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Bridgestone Arena

Nashville, TN

Home of the Nashville Predators

4.1

4.0

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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Welcome to Smashville!

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.

4.1

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    4

As with most major league venues, the variety in the food department is significant at Bridgestone Arena. All of the regular items are available at pretty reasonable prices for the league. Popcorn is $4.75, hot dogs are $4.75, pizza is $5.75, domestic beer is $9, and Pepsi products are $4.50. There are also a number of unique food stands that are a bit more local.

The pizza comes from the local Hunt Brothers Pizza. There is also a Food Network stand which always has neat stuff. Also, you can find a variety of other stands including Buttermilk Funnel Cake, Dunkin Donuts, Sober BBQ, Waffle Stop, and Wok this Way. Any venue that houses such a wide variety of fare is doing something right. The soda products are Pepsi and beer sales offer Bud Light and Coors Light. Local micro brews Yazoo and Hap & Harry's are available for the connoisseur.

Atmosphere    5

There is no NHL experience quite like what you will experience in Nashville. On the outside, Bridgestone Arena has a unique look to it, rounded and almost spaceship like, similar to Buffalo's First Niagara Center. The north end of the arena is situated on Broadway, the main street in Nashville's downtown district, and is definitely the main entrance. That main entrance also features the Bridgestone Arena Tower, which is home to the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, an XM radio studio, and the Nashville Visitor's Center. Before entering the building, you can go through the Gold Walk, which is simply a canopy with yellow lights, fog machines and lined with cheerleaders. It is a funny little feature, but the kids love it and it raises the expectations upon entering the building right away.

Upon entering Bridgestone Arena, you have the opportunity to pick up your free program for the day and hit the Kid Zone for some signs and free face painting. The concourses offer lots of things to see including a studio where the Fox Sports pregame show is broadcast.

The seating bowl inside the arena features fairly comfortable, navy blue seats that offer really good sightlines. The north end of the arena features the Ford Band Stage, which features a local band to play during the pregame and during the intermissions.

The videoboard is state of the art with four major screens and eight smaller screens above. The ribbon board circles the entire arena. In the rafters you will only find banners commemorating the inaugural season and the honoured number seven for the fans. There are also banners for each NHL team.

Curiously the soundtrack of the Predators is similar to that of most other NHL teams which includes a combination of classical hockey organ and classic/hard rock. This was a bit of a surprise considering the Music City is the Country Music capital of the world. Upon scoring a goal, the arena is filled with possibly the only country sounds as you will here "I like it, I love it" by Tim McGraw.

Neighborhood    5

Downtown Nashville has to be one of the top neighborhoods that could be found in all of the NHL. Bridgestone Arena is located right on Broadway where you will find a ton of places to go and things to do. There is constant live music that can be found in many of the establishments on Broadway. It might be difficult to go wrong on Broadway. Some spots you may consider are Rippy's BBQ, Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville or Honky Tonk Central. You could head east on Broadway to 2nd Ave and hit Coyote Ugly or B.B. King's Blues Club. Puckett's Grocery is also a great spot.

The Predators are a great part of a larger vacation. There are a number of great things to do in Nashville. You should consider hitting the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Studio B Tour. Also, just a block away from the arena is the Ryman Auditorium, the original home of the Grand Ole Opry. There are tours of the Auditorium daily and shows weekly. The Grand Ole Opry radio show plays at the Ryman during the winter months and hits the Opryhouse which is a little further on the outskirts near the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Opry Mills Shopping Mall.

Fans    4

The Predators consistently average over 16,000 fans per game. This is in the top end of the bottom third of the league for attendance. However, Bridgestone Arena does feature a smaller capacity than many other arenas. The Predators consistently are over 96 % capacity which is pretty good. The Predators have grown on the people of Nashville and even a seasoned hockey fan can see a maturing of the fans and a solid knowledge of hockey is now to be expected in Nashville. The 303 section of the upper deck is referred to as the Cell Block and features the rowdiest and loudest fans in the building. A unique feature in Nashville is the use of chants and cheers that are more akin to college hockey than the NHL. The honorary mayor of Smashville gets the distinction of rolling the siren upon the entrance of the team on the ice, which looks like a heck of a lot of fun.

Access    3

There is always something going on downtown. There are a few parking options that you will have to pay for. If you are driving to the game you would want to consider doing your research before arriving. Most spots in Nashville offer valet parking, which of course, is not inexpensive. One option you may want to consider is parking for free at LP Field, across the river, and taking the shuttle for $3 to the arena. Probably your best option if you are visiting Nashville for a little time, is to make sure you are staying in a downtown hotel. This gives you the opportunity to walk to the game and leave the car at your hotel. There are a number of great hotel options, but the Best Western on 7th may be the most affordable option.

Return on Investment    3

Tickets for the Predators are not inexpensive. You are probably looking at $42 for the upper ends in the third deck. You are not going to find tickets in the 100 level for less than $100. You may want to consider the secondary market for your ticket needs as you could score some below face value. Also, your concessions are not going to blow you away, but are pretty average in price. Overall, you will have a great time but you will put down a few bucks to do so.

Extras    5

An extra mark for the possibility of seeing Country Music beauty Carrie Underwood. Her husband, Mike Fisher, is a forward for the Predators, and she can often be found cheering for the Predators in one of the luxury suites.

Extra marks for the fan traditions at Bridgestone. The fans show the Fang Fingers during power plays and shake them to the theme from Psycho. Also, the Preds fans have been known to throw a catfish or two on the ice, in response to their rivalry with the Detroit Red Wings, who see octopus hit the ice in Joe Louis Arena.

An extra mark for the spotlight on the Zamboni during the intermission flooding.

An extra mark for the Predators' mascot Gnash, who does his job entertaining the fans and getting them pumped for the game.

Final Thoughts

Smashville is a great spot for an NHL game and the Predators are a great example of growing NHL market. The northeast no longer has a monopoly on great hockey experiences and Smashville is definitely a spot that should be on every hockey fan's wish list.

Follow all of Dave's journeys on Twitter @profan9

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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.

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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

Puckett's Grocery  (map it!)

500 Church St

Nashville, TN 37219

(615) 770-2772

http://www.puckettsgrocery.com/nashville/

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

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/

Best Western Downtown Nashville  (map it!)

711 Union St

Nashville, TN 37219

(615) 242-4311

http://bestwesterntennessee.com/hotels/best-western-downtown-convention-center

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