Nashville's cultural and entertainment offerings play a key role in the economic vitality of our city and region and help create an environment that attracts residents, workers and businesses.
The Nashville Predators and Bridgestone Arena generate a combined annual economic impact of approximately $410 million, according to a new report
issued by Predators management.
We know that a healthy urban core is one of the key factors that contributes to a city's quality of life. When Bridgestone Arena opened in December 1996, it became the catalyst for the revitalization of downtown Nashville as a vibrant, thriving city center. The arena was closely followed by the opening of other world-class downtown landmarks such as the library, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. Today, Bridgestone Arena has welcomed more than 18 million guests.
At the end of their 2006-2007 season, then-owner Craig Leipold announced his intention to sell the Nashville Predators. Recognizing that the sale created the potential for the team to leave town, the Chamber and a group of other community stakeholders formed the Our Team initiative, which was dedicated to keeping the team right here in Nashville.
The Chamber committed to helping this initiative succeed because we saw the intrinsic value of keeping the Predators in town. We also recognized that losing a professional sports franchise would negatively affect Middle Tennessee's image as a place where people want to live, work and visit. According to the new economic impact study, the loss of the team would also have resulted in a cumulative cost of $28 million to the public sector.
With a committed local ownership group and a passionate fan base, the Predators have a record number of sold-out games and an average of 97.3 percent arena capacity per home game this season. Their on-ice performance is just as impressive, as the Predators have secured a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the seventh time in the past eight seasons. The team is only one of two in the NHL to post at least 40 wins in seven consecutive seasons.
At the Chamber, we continue to support community assets and economic drivers such as the Predators and Bridgestone Arena because of the important role they play in the growth and quality of life in our community, region and state.