10th: Franchise Awarded
On May 4, 1998 -- in a city where honkytonks surely outnumbered sports bars -- Nashville, Tennessee officially became the home to the National Hockey League’s newest expansion team.
For former Nashville Predators owner Craig Leipold, bringing the NHL’s 27th franchise to Nashville was a no-brainer. At the time, Nashville was one of the fastest growing markets in the United States and, with the addition of the Nashville Arena, seemed like the perfect home for a professional hockey team.
With Leipold’s vision, dedication, and enthusiasm, Nashville welcomed their new team, and the Predators became the first expansion team in history to sell 12,000 season tickets six months before they even played a single game.
Since arriving in Nashville, the Predators have enjoyed 10 successful years, growing as a franchise and continuing to gain more recognition as a young, dynamic hockey club. With a strong organization behind them and a passionate fan base supporting them, the Predators hope to spend many more seasons in Music City, lighting the lamp and going for the goal.