Sabertooth Sports & Entertainment To Open New Ice Center In Sumner County

Photo: Courtesy of the Nashville Predators

Sabertooth Sports & Entertainment LLC and the Predators have announced the building of a new ice center in Sumner County at The Goat Farm.

The new development is part of a public-private partnership between the SS&E, Sumner County, the City of Gallatin and the City of Hendersonville. Stratos Development will serve as the main developer of the facility at The Goat Farm–a 54-acre Sumner County landmark accessible from Nashville Pike and Shute Lane–with assistance from longtime Predators Season-Ticket Citizens Randy Smith and Alex Smith.

“As I’ve said before, the environment we’ve created in Antioch and Bellevue–and will create in Montgomery County–is something everyone in Smashville should be proud of, and we are thrilled to be able to bring that same enthusiasm for growing the game to Sumner County,” says Predators President and CEO Sean Henry. “Since we first opened Ford Ice Center Antioch in 2014, we’ve been able to see the benefits of our public-private partnerships come to life, from the economic impact to the growth of youth and adult hockey. As we move forward with this development in Sumner County, we want to thank county leadership, the cities of Gallatin and Hendersonville, Stratos Development, Randy and Alex Smith and the NHL and NHLPA for helping turn what once was a vision of expansion in the Middle Tennessee community into a reality in the near future.”

The development of the roughly 100,000-square-foot facility, which will feature two sheets of ice, public and private locker rooms, a weight room and hockey pro shop, among other amenities, will be partially funded by the NHL and NHLPA Industry Growth Fund. On top of an already robust schedule of programming for youth and adult hockey, girls hockey and figure skating, the Predators and Ford Ice Centers were awarded funds from the IGF in October 2020 for further investment in the development of youth hockey in Middle Tennessee.

Using these funds, the Predators have taken their commitment to growing girls hockey and learn-to-skate programs to a new level – 350 girls were introduced to the sport this past winter with a 20-week training program that culminated with a free tournament at the end of the season, and through the Go Skate! program, 600 kids learned how to skate for the first time with world-class coaching from the Scott Hamilton Skating Academy.

“I am very excited about this state-of-the-art ice hockey facility and quality commercial development coming to Sumner County and the City of Gallatin,” says Sumner County Mayor Anthony Holt. “This event center will create numerous opportunities for our young people and families that are passionate about this growing and vibrant sport. I would like to thank the Nashville Predators organization for their involvement in branding this facility that will enhance Sumner County’s ability to attract visitors and showcase the many amenities our County has to offer. This facility will enrich the quality of life for our citizens and set our county apart as a regional destination.”

This is the fourth location SS&E and the Nashville Predators have created to grow the sport of hockey throughout Middle Tennessee. In addition to the Ford Ice Centers in Antioch and Bellevue, SS&E will manage soon-to-be-named, in partnership with F&M Bank, Montgomery County Event Center in Clarksville, which is scheduled to open during the 2022-23 season.

In addition to the planned state-of-the-art amenities, the facility will host hockey tournaments as well as on-ice events and competitions similar to the existing Ford Ice Centers in Antioch and Bellevue. The two additional ice sheets in the community will allow the Predators to offer similar programs in Sumner County, such as learn-to-skate, youth and adult hockey and Scott Hamilton Skating Academy lessons and events.

Predators Set To Face The Hurricanes In First Round Of The Playoffs

Bridgestone Arena. Courtesy of Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp

The Nashville Predators are heading to Raleigh, North Carolina to face the Carolina Hurricanes in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Game one of the series is set for Monday, May 17 at 7 p.m. CST at PNC Arena. The Predators defeated the Hurricanes twice in the final two games of the season, clinching the playoffs after starting March with a 0.34% chance of making the postseason.

It is a classic best of seven series in with the first two games in North Carolina. Tickets for games at Bridgestone Arena are available now.

 

Dates and Times of the Preds vs. Hurricane Matchups:

Game 1: Monday, May 17 at 7 p.m. at PNC Arena
Game 2: Wednesday, May 19 at 7 p.m. at PNC Arena
Game 3: Friday, May 21 at 6 p.m. at Bridgestone Arena
Game 4: Sunday, May 23 at TBD at Bridgestone Arena
Game 5 (If necessary): Tuesday, May 25 at TBD at PNC Arena
Game 6 (If necessary): Thursday, May 27 at TBD at Bridgestone Arena
Game 7 (If necessary): Saturday, May 29 at TBD at PNC Arena

Bridgestone Arena Increases Capacity For Stanley Cup Playoffs

Photo: Courtesy of Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp

Bridgestone Arena will allow an increased capacity of 12,135 fans for the Nashville Predators Stanley Cup Playoff games.

The decision comes after Mayor John Cooper announced that all capacity limitations will be lifted on May 14. The increase in fans has been agreed among the Nashville Metro Public Health Department and the NHL.

“On the tail of the amazing stretch of hockey that secured our team’s spot in the 2021 Playoffs, this capacity increase will take what is already an amazing atmosphere to the next level as we continue our pursuit of the Stanley Cup,” says Nashville Predators President & CEO Sean Henry. “Since the very onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the Metro Public Health Department and the NHL have been instrumental throughout the process of gradually welcoming back our fans, and thanks to SMASHVILLE’s committed adherence to all health and safety protocols, we will continue increasing our capacity until we can once again come together with 17,159 of the best fans in sports for every single game.”

The NHL has allowed this capacity increase for hockey games based on a calibration of outside air flow requirements used uniformly throughout the league to determine venue capacities for the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs. To meet this requirement, Bridgestone Arena will supplement its existing HVAC system with three additional air conditioning units. While creating an air-flow environment approximate to that of the outdoors, the use of these added air conditioning units will also serve to maintain optimal ice quality conditions despite climbing temperatures and humidity levels.

While all upcoming hockey games will operate at a capacity of 12,135 people, future non-hockey events will be permitted to utilize Bridgestone Arena’s full capacity of 17,159. Such events include the Cinch World’s Toughest Rodeo on June 12, Alabama’s two concert shows on July 2 and 3, and the Luke Bryan concert on July 30.

Predators Foundation Awards SuperGrant to Home Street Home Ministries

The Nashville Predators Foundation and SmileDirectClub have awarded a SuperGrant of $37,000 to Home Street Home Ministries.

The Nashville-based, faith-based, non-profit was awarded the money during the Predators matchup against the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday, May 8.

“When considering the immense strain that the ongoing pandemic, tornadoes and flooding have placed on our city’s homeless population, we are especially excited to offer this SuperGrant to Home Street Home and contribute to their extensive work throughout the community,” says Nashville Predators Vice President of Community Relations Rebecca King. “As this is the final SuperGrant of the 2020-21 season, we look forward to continuing our partnership with SmileDirectClub and announcing additional recipients next year.”

Home Street Home Ministries’ goal is to support and uplift those who are trapped in the grip of homelessness and other vulnerable living conditions – regardless of age, race, gender, nationality or religious belief or affiliation. The money from the SuperGrant will help fund Home Street Home’s first transitional home, where they can support those in vulnerable living situations as they find jobs and, eventually, homes of their own.

“We are so honored and humbled to be partnering with the Predators Foundation and SmileDirectClub on our latest endeavor, ‘A Place Called Home,'” says Home Street Home Ministries Founder & Executive Director Steve Young. “APHC will not only be a transitional program to help our friends get off the streets but will also be transformational, changing lives in a profound way, and this wouldn’t be possible without their generosity. This grant will allow us to begin taking the necessary steps towards readying our flagship home for the first participants in this program. We couldn’t be more excited about the future and are looking forward to a long and fruitful relationship with our new partners as we begin our journey to forever change the face of homelessness in Nashville.”

Home Street Home aims to meet the basic needs of Nashville’s homeless community. Items provided include sleeping bags, food, clothing, water, hygiene products, footwear, camp stoves, heaters, propane and other necessities. Additionally, the nonprofit helps fill prescriptions, assists with medical situations when needed and rehab when desired, provides transportation and glasses, buys bus tickets and passes, helps with obtaining identification and much more. They also offer things that do not carry a price tag, possessing a strong desire to minister to non-physical needs by providing spiritual and emotional support.

Donations of any amount can be made at HomeStreetHomeTN.org/donate.

Sabertooth Sports & Entertainment Partner With F&M Bank

Bridgestone Arena. Photo: Courtesy of Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp

Sabertooth Sports & Entertainment LLC (SS&E) has a agreed to a multi-year naming rights agreement with F&M Bank in Clarksville, Tennessee.

SS&E, owned by the Nashville Predators, announced that they will operate and manage a new 250,000-square-foot facility in Clarksville. The soon-to-be-named venue will hold roughly 6,000 fans for concerts, 5,500 for basketball games, and 5,000 for hockey games.

“Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durrett had a very specific vision for the region, with the driving force for that being a dynamic event center right in the heart of Clarksville,” says Nashville Predators President and CEO Sean Henry. “City of Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts and Austin Peay State University Athletic Director Gerald Harrison jumped on board with their own visions for what the event center could do for their city and school, respectively. These three individuals and their passion put us on the right track to create something special.

“The one thing we were missing was a dynamic, community-minded business leader to fully bring that project to life, and you can’t ask for a more community-centric individual than F&M Bank President and CEO Sammy Stuard,” Henry conitnues. “The core values at F&M Bank align so well with what we will achieve with this event center. No matter what the last name of the center will be called – forum, stadium, coliseum, hippodrome or arena – it won’t matter, because the first portion being F&M Bank all but guarantees our success.”

The venue’s primary tenant will be Austin Peay State University, whose men’s and women’s basketball teams will call the facility home. In addition to the facility’s main, flexible event space – which will be able to host sporting events, concerts, banquets, conventions, trade shows and other events – the multi-level venue will feature a separate sheet of ice that will be used for youth and adult hockey leagues as well as figure skating. The main arena bowl will also be able to add an ice surface, giving it the ability to host hockey tournaments and attract larger on-ice events or competitions much like the existing Ford Ice Centers in Antioch and Bellevue. Using these ice sheets, the Predators will offer a variety of learn-to-skate programs at the facility, continuing their mission to expose and grow hockey to more Middle Tennessee residents.

“Over 30 years ago, F&M Bank leaders envisioned the potential growth of Clarksville, moving its corporate headquarters here, and in 2007, we built a 48,000-square-foot main office facility in the heart of Public Square. The Montgomery County Event Center will not only be a center for entertainment, but also a stimulus for continued economic growth and small business expansion,” says Stuard.

Ground broke on the facility in November 2020 and construction work continues at its downtown location of First Street and College Street, with the venue scheduled to open during the 2022-23 season under SS&E management. SS&E will be responsible for its overall day-to-day operations and will be charged with booking the facility.

The Nashville Predators Form Sabertooth Sports & Entertainment

Predators Holdings, LLC has formed Sabertooth Sports & Entertainment, LLC (SS&E), which will engage in operational and sales opportunities beyond Bridgestone Arena.

This new venture, which was announced on Thursday (April 28), will include project management, consulting, sales, marketing, event booking and production, ice rink operations, venue operations, special event creation, economic development, and all administrative support and other services related to sports, events, venues and entertainment.

“We have been working on the SS&E concept for quite some time,” says Sean Henry, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Nashville Predators. “Due in part to the success of the Predators, Bridgestone Arena and our Ford Ice Centers, we have garnered attention from others in the community asking us for assistance with sales, marketing and event operations. As we take this new step forward, we are pleased to not only help our partners, but to elevate our Middle Tennessee communities and accelerate economic development across our region.”

Current partnerships with the Predators including the Simmons Bank Open golf tournament, Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival, EAMOTION’s Jingle Beat, Music City Winterfest and CMA Fest will now be managed by SS&E.

The Preds already ventured out of Bridgestone Arena, most notably the Ford Ice Centers in Antioch and Bellevue which opened in 2014 and 2019 respectively. As the sport continues to grow in communities on Middle Tennessee, SS&E will further extend the impact of the Scott Hamilton Skating Academy (SHSA) and other programs that originated at the Ford Ice Centers.

One of the first examples of this extension of the impact of the Ford Ice Centers and SHSA is the soon-to-be-named Montgomery County Multi-Purpose Event Center, which is currently under construction in Clarksville, Tenn. Featuring two sheets of ice – one convertible to a full event venue with approximately 6,000 seats, suites and hospitality areas – the building is scheduled to open during the 2022-23 season under SS&E’s management. Serving as the home of Austin Peay State University’s men’s and women’s basketball teams, the venue will host a variety of events covering the full entertainment spectrum. Just as the Ford Ice Centers have done for Antioch and Bellevue, the completion of this project will also provide significant economic impact to Montgomery County.

NHL Announces A Broadcasting Rights Deal With Turner Sports

The Nashville Predators celebrate an overtime win against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game Three of the Western Conference First Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena on April 17, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)

Turner Sports has announced it has reached a seven-year deal becoming the new home for NHL games starting in the 2021-22 season.

The historic partnership was announced by Jeff Zucker, Chairman, WarnerMedia News & Sports, and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. The deal will bring 72 regular season games, the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Stanley Cup Finals and the Winter Classic to TBS and TNT for the first time ever.

“This agreement with the National Hockey League brings one of the most prestigious championships in sports to TNT and fuels our entire Turner Sports and Bleacher Report portfolio with even more premium content for many years to come,” says Zucker. “We’re delighted to spotlight the world’s best hockey league on our leading networks, while continuing to further elevate this marquee property through an ever-expanding array of digital platforms in the years to come.”

ESPN and the NHL also reached a deal where they would broadcast regulars season games and Stanley Cup coverage. These new agreements comes after the NHL and NBC Sports announced that they would be parting ways after this season.

“Turner Sports is known for its outstanding sports coverage, quality and innovation and we are thrilled that this new partnership will provide our fans with the content they love on the platforms and devices of their choice,” says Bettman. “TNT is a proven and acclaimed destination for sports fans and we will also benefit from the deep connection Bleacher Report has with young digital-savvy fans. Having WarnerMedia join the NHL family as co-rightsholders for the next seven years gives us incredible reach, positions us well for the future as the media landscape continues to evolve, and will fuel continued growth for the NHL and our Clubs.”

The partnership will allow fans to stream live NHL games on HBO Max. Bleacher Report will also offer extensive and exclusive NHL content

Bridgestone Arena Nominated For Arena Of The Decade

Bridgestone Arena

Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena has been nominated for Arena of the Decade by Pollstar Magazine.

As a one of the top destination for sports and entertainment fans of all kinds, Bridgestone Arena has been nominated for Pollstar’s Arena of the Year award 16 times, with 13 consecutive nominations from 2007 to 2019 and wins in 2014 and 2017.

Nashville Predators and Bridgestone Arena EVP of Entertainment & Venues David Kells was also named Pollstar’s Venue Executive of the Year in 2017, having been nominated on six prior occasions.

“Over the past 10 years and beyond, it has been truly remarkable to witness the positive impact that Bridgestone Arena’s growth and success have had on Downtown Nashville and the Middle Tennessee community,” says Kells. “Our organization is honored to receive Pollstar’s Arena of the Decade nomination, and we would not be in contention for this prestigious award without the endless support of millions of fans and the tireless efforts of countless artists, managers, agents, promoters, entertainment industry professionals, partners and local government officials among many others. As we reflect on a decade’s worth of amazing memories made at Bridgestone Arena, we also look forward to hosting sold-out crowds and events again very soon as a result of increasing COVID-19 vaccine distribution and continued adherence to all health and safety protocols.”

After opening in 1996 as Nashville Arena, Bridgestone Arena has had the distinction of being one of the busiest venues in the United States, hosting more than 25.6 million guests throughout its existence. In its 2020 Year-End Ticket Sales report, Pollstar listed Bridgestone Arena as 7th in the United States and 16th in the world for ticket sales, inclusive solely of show and concert tickets. In 2017, with Pollstar’s ranking of 4th in the U.S. and 12th in the world, Bridgestone Arena earned its highest domestic finishing position and tied its 2015 global ranking.

Bridgestone Arena has hosted events from the CMA Awards, the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament, The 2016 NHL All-Star Game, the Stanley Cup Finals in 2017 as well as Professional Bull Riding and UFC.

Voting for the 2021 Pollstar Awards is open now through May 14 to magazine subscribers, and the winner will be announced at the 32nd Annual Pollstar Awards on June 16.