Bridgestone Americas, Inc. (Bridgestone) and the Nashville Predators jointly celebrated the beginning of a new hockey season by announcing an extension to their naming rights agreement for Bridgestone Arena through 2030. The agreement adds five more years to the successful partnership that began in March 2010 between the world’s largest tire and rubber company and downtown Nashville’s award-winning sports and entertainment venue.
The announcement comes less than two years after the deal’s previous extension, which was finalized in December 2017 to carry the successful partnership through 2025. Bridgestone revealed that previous extension in conjunction with the grand opening of Bridgestone Tower, its new Americas headquarters that is located across the street from the arena that bears its name.
“Our partnership with Nashville Predators and our association with this world-class arena continue to be great sources of pride and positive exposure for the Bridgestone brand,” said Gordon Knapp, CEO/president, Bridgestone Americas. “Extending our relationship for the next eleven years represents the longest sports partnership commitment in our company’s history, which is a reflection of our belief in the Middle Tennessee community and the incredible vision of our hometown hockey franchise.”
Bridgestone and the Predators celebrated the new extension as part of the team’s annual season-opening Preds Fest at the arena. The announcement was punctuated by the official unveiling of the arena’s new scoreboard, FangVision—a massive, state-of-the-art video centerpiece that will hang above the Predators’ home ice. Complete with four illuminated fangs on its corners and 4.2 million LED pixels, the structure has nearly 300% more primary board size than its predecessor. While the new scoreboard was operational during the preseason, Preds Fest marked the first full-scale reveal of its capabilities.
“Bridgestone Americas has been a driving force behind the Nashville Predators and Bridgestone Arena from the moment they helped save and stabilize the team for all of Smashville over 10 years ago,” said Sean Henry, president/CEO of the Nashville Predators. “They believed in our city and the impact a thriving team could have upon it, and by aligning their brand with ours gave us a foundation from which we could successfully build. Our year over year growth on virtually every front and our current upward trajectory we enjoy is directly linked to their renewed faith in what we can achieve together. It is no coincidence that our alignment with Bridgestone has driven us to become one of the busiest venues in North America centered on a perennial Stanley Cup contending Nashville Predators team. With downtown Nashville being each of our forever homes, it is natural for our partnership to continue that long as well.”
In its nine years as Bridgestone Arena, the venue has firmly established itself as a local landmark and the anchor of Nashville’s Lower Broadway, one of North America’s most popular tourist destinations. The arena continues to break attendance records while annually hosting more than one million people, and its ability to deliver a world-renowned fan experience has garnered recognition across the industry. Recent highlights include:
- Named Arena of the Year by the International Entertainment Buyers Association for 2010, 2015 and 2017, and is a finalist for the award again for 2018;
- Named a finalist for Pollstar’s Arena of the Year award for 11 consecutive years, winning the honor in 2014 and 2017;
- Have hosted 153 consecutive sold-out Nashville Predators’ games, including three in the 2017 Stanley Cup Final;
- Ranked fourth in the U.S. and 15th in the world for concert ticket sales in 2018 according to Pollstar;
- Announced as home to the SEC Men’s or Women’s Basketball Tournament each year through 2035 while also continuing to host to the annual Country Music Association (CMA) Awards and Country Music Television (CMT) Awards.
These accomplishments reflect Bridgestone Arena’s continued focus on one primary mission, which is to be the No. 1 sports and entertainment venue in North America with a Stanley Cup Champion Nashville Predators franchise as its centerpiece.