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Bridgestone Arena: 15 Years In 15 Days -- 2007

by Staff Writer / Nashville Predators
This is the 11th installment of a 15-day series that will celebrate Bridgestone Arena’s 15th anniversary on Dec. 17, 2011.

15 Years: Downtown Eateries Benefit From Arena's Location

Today we look at the positive economic and social impact Bridgestone Arena has had on downtown restaurants and bars. Since the building’s opening in 1996, scores of local, regional and national restaurants have surrounded the entertainment venue. Even in the recent economic environment, there's seemingly a new bar or restaurant opening in the downtown/Arena corridor every couple of weeks. The thriving restaurant and bar scene have led to more jobs and an increased sense of community, all the while pouring millions of dollars into the local economy.

Jonathon Scott (The Palm restaurant) The Year In Review Did You Know In Their Own Words

Jonathon Scott, The Palm restaurant
Jonathon Scott is the General Manager of The Palm restaurant in downtown Nashville. To accomodate increased demand, he brings in more staff during Nashville Predators games and Bridgestone Arena concerts, which has made his establishment one of the busiest in the nation.

2007 Year-In-Review at Bridgestone Arena

There have been toy figurines, books, and even some well-made movies. For decades people have tried to recreate what it was like to live among dinosaurs. An event at Bridgestone Arena in 2007 came as close as you can get. “Walking with Dinosaurs – The Arena Spectacular” came to Music City for a five-day, six-show extravaganza from Oct. 17-21. People of all ages were in wonderment as video images of dinosaurs roamed Bridgestone Arena, 60 millions years after they became extinct. The event showcased the building’s video capabilities and also utilized its sound system to the fullest in what went down as one of Bridgestone Arena’s most unique and entertaining events.

Dinosaurs took over the Arena for five days during October 2007

Middle Tennessee resident Miley Cyrus and her alter-ego Hannah Montana took Lower Broadway by storm in '07
It was 2007 and Miley Cyrus seemigly owned the world. She was about to launch her first concert tour and the buildup was tremendous. It would be called The Best of Both Worlds Tour and eventually became a massive success. Cyrus, the daughter of Billy Ray Cyrus, is a Middle Tennessee resident and played Bridgestone Arena on Nov. 23. A crowd of 16,269 witnessed Cyrus and her alter-ego Hannah Montana perform an electric show, which featured a video-driven theme. Songs included, "Rock Star," "Pumpin’ Up the Party" and "The Best of Both Worlds." The tour sold more than $54 million at the box office, and concert goers received an added bonus -- the opening act on the Tour was the popular teen pop group, The Jonas Brothers.
In early 2007, Predators General Manager David Poile executed the biggest trade in franchise history when he acquired one of the most dominating players of his era from Philadelphia – former Hart and Art Ross Trophy winner Peter Forsberg. The trade sent shockwaves through the hockey community, and sent a message that the Predators were poised to compete for the Stanley Cup. The Ornskoldsvik, Sweden native, affectionately known as “Foppa,” tallied 15 points (2g-13a) in 17 regular season contests and pitched in four more points in the postseason. Possibly his biggest moment in a Preds jersey came in a Feb. 24 clash with the rival Detroit Red Wings. He scored his first goal and it came at the most-clutch of times. Paul Kariya tallied the game-tying goal with just 1:04 remaining in regulation, sending the fourth of eight meetings between the two teams to overtime. Just 2:11 into the extra session, Kariya found his newest linemate driving to the net, and “Foppa” redirected the game winner past Chris Osgood for a 4-3 Nashville win.

Peter Forsberg created an electric atmosphere around Bridgestone Arena during the '07 playoff drive

A native Tennessean, Justin Timberlake has established himself as one of the elite performers of his generation
Justin Timberlake was first introduced to the world in 1993 as a member of the Mickey Mouse Club. From there he went on to woo women all over the world as a key component of the internationally-successful boy band NSYNC. It wasn’t until 2002, when Timberlake went solo, that he proved that he could maintain a successful entertainment career all on his own. By the time his second solo album and third tour hit in 2006, JT was a certified superstar. The “FutureSex/Love Show” hit Bridgestone Arena on March 16, 2007 for close to 17,000 fans and featured some of JT’s biggest hits including “SexyBack,” “My Love” and “Cry Me a River.”
John Mayer and Ben Folds are two of the most successful singer/songwriters in the music industry. The two performers joined forces in 2007 for the summer leg continuation of Mayer’s “Continuum Tour” that spanned more than 40 dates across the U.S. Though Folds was listed as a supporting act, his opening set lasted about an hour –longer than most opening acts. During this tour, Mayer sometimes joined Folds onstage for the song "Narcolepsy." When the tour made a stop in Nashville, fans were treated to opening act James Morrison, a full set by Ben Folds and a show by Mayer that included some of his most successful hits and an encore that mirrored the final song of the “Continuum” album – a soulful rendition of “I’m Gonna Find Another You.”
John Mayer captured the Bridgestone Arena crowd with his unique blend of Acoustic Rock and Blues

Did You Know:

  • Bridgestone Arena continues to be a major reason why businesses continue to open stores downtown. Since January of 2008, there has been a net gain of 55 downtown retailers.
  • As of December 2011, Nashville Downtown Partnership listed 177 restaurants, 120 shopping and retail locations and 71 bars/small music venues in the downtown area.
  • In 2006, more than 1.2 million people came through the doors at Bridgestone Arena, which was more than 300,000 from the previous year.

In Their Own Words:

"After working for the Predators for more than 13 years, there have been many memorable moments in my life that have taken place in this arena. It ranges from beating Anaheim to advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, to escaping to the event level during a tornado outbreak in 1998, to the special people I get to meet every time we open our doors. This place will always be special to me because of the experiences I have had and the people I get to meet."
   --Original Preds Employee, Nat Harden, VP of Ticket Sales

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