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Bridgestone Arena

Nashville, TN

Home of the Nashville Predators

4.4

3.8

Bridgestone Arena (map it)
501 Broadway
Nashville, TN 37203


Nashville Predators website

Bridgestone Arena website

Year Opened: 1996

Capacity: 17,113

There are no tickets available at this time.

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Hockey in Smashville a Must-See, And Only Getting Better

You’ll find a perfect example of critics being proven wrong when you witness a hockey game at Bridgestone Arena, home to the NHL’s Nashville Predators. It was completed in 1996, and was Nashville’s first major sports arena, far surpassing the Nashville Municipal Auditorium which was the main sports venue for the city at the time.

Who could’ve blamed the naysayers back in the mid-90’s for being weary of NHL hockey being supported in a mid-sized market with no professional franchises in the four major sports leagues? The South is widely considered a hotbed for college football, or football in general, but there was a lot of skepticism regarding Nashville supporting a professional hockey team nearly two decades ago.

Since the Predators’ inaugural season in 1998, hockey’s popularity in Nashville has steadily grown into one of the most popular things to do for locals and visiting tourists. The fan experience is of epic proportions, turning it into more than just simply attending a sporting event and cheering for your favorite team. It’s a big reason why the 2016 NHL All-Star was a huge success in Nashville.

Hockey is clearly here to stay in what fans cleverly call “Smashville.” The home-ice advantage that the Predators enjoy has to be near tops in the league, and sellouts have become a regular occurrence.

If you haven’t marked off your stadium bucket list a trip to Bridgestone Arena, then it’s time you changed that quickly to see for yourself one of the most exciting and unique experiences in hockey.

4.4

What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    5

I could write pages and pages covering all of the options and variety that Bridgestone Arena offers to fans at the concession areas. The choices are astronomical, but let's start with the basics; classic stadium food like hot dogs, nachos and popcorn range from $4 to $6, respectively. A smoked cheddar cheese dog is a tasty way to go, and it's well-worth the price at $7. A decent-sized slice of Hunt Brother's Pizza is only $5.75, and it's been a staple at Predators games for several years now. If you want to feed the family with a pizza, then a whole pie is $21.

The food options get more interesting once you get to the $8 to $12 range. Brisket is a big deal in Nashville, and I recommend trying the brisket chili nachos for $10. They give you a hefty-sized portion that will fill you up for the entire game. Another very unique option is a grilled cheese sandwich made with jalapeño bacon for $9.

Many of the concession stands have their own theme to cater to what you're particularly in the mood for. This is a great idea to make things easier for the fan who has no idea what they want. If you want Italian food, there's a concession stand for that. If you're more in the mood for cheeseburgers and fries, there's a separate concession stand for that. Other grilled items like bratwursts ($9.50) and Paninis ($10) are located here. There's even concession stands that serve Tex Mex style food.

You also wouldn't be in Nashville without there being a Nashville hot chicken sandwich served with fries, which is $10. It's really quite impressive to see how many choices you have, so come prepared to have your hands full on what to try. Odds are Bridgestone Arena has what you're looking for to curb your appetite.

Beer prices are high as expected, but nothing out of the ordinary for a professional sporting event. Domestic beers are $9, and premium beers are $10. Liquor is also served at Bridgestone Arena. Non-alcoholic beverages include Pepsi products, Gatorade, bottled water and energy drinks. These items range from $4-$5.

Atmosphere    4

The atmosphere is really where Bridgestone Arena will blow you away as a Predators fan, a visiting fan, or even just a casual fan with no team to root for. You're not just attending a hockey game when coming to Bridgestone Arena, you're attending a gigantic party with nearly 20,000 people. It's a massive social gathering that Bridgestone Arena creates for the fan.

First off, the person who selects the playlist of music that's played throughout games deserves a hefty raise. They play the perfect style of music that raises the energy level constantly, including AC/DC's "Thunderstruck" when the Predators are introduced. It sounds trivial, but playing the right kind of music is very important to keeping the excitement level high. The audio system sounds amazing throughout the arena as well.

There are numerous interactive things to keep fans intrigued. The enormous video board that hangs over center ice always has fan trivia, funny video clips or NHL related news to keep the fan entertained. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the screaming sheep video clip that plays every game to get the fans pumped up.

Player introductions are done to perfection at Bridgestone Arena. The Predators skate through the mouth of a huge Predators head, and it's another cool thing that has been a part of the team since the early days.

The Goal Zone is in the upper level of the arena, and it's a standing area where fans can interact with each other while still enjoying an awesome view of the game. It's located on one end of the ice, has plenty of tables to lounge around and is a nice change of pace if you want to get out of your seat during intermissions. More venues are starting to find standing areas for fans to congregate while still enjoying the game, and Bridgestone Arena did a smart thing by converting this area of the concourse for that purpose.

One interesting note about Bridgestone Arena is that it really doesn't show its age. It was erected in late 1996 and has a capacity of nearly 20,000. One minor criticism is the cramped seating. If you're attending a sellout at Bridgestone Arena, you're probably going to be fighting for arm and leg space. The seating areas are extremely cramped. Sometimes that comes with the territory when attending sporting events, but the newer venues seem to be trying to find new ways to give fans more room to be comfortable in their seat. That's not the case here, but hopefully that won't be a problem if you're lost in a good game on the ice.

Neighborhood    5

The main entrance to Bridgestone Arena is at the doorstep of Nashville's historic Broadway and all of the honky tonk bars. Live music pours through this area, giving you plenty of convenient options for pre or post-game drinks. One of the things that makes this area so fun is how walkable everything is. If there's a Predators game, expect a big crowd downtown. The warmer months of the hockey season is when this area really thrives.

Additionally, there are numerous dining options to enjoy before the game. I recommend heading up 2nd Avenue, located right off Broadway, and checking out Rodizio Brazilian Steakhouse. The food is phenomenal and they offer specialty cocktails that you won't find anywhere else. If you want a more laid back establishment to enjoy food and drinks, then Acme Feed & Seed is a fun place to go to. They not only have awesome food, but they offer live music and three floors with different themes. It's become one of the more popular places for Nashvillians to be.

Hotels are everywhere in this part of town, and many of Nashville's best hotels are within walking distance of Bridgestone Arena. Your two best choices are Union Station, located just blocks from the arena, or Hotel Indigo. These are some of your higher-priced options, but there are certainly more affordable lodging options in the immediate area.

What Nashville has to offer isn't limited to the Broadway area. Lyft and Uber is easily accessible, making it very simple to explore the other niche areas of Nashville. Dive bars and more laid back atmospheres will be in East Nashville, while the Gulch is the trendier part of town. If you have plenty of time to fit it in, then you would be doing yourself a disservice by not seeing the Ryman Auditorium, Grand Ole Opry, and the Parthenon. All of these destinations are short drives from the downtown center.

Fans    5

Over the years Predators fans have become increasingly more knowledgeable about the sport of hockey. In the early going, Predators fans had suffered from never really being exposed to hockey. They were always loyal to their first major professional franchise, but the knowledge of the game understandably lacked. That is no longer the case. Fans aren't just there to see the fights. They're showing up to see good hockey, and respect the way the game is played. I've noticed this trend over the years as I have been attending games since the inaugural season.

Sellouts have become the norm ever since the Predators starting becoming mainstays in the Stanley Cup playoffs. In fact, the Predators recently notched their 31st sellout of the season, good for a franchise record. Far too often we see NHL arenas half-full, even when the particular team is doing well in the standings. You certainly won't see that on any occasion at Bridgestone Arena, especially on Saturday night games. Even weekday games get well over 75 percent full. The only thing keeping Bridgestone Arena from selling out every game is long-term success in the playoffs. That is something that has frustrated these fans over the years. However, you can never accuse these fans for not being loyal or not sticking with the team through good times and bad.

The passion of these fans is what really sets them apart from an average fan base. Yes, it is true that they have some chants that may not be suitable for everyone. Most of it is all in good fun, but be prepared for at least some heckling if you're representing the other team. Either way, you have to admire the creativity of some of the chants. Sometimes a random person sitting in the upper deck will get a chant started, and before you know it half the arena is chanting along. The first 10 seconds of the game always features a strong contingent of fans yelling "Let's Go Predators." These fans are definitely not shy to be proud Predators fans, and that's something you always have to respect.

Access    4

Public transportation is still somewhat lacking in Nashville for a city of its size. The good news is that Nashville is very walkable for pedestrians, and it's not an enormous city like Chicago or Dallas. Taking an Uber or Lyft has become very popular in Nashville, and there's ample parking in the surrounding area of Bridgestone Arena.

In fact, if you don't mind walking upwards of six or seven blocks, you can sometimes be lucky enough to find free meter parking. Many of these meters are free after 6 PM, just in time for most game times.

As for the arena itself, it's located directly on Broadway and not far off the downtown loop. For how large Nashville has become, it's a relatively easy city to navigate through even if you're not a local.

Concourses inside Bridgestone Arena are plenty wide enough for even the largest of crowds. It's worth noting that the escalator that takes you from the upper level down to the lower level always gets congested following a game. Just be prepared to show some patience and enjoy opposing fans debating on whose team is better.

Return on Investment    4

Ticket prices have modestly been on the increase in recent years, and that's to be expected. We're not talking about a franchise that is routinely in the division cellar, and the demand is there for fans wanting to go to games. Even casual hockey fans usually have interest in going to Predators games. It's just become a popular thing to do in Nashville, and with that is going to come increased ticket prices. An average ticket in the upper levels will range anywhere from $35 to $45, depending on the opponent. You can always find deals and promotions that the Predators are putting out. They do a very good job at giving fans the chance to save money on tickets with offers like student discounts and multi-game package deals.

Lower level tickets have really been on the rise recently. These great seats can get north of $100, but usually fall in the neighborhood of $75. They're not the cheapest tickets in the NHL, but the product you're getting in return is well worth it.

Parking usually is around $10-$15 if you want a short walk to the arena entrance. After you factor in concession items, you're looking at around $50-$60 per person on average if you have the cheaper tickets.

Extras    4

It wouldn't be a game in Nashville without live music, and every game features a live performance on the Band Stage. They play during both intermissions, and occasionally some really talented artists treat you to some great music to break up the intermission.

I have to give a couple extra points to how creative the fans are with their chants. They heckle the opposing goalie after every goal he gives up, and these chants get plenty loud enough for that player to hear them. These are professionals who probably know how to tune this stuff out, but it's still extremely comical.

Finally, I can't help but give an extra for the selling of beer outside the entrance to the game. Being the beer lover that I am, it's very nice to enjoy a cold one and talk to fellow fans before entering the arena. As a bonus, they let you bring the beer inside with you.

The impressive variety of food and drinks available rounds out my extra points. They have really improved this area in recent years, enhancing the fan experience all the more.

Final Thoughts

The Predators and Bridgestone Arena keep finding new ways to enhance the fan experience. It's always been a fun place to see a hockey game, and the fans have played a big part in that. Other things, like the concession areas and spots to congregate around the arena, have really put Bridgestone Arena over the top. I think we can finally tell all the critics of hockey in the South that they were dead wrong about this experiment, and now it's all about maintaining this product as the franchise continues to bring in new fans to a city that keeps growing.

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Crowd Reviews

Preds Threads

Total Score: 3.71

  • Food & Beverage: 2
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 4
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 4

Many critics said hockey couldn't survive in the South back in 1998 when the Nashville Predators joined the NHL, but the great Predators fans have proven them wrong.

When you attend a hockey game at Bridgestone Arena, you get a unique NHL game experience.

When Bridgestone Arena is at a packed house of just over 17,000, there are few places louder or more intimidating in the NHL. It gives the Predators a valuable home-ice advantage that some teams aren't lucky enough to enjoy.

Bridgestone Arena, Nashville Predators

Total Score: 4.57

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 5

Bridgestone Arena is a multi-use facility that is home to the Nashville Predators, and is located in the heart of downtown Nashville on Broadway at Fifth Avenue. The arena was completed in 1996. The Predators began play in the arena in 1998, their inaugural season.

The arena is versatile in its configuration, with a seating capacity of 17,113 for hockey and 20, 000 for concerts and basketball. Additionally, the arena has a 5,145 seat Music Theater that provides an intimate venue for plays and smaller concerts. The arena also boasts an acoustically designed rehearsal hall below the main arena level where touring acts can perform a full concert rehearsal. The arena was designed with excellent acoustics on the main level, and the arena has been designed in such a way as to bring the upper level seats as close to the main floor as possible without compromising comfort or safety. Sight lines are good at all levels.

In addition to hockey, the arena hosts numerous concerts and events throughout the year, from top country and rock acts to the Ringling Brothers Circus and various Country Music Association events. The arena has also been home to the NCAA Men's Southeast Region first round games on five different occasions as well as hosting the conference tournaments in basketball for both the SEC and Ohio Valley Conference men and women.

Visitors to the arena enter off Broadway or Demonbreun St. and step into the main concourse. The wide concourse allows for ease of movement around the main level of the arena, and features a main pro shop and several smaller pro shops that sell Predator merchandise. There are numerous concession stands around the arena, with the fare typical of most arenas such as hamburgers, subs, hot dogs, pizza, and chicken fingers. The main concourse has numerous kiosks that vend a limited number of domestic beers as well as two full service bars that offer domestic beer, several imports, wine, and mixed drinks. Prices are not out of the ordinary for food, ranging from $4-6 for most items. A 24 oz. domestic beer is $8.50. The same amenities are also located on the upper level of the arena.

The arena also offers 72 private suites that include a private restroom in each; a 42 " flat panel television; access to the Suite Level Club for premium dining; and concierge service, to name a few of the amenities. There is an all inclusive "Fan Zone" in the attack twice end of the arena that provides the ticket holder with a lower bowl seat, a fully catered buffet with carving station, and unlimited soft drinks, wine, and domestic beer.

Bridgestone Arena is designed to provide a great entertainment venue, both from a spectator's perspective and from the total fan experience, and it exceeds expectations on both counts.

As mentioned, the arena is located in the heart of downtown at 5th Ave. and Broadway. This is a prime spot for both tourists and locals to come for good music and nightlife. Diagonally across the street from the arena, at 422 Broadway, is Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, a world renowned venue for country music and the place from which many stars, such as Kris Kristofferson, Patsy Cline, and Waylon Jennings got their start. You don't go to Tootsie's for the food, you go for the music, the cold beer, and the history. This is a must see spot for first timers to Nashville, and it is not uncommon to see members of visiting hockey teams in Tootsie's the night before a game.

At the other end of the spectrum is the Palm Restaurant, located across the street from the arena at 140 Fifth Ave. The Palm is part of the national chain of high end steak houses, and it is not uncommon to run into coaches from the Predators as well as the visiting team in the Palm. The food at the Palm is excellent, and their specialty is steak and exceptional customer service. Expect to spend $30-50 per diner on the meal, depending on the entrée selected. All other menu items are a la carte, and portions are usually enough for two people. Desserts are exceptional, and there is an extensive selection of wines and a full bar. The size of the tab at the Palm can go up rapidly depending on the amount of wine consumed with dinner, but in moderation, it is not unreasonable.

Music City is a Hockey City Too

Total Score: 3.86

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 2
  • Extras: 3

Bridgestone Arena opened in 1996 as the Nashville Arena and has been the home to the National Hockey League’s Nashville Predators since their inception in 1998. The 17,113 seat arena stands in the heart of downtown and features an iconic phalanx symbol that would have made the citizens of Pompeii blush. The Predators have been attracting 17,092 fans a game during the 2012-2013 season, turning a city known for its country music into a genuine hockey town.

Welcome to Smashville!

Total Score: 4.14

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 5

After a failed attempt to bring the New Jersey Devils to the Music City, the NHL granted Nashville an expansion team to begin play in 1998. More than 15 years later there are still detractors who believe that hockey does not belong in the Volunteer State. The Predators have had a bit of a tumultuous existence, from ownership changes and issues, to the possibility of moving to Hamilton, Ontario. With some success on the ice and a blossoming rivalry with the Detroit Red Wings, the Nashville Predators are proving that they do belong in the NHL and that Nashville can support a team as well as any other city.

Bigger than being a great spot for NHL hockey, Nashville is rapidly becoming one of the top vacation spots in the country. There are a ton of things to do and a trip to see the Predators fits right in with the rest of your activities. "Smashville," as their current ad campaign dubs them, will not disappoint.

Just Visited!

Total Score: 4.57

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 4
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 4

My wife and I just returned from a Devils/Predators game. I'll say this, even though my beloved Devils lost, I had a wonderful time. The fans are passionate about their Preds! They were loud and proud and showed up in full force, especially against a down team like my Devils. When NJ tied the game, the Preds fans didn't slink down in their chairs. They got behind their team and used their voices to spur them on. The food was alright, but I wasn't there for the food. The ambience was outstanding. The pre-game performances by the mascots and "ice rink girls" (Sorry, I don't know the correct term for them) were top notch. You could tell the management go out of their way to give the fans (home and visiting team) an experience that they won't soon forget. The surrounding neighborhood wasn't bad. There was music being played loud and everyone was having a good time.

Discrimination practiced by Predators

Total Score: 2.14

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 1
  • Neighborhood: 4
  • Fans: 2
  • Access: 0
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 0

The Nashville Predators have a ticket policy that discriminates against Chicago Black Hawk fans. They will not sell a ticket to someone "outside of their market area" but they only apply this rule to Black Hawk games at Bridgestone arena. They actually check your address on your credit card or ask for ID to ascertain if you are from the Windy City area. I have never heard of a franchise, especially one in a public facility, being able to blatantly practice discrimination. If this were based on race or religion, it would be on the Justice Department's radar in a second.

Great place for a game

Total Score: 3.71

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 3

I saw a game here on 2/5/16. Great sight lines and wide concourses.

One of the best downtown locations for a stadium in the big four pro sports.

My ticket was in Section 303 by accident which is their cheering section.

This venue is great for concerts.

Share your thoughts about Bridgestone Arena

Local Food & Drink

Tootsie's Orchid Lounge  (map it!)

422 Broadway

Nashville, TN 37203

(615) 726-0463

http://www.tootsies.net

Wildhorse Saloon  (map it!)

120 2nd Avenue North

Nashville, TN 37201

(615) 902-8200

http://wildhorsesaloon.com/

Crema  (map it!)

15 Hermitage Ave

Nashville, TN 37204

(615) 255-8311

http://www.crema-coffee.com/

Jack’s BBQ  (map it!)

416 Broadway

Nashville, TN 37203

(615) 244-5715

http://jacksbarbque.com/

Merchant’s Restaurant and Grill  (map it!)

401 Broadway

Nashville, TN 37203

(615) 254-1892

http://www.merchantsrestaurant.com/

Gabby’s Burgers and Fries  (map it!)

493 Humphreys St

Nashville, TN 37203

(615) 733-3119

http://gabbysburgersandfries.com/

The Flying Saucer  (map it!)

111 10th Ave S

Nashville, TN 37203

(615) 259-3039

http://www.beerknurd.com/stores/nashville/

Rippy's BBQ  (map it!)

429 Broadway

Nashville, TN 37203

(615) 244-7477

http://www.rippysbarandgrill.com/

Honky Tonk Central  (map it!)

329 Broadway

Nashville, TN 37201

(615) 742-9095

http://www.honkytonkcentral.com/

B.B. King's Blues Club  (map it!)

152 2nd Ave N

Nashville, TN 37201

(615) 256-2727

http://www.bbkingclubs.com/?page=nashhome

Arnold's Country Kitchen  (map it!)

605 8th Ave S

Nashville, TN 37203

(615) 256-4455

http://www.yelp.com/biz/arnolds-country-kitchen-nashville

Rodizio Brazilian Steakhouse  (map it!)

166 2nd Ave N

Nashville, TN 37201

(615) 730-8358

http://www.rodiziogrill.com/Nashville

Acme Feed & Seed  (map it!)

101 Broadway

Nashville, TN 37201

(615) 915-0888

http://theacmenashville.com/

Local Entertainment

Country Music Hall of Fame  (map it!)

222 5th Avenue South

Nashville, TN 37203

(615) 416-2001

http://countrymusichalloffame.org/

Grand Ole Opry  (map it!)

2804 Opryland Dr

Nashville, TN 37214

(615) 871-OPRY

http://www.opry.com/

The Stage on Broadway  (map it!)

412 Broadway

Nashville, TN 37203

(615) 726-0504

http://thestageonbroadway.com/theStageOn/home.php

Robert’s Western World  (map it!)

416 Broadway

Nashville, TN 37203

(615) 244-9552

http://robertswesternworld.com/

Nashville Farmers' Market  (map it!)

900 Rosa L Parks Blvd

Nashville, TN 37208

(615) 880-2001

http://nashvillefarmersmarket.org/

Lodging

Opryland Hotel  (map it!)

2800 Opryland Dr

Nashville, TN 37214

(615) 889-1000

http://www.gaylordhotels.com/gaylord-opryland/

Union Station  (map it!)

1001 Broadway

Nashville, TN 37203

(615) 726-1001

http://www.unionstationhotelnashville.com/

Hotel Indigo Nashville  (map it!)

301 Union St

Nashville, TN 37201

(615) 891-6000

http://www.ihg.com/hotelindigo/hotels/us/en/nashville/bnaus/hoteldetail

The Capitol Hotel  (map it!)

711 Union St

Nashville, TN 37219

(615) 242-4311

https://www.choicehotels.com/tennessee/nashville/ascend-hotels/tn724

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