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Bridgestone Arena: 15 Years In 15 Days -- 1999

Saturday, 12.3.2011 / 4:24 AM CT / Nashville Predators
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Bridgestone Arena: 15 Years In 15 Days -- 1999
This is the third installment of a 15-day series that will celebrate Bridgestone Arena’s 15th anniversary on Dec. 17, 2011.

15 Years: Giving Nashville A National Identity

Today we look at how Bridgestone Arena served as a catalyst to make Nashville a highly respected sports town that can now compete with any North American city. The arena’s driving force has been the Predators, who dozens of times each year demonstrate Bridgestone Arena’s ability to showcase a major sports franchise. The building has also been able to draw big-time college basketball events, preseason NBA games, and national championships in Olympic sports. Those events are often broadcast on national television, allowing Nashville to show all it has to offer.


Scott Ramsey (Nashville Sports Council) The Year In Review Did You Know In Their Own Words

Scott Ramsey, Nashville Sports Council
Scott Ramsey is the President and CEO of the Nashville Sports Council.


1999 Year-In-Review at Bridgestone Arena

THE CIRCUS IS COMING TO TOWN (AND IT ISN’T RINGLING BROS.)
On a January evening in 1999, Bridgestone Arena was transformed from a mild-mannered Southern sports and entertainment venue into something slightly more diabolical. With KISS touring the world promoting their latest album, they made a stop in Nashville and turned the arena into their own dark spectacle. “The Psycho Circus Tour” was the first of its kind: 3-D. In addition to the customary stage makeup and unique costuming, the “Psycho Circus Tour” featured a myriad of visual delights, 3-D effects and an extensive demonstration of pyrotechnics. It’s safe to say that the 12,000 people in attendance at that evening’s event hadn’t seen anything like it before and might not have seen anything like it since.


Kiss rocked out on the arena stage in January 1999


NSYNC packed Bridgestone Arena during the spring of '99
BEFORE THERE WAS BIEBER FEVER…
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, you had to be living under a rock if you hadn’t heard of the ‘boy band’ phenomena. For many teenage girls during that time period, there was only one question that needed to be asked in order for a friendship to solidify or dissolve. That penultimate question was none other than: “Backstreet Boys or NSYNC?” In March of 1999, NSYNC devotees came out victorious when Justin Timberlake and the boys made a Nashville stop on their North American “NSYNC in Concert” tour. Fans across the continent came out in droves as the tour was nominated for "Best New Artist Tour" by Pollstar Concert Industry Awards. It also became one of the biggest tours in 1999, earning more than $50 million dollars in revenue.
NEW YEAR’S EVE IN NASHVILLE WAS A BLAST
On New Year's Eve 1999, country music superstar Tim McGraw hosted his Annual New Year's Eve Blast live from Bridgestone Arena. It was the fourth and final time McGraw hosted the show at the arena and he co-headlined the event with his wife and fellow country music superstar Faith Hill. Hill performed a full-length set for the audience and joined her husband onstage for the ball drop. Additional guests that night included Jessica Andrews and The Clark Family Experience. This final New Year’s Blast was featured on telecasts across the country, with McGraw, Hill and friends helping ring in the new millennium live from the Music City.

Downtown rang in the New Year with Tim McGraw
David Legwand is the only player to skate for the Preds in every season of the franchise's existence. 
THE END OF THE SEASON BUT THE START OF AN ERA
Though the Predators fell to the New Jersey Devils by a 4-1 score in the final game of their inaugural season on April 17, 1999, the game marked the beginning of era as an 18-year-old David Legwand – Nashville's first-ever draft selection – made his NHL debut in front of a sold-out crowd of 17,298. Fresh off an 80-point season with the Ontario Hockey League’s Plymouth Whalers, the Detroit native signed with Nashville on April 16, then logged 12:50 the following evening in his first big league contest. Since then, Legwand has become the franchise’s all-time leader in – among other categories – points, goals, assists and game-winning goals. Legwand is also poised to become the first player to don the Pred Head for 800 games during the 2011 Holiday Season.
THE MUSIC CITY AWARDS
In the summer of 1999, Bridgestone Arena hosted the 33rd Annual TNN Music City Awards. With his self-proclaimed redneck repertoire, Southern comedian Jeff Foxworthy hosted the event, which featured performances by Faith Hill, Vince Gill, Alan Jackson and Sawyer Brown. Country music power couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill were big winners on the night, taking home awards in six categories. Neal McCoy won the top fan-voted award, Entertainer of the Year, for the second year in a row, with fans selecting him over Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, George Strait and Shania Twain. The Dixie Chicks were named best vocal band and Female Star of Tomorrow. Brooks and Dunn took home their fourth trophy for best vocal duo, and Michael Peterson was named Male Star of Tomorrow.

Country Music's royalty flocked to Bridgestone Arena for the 1999 TNN Music City Awards Show.

Did You Know:

  • The Nashville Sports Council hosted the 2001, 2006 and 2010 SEC Men’s Basketball Tournaments at Bridgestone Arena. The three events produced nearly $41 million in cumulative economic impact for Nashville and millions of national television viewers.
  • The 2010 SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament at Bridgestone Arena delivered an $18.4 million economic impact and the overall tournament attendance was 191,852.
  • Bridgestone Arena has hosted 19 major award shows including the CMA Music Awards, CMT Award Show and Dove Awards.

In Their Own Words:

"Downtown Nashville has reinvented itself over the years, and I believe the arena was the catalyst for this particular phase of growth. It’s been an exciting time to be downtown. In 1998, there were parking lots surrounding the arena. Parking was never an issue. Soon though, the sounds and rumblings of dynamite started and haven’t really stopped. First, the SunTrust building next to the Ryman went up. I couldn’t understand how the stained glass windows stayed put with all the blasting going on. Next, the Hilton Hotel and Country Music Hall of Fame materialized, and currently the City Center is emerging. When a 1,000,000 square-foot arena shakes, your eyes tend to open just a little more widely.”
   --Original Bridgestone Arena Employee, Susan Charnley, Director of Payroll for Nashville Predators/Bridgestone Arena

SMASHVILLE CENTRAL

SCHEDULE
 

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS
 

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 CHI 55 35 16 4 153 127 74
2 DAL 52 33 14 5 169 137 71
3 STL 54 29 17 8 128 128 66
4 LAK 51 31 17 3 135 117 65
5 SJS 50 27 19 4 145 132 58
6 COL 54 27 23 4 146 148 58
7 ANA 50 25 18 7 111 115 57
8 NSH 52 24 20 8 130 137 56
9 MIN 51 23 19 9 126 122 55
10 ARI 52 24 22 6 138 161 54
11 VAN 51 20 19 12 119 138 52
12 CGY 50 22 25 3 130 147 47
13 WPG 51 22 26 3 132 148 47
14 EDM 52 21 26 5 130 151 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Josi 52 10 27 -4 37
S. Weber 52 13 20 -6 33
J. Neal 52 18 13 16 31
M. Ribeiro 52 6 25 1 31
F. Forsberg 52 14 16 -9 30
M. Ekholm 52 6 16 1 22
R. Ellis 51 6 15 0 21
C. Smith 52 11 6 -1 17
C. Wilson 36 4 12 0 16
C. Jarnkrok 51 8 7 -3 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 19 17 7 .903 2.51
C. Hutton 5 2 1 .916 2.36