The Nashville Predators and National Women's Hockey League (NWHL) today announced a partnership to present 2019 NWHL All-Star Weekend in Music City. Among the highlights of the weekend will be a unique NHL-NWHL doubleheader at Bridgestone Arena on Sunday, Feb. 10.
"We are proud to collaborate with the NWHL and showcase some of the best hockey players in the world on All-Star Weekend in Nashville," said Nashville Predators President and CEO Sean Henry. "The advancement of girls' and women's hockey in Middle Tennessee is an important mission for our organization, and we are proud to host and celebrate the NWHL All-Stars - including players from the gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic Team - and put a well-deserved spotlight on them before the passionate hockey fans of our community."
The 2019 NWHL All-Star Game will be played on Feb. 10 at Bridgestone Arena. After the Predators host the St. Louis Blues at 11:30 a.m. (CT), the NWHL All-Star Game will begin at 2:45 p.m. Ticketholders for the Predators game are invited to stay for the NWHL event. In addition, beginning Nov. 28, general admission tickets will be available for just $25 through Ticketmaster for those looking to attend the NWHL All-Star Game only. Doors to Bridgestone Arena will open at approximately 2 p.m. for fans with NWHL-only tickets.
The All-Star Game will consist of two 25-minute halves, and each team will have 14 skaters and two goaltenders. The captains of the teams will be Buffalo Beauts goaltender Shannon Szabados, a three-time Olympian with Team Canada, and Minnesota Whitecaps defender Lee Stecklein, who won the gold medal with Team USA in the Olympics in February.
"I am so excited to represent the Beauts organization and my teammates at the NWHL All Star-Game," Szabados said. "It's such a great honor to be named one of the captains for the game and I am looking forward to playing with the league's best in Nashville."
The annual NWHL All-Star Skills Challenge will take place on Saturday, Feb. 9 at Ford Ice Center. This will be an exclusive event, with seating for just 500 fans, and it will include a post-event autograph session with NWHL All-Stars. Tickets, priced at $20, will be available beginning Nov. 28 via Ticketmaster. Prior to the Skills Challenge, NWHL All-Stars will conduct a hockey clinic for young girls enrolled in the Little Preds Learn to Play program.
This will mark the third straight year the NWHL is taking its All-Star events to a neutral site and NHL market, following highly successful weekends in Pittsburgh (2017) and Minnesota (2018) that resulted in significant increases in viewership, apparel sales and social media engagement. In the case of Saint Paul, it led to the NWHL expanding to Minnesota with the acquisition of the Whitecaps.
"To say that our players and league were excited to accept the gracious invitation of the Preds' organization to bring All-Star Weekend to Nashville would be a massive understatement," said NWHL Founder and Commissioner Dani Rylan. "The opportunity to showcase our great players in an electric hockey market like Nashville will be one of the most significant moments in our young league's history. From our youth clinic to the always-entertaining Skills Challenge and then the All-Star Game at Bridgestone Arena, the weekend is going to be a blast for everyone involved - especially the fans. We cannot wait to see you in Nashville!"
Further information regarding Saturday event start times, All-Star uniforms, broadcast plans, roster selection and other details will be available in the coming weeks.
About the National Women's Hockey League (NWHL):
Established in 2015, the NWHL became the first professional women's hockey league in North America to pay its players and share in revenue from select apparel sales. The mission of the league is to promote and develop women's hockey, increase participation and interest in the sport at all levels, and shine a light on the role models that fill the rosters of all of its clubs. The league is made up of the Boston Pride (2016 Isobel Cup champions), Buffalo Beauts (2017 champions), Connecticut Whale, Metropolitan Riveters (2018 champions), and Minnesota Whitecaps. For more information, please visit NWHL.zone and follow the league on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @NWHL.
About the Nashville Predators:
The Nashville Predators became the National Hockey League's 27th team on May 4, 1998, and have evolved from a young expansion franchise into a staple of the Middle Tennessee community in the 20 years since. The team strives each season to reach its One Goal: becoming a Stanley Cup Champion hockey team while making Bridgestone Arena the number one sports and entertainment venue in the United States. With One Goal in mind, the team saw its greatest successes in team history when they made it to Game 6 of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final and were named the 2018 Central Division, regular-season Western Conference & Presidents' Trophy winners last season.
About Ford Ice Center:
Ford Ice Center is a component of a public-private partnership between the Nashville Predators and Metro that helps continue the growth of hockey and skating in Middle Tennessee. Home to Nashville Predators youth and adult hockey initiatives and the Scott Hamilton Skating Academy, Ford Ice Center is a springboard for creating new fans, ensuring more and more kids have the opportunity to get on the ice at an early age and contributes to economic development in Southeastern Davidson County. For more information, visit Fordicecenter.com.