Nashville Predators Take the Ice in Smashville
The Bridgestone Arena is packed, the 16th consecutive sellout for a Nashville Predators home game. Over 17,000 ice hockey fans follow the chant as it reverberates around the stadium, while the players spin and joust for control of the puck. Expert passes, offensive players converging around the goalie, one quick snap shot and the crowd erupts. Another goal for the Predators!
This is maybe my third ever ice hockey game and I’m amazed at their skill on ice. They work so hard that players continually trade places every 45 seconds and fresh recruits slide on to the ice to do battle with the visiting L.A. Kings.
The Predators have clocked 182 home victories since the beginning of the 05/06 season. They are the only National Hockey League (NHL) team to post at least 23 home victories in seven consecutive seasons. This team is doing Nashville proud!
Interaction is the key to every Predators’ NHL game, keeping the excitement level highly charged. Cell Block 303 is the rowdy corner of the stadium. Fans in Section 303 in the Upper Deck instigate every chant with derisive mockery of the opponent’s goalie, a wave that ripples around the arena. Everyone around us joins in, whooping and whistling. During intermissions between the three periods, youngsters get the chance to test their prowess on the ice or cheer along Gnash, the Predators’ 4-wheeler mascot.
You can experience Smashville at various levels. Pre-game activity is hopping, with fans patronising souvenir and concession stands, filling the more exclusive Patrons Platinum Club, 501 Club and gathering in privately purchased suites that ring the arena with great views of action on the ice. You can find out about all the ticket options on the Predator’s website and Facebook page.
We all love supporting our favorite sports team – but it’s good to know that their positive influence extends beyond the playing field…or ice rink. Since established in 1998, the Nashville Predators Foundation has awarded more than $3.5 million to the greater Nashville community in grants and charitable donations, benefitting thousands of people in the Middle Tennessee area.
The Nashville Predators’ home at the Bridgestone Arena is perfectly situated in downtown Nashville, right on the edge of the Broadway strip of tourist bars and nightclubs and across the street from the Country Music Hall of Fame.
As we chatted outside the arena to a diehard Predators fan after the game, he smiled as he turned to leave. “We’ll, I’m off for a drink and some good country music.”
Welcome to Nashville!