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Bridgestone Arena: 15 Years In 15 Days -- 2005

by Staff Writer / Nashville Predators
This is the ninth installment of a 15-day series that will celebrate Bridgestone Arena’s 15th anniversary on Dec. 17, 2011.

15 Years: Bringing The Music Back To Music City

Today we look at how Bridgestone Arena has helped further establish Nashville as one of the world’s foremost entertainment destinations. Nashville was already known as Music City, but before the arena opened in 1996, downtown consisted mostly of bars and honky tonks with small stages. When big-name bands came to Middle Tennessee, they often had to play at the Murphy Center in Murfreesboro or Starwood in Antioch. Since Bridgestone Arena opened, however, the biggest names in music have performed in the heart of Nashville. Coupled with Predators games and other high-profile events, the steady stream of fans into downtown has had a major economic impact on Music City.

Jenny Hannon (Sports Council) The Year In Review Did You Know In Their Own Words

Jenny Hannon, Nashville Sports Council Executive Director
Jenny Hannon is a former Executive Director of the Nashville Sports Council. She supported the idea for a downtown arena to host concerts as well as athletic events.

2005 Year-In-Review at Bridgestone Arena

They were one of the biggest music groups in the world, regardless of the genre. The female R&B trio Destiny’s Child performed at Bridgestone Arena on July 12, 2005 to a packed house. It was the fourth stop for the group during its U.S. leg of the “Destiny Fulfilled … And Lovin’ It” Tour. Beyonce’ Knowles, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams performed some of their biggest hits, including “No, No, No,” “Survivor” and “Say My Name.” This was a special event for fans of Destiny’s Child. Prior to the tour, the three singers had ventured out to test solo careers. Knowles was the most successful and her 2003 album “Dangerously In Love” went multi-platinum. They reunited for the tour that came through Nashville, but at the tour’s conclusion, the group announced they were going their separate ways for good. That meant those who took in the Bridgestone Arena show witnessed one of the final performances from one of pop music’s most dynamic groups.

Nashville was treated to one of Destiny's Child's final performances before the R&B trio's separation

Trent Reznor rocked out a chilling Halloween performance at the Arena in 2005
Nashville went a little more hardcore than usual when industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails performed at Bridgestone Arena on Halloween in 2005. Tickets for the “Live: With Teeth” Tour were in high demand. The group, which was founded by the multi-talented Trent Reznor, was touring only in North America and it was coming after the successful release of the “With Teeth” album earlier that year. Nine Inch Nails had been around for 17 years, but fans at the Nashville show still saw the hard edge and unique style that made the band one of the most influential groups of the past two decades. Their set list at Bridgestone Arena consisted of 21 songs, including “Wish,” “Closer” and “The Hand That Feeds.”
Kerplunk. Dookie. Nimrod. What do all these words have in common? Well, none of them sound particularly pleasant for starters, but those familiar with the punk rock styling’s of the 1990s might recognize them as album titles for the band Green Day. In the early 2000s Green Day released their seventh studio album “American Idiot.” The album was well-received as it debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 100, won a Grammy for “Best Rock Album” and spawned a world tour. One of the final stops on the 2005 leg of the tour was to Bridgestone Arena on Oct.16. Fans rocked, rolled and danced like “American Idiots” to one of the most commercially successful punk bands in recent history.

Punk Rock took over Music City when Green Day came to town in 2005
Kix Brooks & Ronnie Dunn closed out the year with special New Year's Eve Bash at the Arena 
There are really good New Year’s Eve shows, and then there are great New Year’s Eve shows. Ask anyone who attended the one at Bridgestone Arena in 2005, and they will side with the ‘great’ variety. Brooke & Dunn stayed home and brought their high-energy performance to Downtown Nashville as 2006 encroached. The event was part of their Deuces Wild Tour, which also featured Big & Rich. Included in the Bridgestone Arena show was a 576-square-foot LED projection screen, which was state-of-the-art technology at the time. The night was one to remember, and it also served as a reminder about how entertaining and successful Brooks & Dunn were. By the time the duo announced their retirement in August of 2009, they had won dozens of major awards, including the CMA Entertainer of the Year Award in 1996.
No Doubt was one of the biggest bands of the 1990s. With its distinct ska-pop sound, No Doubt helped launch the ska music revival of the 90s and helped bring the underground sound to the masses. At the helm of No Doubt was front woman Gwen Stefani. With her bleach-blonde hair, tomboy wardrobe and unmatched attitude, Stefani was a certified superstar. By 2005 Stefani was ready to branch out on her own, and celebrated the fact with her first solo tour the “Harajuku Lovers Tour 2005.” The tour hit Nashville on Dec. 18, 2005 and featured fashion-forward costuming, exciting choreography and a light show. The charismatic Stefani worked the stage like a catwalk and brought glamour and groove to Bridgestone Arena that December night.

There was no doubt that Nashville fans enjoyed Gwen Stefani’s performance in 2005

Did You Know:

  • In 2010, more than 491,000 fans attended concerts at Bridgestone Arena, the most in the building’s history.
  • Bridgestone Arena has earned a nomination for the Pollstar Concert Industry Arena of the Year Award in eight of Bridgestone Arena's 15 years of operation. The 2011 nomination marks the fifth consecutive year Bridgestona Arena has earned the Pollstar nomination, joining Madison Square Garden and Staples Center as the only three buildings to pick up the honor each of the last five years.
  • There are 72 luxury suites (42 lower, 30 upper) at Bridgestone Arena.

In Their Own Words:

"I began working at the Nashville Arena in July, 1998. I remember that the administrative offices for the arena and the Nashville Predators were still a ‘work in progress.’ The third floor didn’t have any drywall up and the second floor didn’t have any ceiling tiles in place. I worked at a side table in my new boss’ office. Once the third floor was built out, everyone moved up there. I had never seen so many cubicles in one space. When the second floor was completed, we were able to spread out between the two floors.”
   --Original Bridgestone Arena Employee, Susan Charnley, Director of Payroll for Nashville Predators/Bridgestone Arena

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