Nashville, Tenn. – The National Hockey League announced that the Nashville Predators and Bridgestone Arena have been selected to host the 2016 NHL All-Star Game. The League’s multi-day mid-season showcase also includes a skills competition and a fan fair.
“Bringing this event to Nashville has been among our very top priorities for some time,” Nashville Predators Chairman and Governor Tom Cigarran said. “We are delighted for our fans, the Nashville community and for the members of the hockey community across North America and the world who will get to see what an exciting place Nashville is to visit.”
The All-Star Weekend, slated for Saturday, Jan. 30 and Sunday, Jan. 31, will be hosted by Nashville for the first time, marking the fourth consecutive first-time All-Star host city. Hosting an All-Star Game has been on the Predators radar since hosting the successful 2003 Entry Draft that saw more than 13,000 fans in attendance to the tune of $10 million in visitor spending. Since 2010, Nashville has been booming with growth, highlighted by the new Music City Center, countless new downtown hotels and many new restaurants and entertainment venues. The combination of all these things have made Nashville a desirable city for the League to showcase one of their premiere events.
The 2016 All-Star Game in Nashville will be just the sixth time the event has traveled to the Southern United States, and the first time since 2011. Past All-Star events in markets similar in size and location to Nashville have reported more than 10,500 hotel room nights booked, $11.4 million in direct visitor spending and 685,000 domestic and international media impressions, a $49 million media value.
Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, who has been at the forefront of the revitalization of Nashville’s SoBro area, including prioritizing the building of the new Music City Center, has been instrumental in supporting the Predators bid to host the All-Star Game.
“Hosting the 2016 NHL All-Star Game is a huge win for Nashville,” Mayor Karl Dean said. “We have hosted big sporting events like this, and we know it benefits our city in many ways, particularly our downtown and hospitality businesses. I look forward to showcasing the enthusiastic base of hockey supporters in our region and all that Music City has to offer.”
The Predators have been the primary tenant of Bridgestone Arena since 1998 – just two years after the venue opened its doors for its first concert. The Arena continues to make improvements to stay at the forefront of the industry and to continue to improve patron’s experiences in the building. In the last year, renovations have included opening the new Nissan SoBro entrance at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Demonbreun, a new HVAC system, new carpet on several levels, installation of exterior LED boards, several new themed bars and concessions stands throughout the concourse and the opening of Tavern ’96, Bridgestone Arena’s first full-time restaurant that features 16 draft beer options and more than 45 bottled varieties. One of the Arena’s biggest projects of the year, the Lexus Lounge, a new all-inclusive luxury club experience on the Performer’s Level, officially opened its doors at the start of the 2014-15 NHL season.
Regularly recognized for excellence in the entertainment industry, Bridgestone Arena received recognition as the Academy of Country Music’s 2013 Large Venue of the Year, was nominated for Pollstar’s 2013 Arena of the Year Award and ranked sixth in U.S. Ticket Sales in 2013.
The list of acts that call Bridgestone Arena home is lengthy and includes the CMA Awards, the CMT Awards, Keith Urban’s “We’re All For the Hall” benefit concerts and Disney On Ice.
In addition to hosting countless musical and artistic guests, Bridgestone Arena has also played host to nationally recognized sporting events as the site of both men’s and women’s Southeastern Conference basketball championships and both men’s (2000, 2002, 2005 and 2012) and women’s NCAA Basketball Tournament rounds, most recently hosting the 2013 SEC Men’s Basketball Championship and the 2014 NCAA Women’s Final Four. In October 2013, the SEC and the Nashville Sports Council announced a historical deal to make Nashville and Bridgestone Arena the home of 12 consecutive SEC Basketball Championships. The SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament will be hosted nine times (2015-17, 2019-21, 2023-25) and the SEC Women’s Basketball will be hosted three times (2018, 2022 and 2026).
The 61st NHL All-Star festivities will include many additional hockey-themed events and activities in addition to the Skills Competition and All-Star Game. Additional details and information regarding tickets to the event will be available at a later date at www.nashvillepredators.com.