Bridgestone Arena Exterior, Home of the Nashville Predators

Our staff’s trip to Bridgestone Arena, home of the NHL’s Nashville Predators, was kind of last minute. It was a weeknight and the Predators were hosting the Anaheim Ducks, two great teams but not what anyone would call a heated rivalry. Nashville, Tennessee has become a destination city being that it’s the country music capital of the world and the home to many celebrities. It was our second trip to the city, the first trip was to see Nissan Stadium, home of the Tennessee Titans. (See our Nissan Stadium Review at the bottom of the page). 

Exterior View of Bridgestone Arena, Home of the Nashville Predators

Bridgestone Arena is centrally located in downtown Nashville, literally right off of Broadway; the epicenter of the city’s night life. It is one of the newer NHL arenas out there and also hosts the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament every March. Finding parking was our first concern of the evening since we had never been to a Predators game before. If you’re on Interstate 40-West, take the Broadway exit and turn right. About a mile down on your right is the Union Station hotel and Flying Saucer restaurant where fans can park for $5. That is if you don’t mind walking three or four blocks. You’ll park in the back down next to the train tracks; there will be a gentleman taking cash and directing you. If you prefer to park just outside of the arena, you’ll want to take the Demonbreun Street exit and park in the Hilton hotel parking garage which is underground. Normally, parking rates are $15, I believe the rate is $20 for Predators games.

Broadway Bars in downtown Nashville, Tennessee.

There are literally too many bars and restaurants to eat at near the arena. I couldn’t recommend enough of them. My suggestion would be to get downtown by 4:30pm for a 7pm game and walk down Broadway until you find a bar or restaurant that appeals to you. My favorites are The Southern, Tin Roof, Hard Rock Café, Bailey’s, Joe’s Crab Shack and Rockbottom Brewery. Beware though, this street stays crowded, as do the establishments and you should make reservations wherever possible. If Broadway is too crowded, venture over to 2nd Avenue, an adjacent street, that has a Hooter’s, Dick’s Last Resort, BB King’s Jazz Club and much more.

 Interior photo of Tavern 96 at Bridgestone Arena.

At the arena, you'll find Tavern 96 near the Nissan SoBro Entrance which has it's own patio and has a beautiful setup. They're open during the day for lunch as well as post game. Here is a preview of their Menu. Tavern 96 would be the ideal bar to watch a game at if you just want to take in the atmosphere but don't have a ticket to the game. If you do choose to try any of the arena’s concession food, make sure you try the grilled cheese stand outside of section 103 next to the exit doors. They have some of the neatest varieties of grilled cheese sandwiches you'll ever see. If you do want the typical stadium food such as hot dogs and nachos, we sampled those and they’re excellent and reasonably priced. 

View from center Ice at Bridgestone Arena, home of the Nashville Predators.

Walking into the stadium, you’ll notice all of the lights that make the downtown skyline shine and glisten. The arena is no different. Free game programs are given inside the main entrance; a trend we’re starting to see more and more throughout Major League sports. The concourses are extremely clean and spacious. The wait for food lines and restrooms is almost zero. This is one of the most accommodating and well thought out venues in America. On Thursday nights through the end of the first period, all domestic beers (Coors Light, Miller Lite) are $4 at Bridgestone Arena. $4 for a beer is cheap in NHL arenas where hockey and beer seem to go hand in hand. Craft beers like Yuengling and Hap & Harry’s are also available. You’ll see many fans carrying around the “tall boy” beer cans which are $10.

Our seats were in section 102, row B. About 12 rows from the ice. We were able to purchase them for $120 which we found to be a great bargain compared to similar seats in other NHL arenas. Every row has an excellent incline and as opposing NHL players have previously stated – “It feels like the fans are right on top of you at Bridgestone Arena”. The fans in our section were excellent, very friendly and Nashville residents are quickly learning the game of hockey. They have a number of chants that I’ve never heard and have a weird fan tradition known as “Fang Fingers”, which you'll see when the team begins a Power Play. Free t-shirts celebrating breast cancer awareness month were placed on our seats. The seats are all dark blue in color and offer very little leg or arm space. If you’re over 6’3 in height, get ready to be uncomfortable. Row B also provides fans with quick access to the restrooms and concessions.

Krazy Kyle, Nashville Predators Organist at Bridgestone Arena

Photo SourceReddit.com

The scoreboard is somewhat small for such a new scoreboard. It is four sided with smaller screens above. Just outside of our section was the Fox Sports booth where you’ll find Pete Weber and Willy Daunic providing commentary for the Nashville Predators fans watching the game at home. I saw both of them conversing with Predators fans in the concourse while the game was going on.

 

Across the arena behind sections 110 and 111 is a small stage where a band will perform during intermissions. I don’t recall the name of the band but they were quality and played a Caribbean genre of music. Other than that, there really isn’t any ties to country music in the building aside from the country music artists you may see in attendance or the Tim Mcgraw song that plays when the Predators score a goal. The Predators have their own organ player who everyone calls "Krazy Kyle" and he has his own booth in one of the end zones. He was consistently shown on the scoreboards throughout the entire game. 

View of the ice from the upper level at Bridgestone Arena during a Nashville Predators game

Bridgestone Arena may not get the hype and press that Madison Square Garden, the Staples Center and United Center get. However, there are so many attractions that should tempt you to visit the music city along with a Predators game; the Grand Ole Opry, the Tennessee Titans, the Ryman Auditorium, Vanderbilt Athletics, the Opryland Hotel or maybe the Country Music Hall of Fame. I know we can’t wait to go back!

  

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