

The International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) recently announced Columbus’ Nationwide Arena and Schottenstein Center as recipients of a 2023 Venue Excellence Award.

The Venue Excellence Award recognizes venues that demonstrate excellence in the management and operation of public assembly venues including (but not limited to) amphitheaters, arenas, auditoriums, casinos, complexes, convention centers, exhibit halls, fair/festival grounds, performing arts centers, racetracks, and stadiums.  Other 2023 winners include venues in Baltimore, New Orleans, Orlando, Wichita, and Vancouver, CA.

Venues are evaluated based on operational excellence, professional development, safety & security, and service to the community.  Venues were asked to present their top three accomplishments or best practices from 2020-2022.  CASE (Columbus Arena Sports & Entertainment) venues Nationwide Arena and the Schottenstein Center were recognized for the following:

  1. Nationwide Arena safely hosted the nation’s first successful LIVE sporting event with TBT, The Basketball Tournament, providing a game presentation roadmap for the NBA. TBT was the first televised basketball event held in the United States after the onset of the pandemic and the suspension of all U.S. amateur and professional sports.
  2. The Schottenstein Center served The Ohio State University campus and the greater central Ohio community through the establishment of a Vaccination Station at the venue distributing 20,000 PPE kits and administering over 200,000 COVID vaccinations in alliance with the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center and supported by the state of Ohio. Dozens of staff members were redeployed to support testing and contact tracing efforts on campus.
  3. Record-breaking success as measured by ticket sales, event bookings and demonstrated through service to clients and guests has been the result of this unique collaboration between a county-owned and a university-owned arena.

From CASE, Chief Operating Officer Mike Gatto, “I’m absolutely thrilled that the Schottenstein Center & Nationwide Arena have been selected as the recipients of the 2023 Venue Excellence Award from IAVM.  The partnership between the arenas has elevated the local entertainment landscape and improves the quality of life in the Central Ohio community and beyond. This achievement shines a spotlight on our incredible staff, showcasing their tireless efforts and unwavering dedication. It’s a testament to their hard work, passion, and commitment to creating remarkable experiences.”

Columbus Arena Sports & Entertainment (“CASE”) manages the Schottenstein Center & Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Nationwide Arena is located in downtown Columbus and is home to the NHL Columbus Blue Jackets. The Schottenstein Center is located on the campus of The Ohio State University and home to Buckeye men’s basketball, women’s basketball, and men’s ice hockey. CASE presents and promotes events at both arenas, Mershon Auditorium & Ohio Stadium.

IAVM represents 7,200+ members worldwide from public assembly venues and allied members. IAVM’s mission is to educate, advocate for, and inspire public assembly venue professionals worldwide.