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Nashville Is Becoming A Hockey City

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Gone are the days of ownership mayhem—remember the ill-fated Boots Del Biaggio era? Or the shameful fire sale held by former owner Craig Leipold before he took over as owner of the Minnesota Wild? Or the days when Gnash the mascot chained himself to the television tower perched on top of the team’s home rink in downtown Nashville until the team sold out some home games down the stretch before being chased down by a tornado?—and in their place are days of unprecedented stability in Nashville.

The Predators have sold out 17 games this season and have already sold out the last three Saturday games of the season. The team’s all-time sellout record is 20.

Last season, the Predators saw their revenues increase between 25 and 30 percent, and their television ratings have gone up 50 percent over a year ago and are continuing to grow.

Ever so slowly, the Predators are moving towards that magical moment when the buzz surrounding the team creates a demand for tickets that outstrips actual seats in the house.

“I believe nothing happens [with a franchise] until the building’s filled,” CEO and alternate governor Jeff Cogen told ESPN.com recently. Sponsorship numbers continue to grow as the fan interest has grown. Bridgestone, with almost three years left on their naming deal with the team, extended for another five years with an option after that.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

bezukov's avatar

My biggest regret in life is that I only have two thumbs down to give the Nashville Predators.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 03/01/12 at 03:48 PM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

Maybe they will stop getting handouts from the league, have they hit the magic number of butts in seats to even keep the revenue sharing $$$?

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 03/01/12 at 03:59 PM ET

Nate A's avatar

I’m not convinced yet, but I hope they do reach that point.

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 03/01/12 at 04:20 PM ET

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

“My biggest regret in life is that I only have two thumbs down to give the Nashville Predators”

You can borrow mine.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 03/01/12 at 04:44 PM ET

SYF's avatar

“My biggest regret in life is that I only have two thumbs down to give the Nashville Predators”

You can borrow mine.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from COLUMBIA, TENNESSEE on 03/01/12 at 01:44 PM ET

I’m renting out mine for a pint of Guinness.  That’s all.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 03/01/12 at 04:49 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Last season, for instance, the team identified 15 of their 41 home dates, many of which included Saturdays, and focused their marketing attentions on selling out those games (which they did plus one other). Now the team has taken Saturdays off as single-game ticket options and are using them to leverage more multiple game sales, so fans wanting some of the remaining tickets for peak games have to buy three other games.

I read that as “Premium Pricing Plans.”  Or in the eyes of the jaundiced, “Price-gouging the visitor’s fans over and above the standard pricing for most other games.”  If you’re a Wings, Pens, Rangers, Caps, Cawks, et al. fan and you want to see your team at the SoGay…er, Bridgestone…Arena, be prepared to pay double for you tix.  Yeah, I’m that pissed off.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 03/01/12 at 05:13 PM ET

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

“If you’re a Wings, Pens, Rangers, Caps, Cawks, et al. fan and you want to see your team at the SoGay…er, Bridgestone…Arena, be prepared to pay double for you tix.  Yeah, I’m that pissed off.”

And if you pay close enough attention to Nashville’s home schedule, most of their home games are against teams that played/travelled the night before. It has been that way for years. I’m not trying to make excuses for the other teams, but it just seems a little too convenient.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 03/01/12 at 07:02 PM ET

Avatar

Hey Scott Burnside…piss off.

Posted by godblender on 03/01/12 at 07:08 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

I’m renting out mine for a pint of Guinness.  That’s all.

Posted by SYF from a “Bron-Y-Aur Stomp” on 03/01/12 at 01:49 PM ET

You got yourself a goddammed deal.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 03/01/12 at 07:20 PM ET

w2j2's avatar

The Predators are a very good team with a strong organization, from owners to GM to coach & players.  Good for them, and good for their fans in Nashville. Y’all make some good Whiskey down there!

Posted by w2j2 on 03/01/12 at 11:38 PM ET

Avatar

It is not possible Nashville could support hockey. It is a lie, everyone knows it is a dumb sunbelt city where hockey will NEVER work! They make up the attendance figures, give away the seats and photoshop pictures to make it look full. This is a Bettman publicity piece to turn his failures into successes. Next thing you know they will say Tennessee sided with the North in the Civil War.

Posted by timbits on 03/02/12 at 02:04 AM ET

SYF's avatar

You got yourself a goddammed deal.

Posted by bezukov from South of Detroit on 03/01/12 at 04:20 PM ET

I’m such a gluttonous whore for Guinness…

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 03/02/12 at 02:17 AM ET

Avatar

Curious as to how many of you people making comments have been to a Predators game or to Nashville at all for that fact.  As a season ticket holder, i have seen the Predators consistnently grow over e past 5 years.  Bridgestone is packed night after night and opposing teams always comment on how loud the arena is and how passioante the fan base is. 

Nashville has proven that they can be a hockey town by consistent sell outs. 

Yes we are a relativley new time to the NHL but that in no ways means that the Nashville Predators are not an outstanding team.  We had 2 players, a coach, and GM up for awards last year.  Not many teams can say that.  We had 3 players on the All Star Team (and Pekka Rinne deserved to be there as well). 

Get over your hockey narrow mindedness and realize not all teams have to be in Canada or Northern US.

Posted by Lisa from Nashville on 03/02/12 at 11:34 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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