April 1, 2015
I arrived to this game early, because I wanted to walk around “The District,” a very cool part of Nashville’s downtown, which is situated right beside the Bridgestone Arena. This is the best location for an arena so far in my trip.
I headed over to the rink about 1 1/2 hours prior to puck-drop, and to do three interviews about my 30 game trip. The Predators are doing very well this season, and the Preds fans are sure into their hockey. I was stopped a number of times from fans who either read, heard or saw media coverage of my trip. For this game, I was interviewed by Justin Bradford from ESPN / Penalty Box Radio, and pictured below Alexis Witman from the Predaors, and Darren McFarland and Willie Daunic from 102.5 “The Game.”
Bridgestone Arena is another top notch facility. I probably sound like a broken record, but there are a lot of great food choices (southern BBQ), and I tried a Tennessee lager – “Hap and Harry’s,” which is now my favorite beer of this trip. (And only $9.00 for a 16 oz cup.)
Diamond Rio sang the U.S. anthem to start the game, and from game start through until the end, the Predators fans were a vocal group, probably the loudest fans I’ve heard so far in my trip.
I couldn’t wait for the game to start. I heard the fans here are very loud, and they did not disappoint. I got a kick out of them chanting “you suck,” after each opposing player was introduced, and they saved a “you suck too” for the coach. All in good fun! It’s also cool to see a lot of their fans get out of their seats when a power play is called, showing two fingers as if the fingers are fangs for a Predators power play which is about to pounce on their opponent. Neat!
In looking around the crowd, there were lots of fans wearing the home town jerseys, rivalling the Flames and Blackhawks crowds for the highest percentage of home town jerseys in the crowd.
In the second intermission, the crowd was entertained by a local band, and while a lot of folks were out in the concourses enjoying food and drink, there were lots of fans enjoying the music! I think Nashville is kinda known as a music city!
I had an great time at this game. Nashville fans are awesome, and if there’s a louder crowd cheering on a hockey game in the NHL, I haven’t come across one yet! (I would love to hear this crowd, amongst other team’s crowds in the playoffs.)
Last but not least, in leaving the arena, fans have access to numerous places to grab a bite or drink, and take in some of the local entertainment!