Bridgestone Arena HistoryBridgestone Arena opened in December 1996 and has hosted more than 12 million guests. It has become Nashville’s No. 1 venue for large-scale musical productions, as well as one of the nation’s most highly-acclaimed entertainment and sports venues. Seating capacity is approximately 20,000 for concerts, 19,395 for basketball and 17,113 for Nashville Predators games.
Formerly known as the Nashville Arena, the Gaylord Entertainment Center, and the Sommet Center, the building became Bridgestone Arena on March 2, 2010 after Bridgestone Americas entered into a multi-year naming-rights partnership with the Predators and Powers Management. Nashville, Tenn.-based Bridgestone Americas, Inc. (BSAM) is the U.S. subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation, the world’s largest tire and rubber company.
A new state-of-the-art integrated scoring and video display system using the latest in sports videoboard technology was installed in the building in August 2007, just prior to the 2007-08 NHL season. Designed and constructed by ANC Sports in New York, the board is 100 percent LED-based and runs on a digital operating system, which also required a new control room to be build near the entrance tunnel to the arena bowl. The renovations were part of a more than $4 million facelift to Bridgestone Arena during the summer of 2007.
The entrance to Bridgestone Arena is positioned on the corner of Broadway and Fifth Avenue facing the Ryman Auditorium, the original home of the Grand Ole Opry. The architects designed this as a tribute to Nashville’s music roots.
The development of the arena exemplifies the city’s changing persona and has been a catalyst for other projects in the surrounding area including the Country Music Hall of Fame, the downtown public library, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts and the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. A number of downtown living options – including several new luxury condominiums – continue to spring up in close proximity to Bridgestone Arena.
Initiated by Nashville Mayor Phil Bredesen and approved by the Metro/Davidson County Council in 1993, Bridgestone Arena uniquely embraces Nashville’s heritage as “Music City, U.S.A.” For the event planner, the spectator, the athlete and the performer, the arena is equipped to deliver the latest in high-quality, “user-friendly” features. A soundstage-quality rehearsal hall is a part of the facility, making the arena a perfect site for concert performers.
In addition to serving as the home of the Nashville Predators, Bridgestone Arena has hosted a wide variety of sporting events including the U.S. National Figure Skating Championship (1997), the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament (2000, 2003 & 2005), the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament (2001, 2006 & 2010), the SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament (2002, 2004 & 2008) and the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.
Community events have included the annual Mayor’s First Day Festival and the Country Freedom Concert benefiting the Salvation Army Disaster Relief Fund. The venue also hosted the 2006 and 2007 CMA Awards shows, which were broadcasted live to national audiences on network television.
Featured performers at Bridgestone Arena have included Beyonce, Garth Brooks, Justin Timberlake, Elton John, Billy Joel, Metallica, Pavarotti, Cher, Toby Keith, Simon & Garfunkel, Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, Neil Diamond, Tina Turner, Alan Jackson, the Dixie Chicks, Kenny Chesney as well as Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.
BRIDGESTONE ARENA QUICK FACTS:
|Arena Quick Facts|
PHONE: (615) 770-2000
- Nominated for the 2007 Pollstar Concert Industry Venue of the Year award.
- Features a 22-story tower that (in its base) houses the Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau Visitors’ Center, the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, XM Radio studio/channel and a 70-seat theater.
- The Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) operates a state-of-the-art Visitor Information Center in the glass tower of Bridgestone Arena. The staffed center, which welcomes more than half a million visitors a year, is open seven days a week, with extended hours in the summer and during Bridgestone Arena events. In addition to literature, maps, discount coupons and general information, the center features exhibits, children’s programming ideas, an on-line information station and a great selection of Nashville merchandise. For more information, visit www.nashvillecvb.com.
- The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame Museum is a 7,200-sq.-ft. facility located on the main level of Bridgestone Arena. The Museum features interactive games and displays such as a Nashville Predators showcase, a virtual reality one-on-one basketball game, a strength training apparatus used by Olympic swimmers, college football and basketball exhibits, NASCAR video games, two 30-seat theaters with sports videos and more.
- The 260-seat, 7,000-sq.-ft. Suite Level Club is located on the lower suite level and is accessible from Fifth Avenue. A central kitchen and full catering facility serves the club as well as the suites and club seats. The fine-dining experience is open before and after games and hosts a number of banquets and receptions. To make reservations, call (615) 770-2477.
- The 225-seat DEX All-Inclusive Zone is at the south end of Bridgestone Arena overlooking the ice. In addition, the club-level bar and grill on the building’s west side has been upgraded to feature cafe-style tables and seating.
- New for the 2008-09 season, the FSN Zone located just off the main concourse is a permanent sports bar with an area capable of hosting Predators post-game shows and other sports programming. The FSN Zone features tabletop seating and flat-screen high-definition televisions.
- A 13,500-square-foot rehearsal hall is connected to Bridgestone Arena. The space, used by a number of touring acts, is available for rent.
- The Predators Pro Shop is located in the main lobby and is accessible from the entrance at Fifth and Broadway. For store hours and information, please call (615) 770-2434.
- Bridgestone Arena hosts Metro’s Registry of Deeds (615-862-6790) and the Metro North Police precinct.
- From floor to ceiling, the highest point in Bridgestone Arena reaches 130 feet (about the height of a 13-story building) with the roof covering eight acres.
- There are four levels of seating at the arena. Handicapped-accessible seating is available at every level and the building holds two escalators.
- Linked to the Nashville Convention Center by a climate-controlled underground pedestrian walkway, the building is able to accommodate large conventions and major national entertainment and sporting events.
- An attached parking garage includes 250 parking spaces for suiteholders, handicapped patrons and regular patron parking. There are more than 12,500 public parking spaces located within a 10-minute walk from the facility.
Practice Facility: Centennial Sportsplex222 25th Avenue North
Nashville, TN 37203
The Thomas Frist Centennial Sportsplex is operated by the Metro Board of Parks and Recreation in Nashville. The facility was made possible by a landmark land exchange between Metro Parks and healthcare giant HCA (now Columbia). The city exchanged 10 prime acres adjacent to Centennial Park for $12 million. The money was used to build the Sportsplex.
The Sportsplex features a tennis center, a fitness center, an aquatics center and a two-sheet ice arena. The aquatics center, named after Olympian Tracy Caulkins, has been the site of numerous national swim meets and, to this date, holds the world record for the men’s 50-meter freestyle, set in the inaugural swim meet in February 1990 by Olympian Tom Jager.
The ice arena is home to the Nashville Predators' state-of-the-art practice facility which opened on February 1, 1999. The Sportsplex is also the home of the Predators' youth hockey school, summer development camp and training camp, and the complex also features a Predators Pro Shop.
In addition, Centennial Sportsplex hosts adult hockey leagues, figure skating, numerous public sessions, figure skating competitions, ice shows, hockey tournaments and camps. In 1997, it was one of the sites for the USFSA National Championships.
The fitness center includes free weights and weight machines for complete workouts as well as daily aerobics classes.
Centennial Sportsplex offers instructional classes in skating, swimming and tennis, as well as public usage in each of those areas. The ice arena and aquatic area also offers special rates for parties, schools and group events. For further information, contact the Centennial Sportsplex at (615) 862-8480.