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Columbus, OH 43215


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Council to Vote on Revised Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area Plan in Growing Arena District

Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area connects Restaurants, Music Venues, Clippers, Blue Jackets and Crew Arenas

arena district

[COLUMBUS, OH] On Monday, July 26, 2021, Council will introduce Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) legislation that reduces the footprint where residents can openly carry alcoholic beverages. The update incorporates community feedback gathered from a public hearing and community meetings.

In June, Council received the application to create a DORA in the Arena District. The original plan encompassed Nationwide Arena, Huntington Park, Field, McFerson Commons Park, Spring Street and Neil Avenue. It would allow residents to purchase alcoholic beverages from participating bars and restaurants and then take those drinks with them outside and into other participating eateries and retail shops within the designated area.

Residents immediately expressed concerns about McFerson Commons Park, Neil Avenue and Spring Street, all residential neighborhood areas without any retail establishments being included in the boundaries of the DORA.

“As with all legislation, we are eager to hear from the community and will always consider public input before advancing the final product,” said Councilmember Emmanuel V. Remy. “Armed with feedback from this community, we requested the administration revise the application to exclude these areas of concern.”  

During a public hearing on June 24, 2021, and subsequent meetings, Council worked with residents to make adjustments to the DORA boundaries. After careful consideration, the following areas were removed: 

  • McFerson Commons Park
  • Neil Avenue - South of Nationwide Blvd
  • New Public Lane
  • Parks Edge Place
  • Spring Street
  • West Street
  • John H. McConnell Blvd

Within the newly defined area, which can be viewed here, patrons will be able to enjoy an alcoholic beverage outdoors within the designated area during all home Columbus Blue Jackets, Columbus Clippers, and Columbus Crew game days, beginning three hours prior to the start of the game and continuing until 11:59pm on that same day.

“Columbus is a growing vibrant city. This is an opportunity to enhance this entertainment district, while providing an opportunity for economic stimulus to our local bar and restaurant owners in the area,” Remy continued. "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, or other event.” 

Under the provisions of creating a DORA, adjustments are prohibited once the application is submitted. As a result, Council must vote down the original legislation and then immediately move to pass the new ordinance.

The new, amended DORA application can be viewed here.

If passed by Council on July 26, 2021, the DORA in the Arena District could be first active for an event within the third quarter of this year.