COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ever since the doors at the Schottenstein Center opened more than 18 years ago, Esther Staat has been on duty. She’s worked as an usher for most of the events at the arena and she’s become one of the more recognizable figures in the building. She’s 91-years-old, but Esther shows no signs of losing interest in her work. She greets every ticket holder as they walk into her section (on this night, it’s section 124) and smiles more often than not.
Staat recently mentioned to her co-workers that one of her “bucket list” goals was to ride on the Zamboni at a Buckeye hockey game. Those co-workers decided to go to management with an idea: Get Esther on the Zamboni this season.
It worked. Thursday night during the OSU hockey game, Esther climbed into the passenger seat of the Zamboni and set out on her first ride across the ice. She was announced to the arena as a special passenger and was greeted with big applause from the crowd, many of them who had seen Esther in the building before.
Staat says she has no intention to retire from her job, that she likes getting out and being with people. Staat has 5 children, 8 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren.