Following Mayor John Cooper’s April 27 announcement that COVID-19 capacity limitations in Nashville have been lifted as of May 14, the Nashville Predators, Nashville Metro Public Health Department and National Hockey League have reached an agreement that will allow for a 12,135-person crowd inside Bridgestone Arena for home games played during the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Additionally, in accordance with the city’s updated guidelines, future non-hockey events will be permitted to operate at full capacity.
“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,” Nashville Predators President/CEO Sean Henry said. “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.”
Having defeated the Carolina Hurricanes on May 8 to clinch the fourth and final Central Division berth in this year’s Playoffs, the Nashville Predators will face the Canes in a best-of-seven Round 1 series, and all home games will see approximately 70% of Bridgestone Arena’s seats filled. Additional playoff details, including a full first-round schedule, ticket information and more, will be made available this week.
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.
In addition to this capacity announcement, it was also announced that Bridgestone Arena has been awarded the WELL Health-Safety Rating for Facility Operations and Management by the International WELL Building Institute. This rating is an evidence-based, third-party verified rating for all new and existing buildings and facility types focusing on operational policies, maintenance protocols, occupant engagement and emergency plans. Although the rating was informed by the COVID-19 pandemic, it also has broader applicability for supporting long-term health and safety needs.
In receiving this WELL Health-Safety Rating, Bridgestone Arena further reinforces the successful implementation of its current health and safety protocols, which are anchored by the extensive Smashville Safe guidelines and the Tennessee Venue Pledge.