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Bridgestone Arena: 15 Years In 15 Days -- 2008

by Staff Writer / Nashville Predators
This is the 12th installment of a 15-day series that will celebrate Bridgestone Arena’s 15th anniversary on Dec. 17, 2011.

15 Years: An Arena Created For Community, Music and Hockey

Today we look at the foresight the planners and decision makers had when the final approval of Bridgestone Arena was made. Architects and government officials also incorporated ideas from established musicians in order to give the building a soul. Further, elements were considered and implemented for the possibility of an NBA or NHL franchise coming in as an anchor tenant. A decade and a half later, it is clear the correct decisions were made, as Bridgestone Arena continues to be a Music City landmark that brings millions of fans downtown, whether it’s for Nashville Predators hockey games, concerts or other special events.

Vince Gill (Singer) The Year In Review Did You Know In Their Own Words

Vince Gill
Vince Gill has won 27 Grammy Awards and 18 CMA Awards as a singer/songwriter. The Middle Tennessee resident was on the committee that helped chose the design of Bridgestone Arena.

2008 Year-In-Review at Bridgestone Arena

Bridgestone Arena has been the site for artists who span the music spectrum. Seemingly every genre, from country to rap to hard rock to pop has been heard in the building. On March 12, 2008, another style was added to the list. The classic crooning of Michael Buble’ filled the arena and his devoted fans were treated to a special evening. The show was part of the Irresponsible Tour, which was launched after Buble' released his third album – "Call Me Irresponsible" – on May 1, 2007. Since then, the smooth singer has won three Grammys and has sold more than 30 million records worldwide.

Michael Buble' made the Arena crowd swoon during his March 2008 show

Don Henley, Glen Grey, Joe Walsh, and Timothy B. Schmit brought their legendary band to Nashville in 2008
There was no need for a sideshow, theatrics or dozens of fireworks going off. When you’re a classic American band, the music is all you need. The Eagles came to Bridgestone Arena on Sept. 18, 2008 and didn’t disappoint. Earlier in the year, the Eagles announced a worldwide tour, called the Long Road Out of Eden Tour, which was named after their latest album release. They performed many of their timeless hits, including “Take it Easy,” Witchy Woman” and “Hotel California.” It was a memorable evening for those who took in the show in Nashville. It isn’t everyday you get to see a legendary band that has won six Grammy as well as having six No. 1 albums.
While it doesn’t represent one single event, Preds fans were able to experience something in 2008 that few other NHL fans ever have. Nashville head coach Barry Trotz became just the 10th coach in NHL history to coach 750 games with one team. The Preds had a successful season in 2007-08 and finished 41-32-9. Nashville faced rival Detroit in the Stanley Cup Playoffs that year and the series was tied 2-2 before the Red Wings won the next two games to end the Preds’ season. Trotz has now coached more than 1,000 games with Nashville and is coming off his most successful season when the team advanced to the second round for the first time in franchise history.

Head Coach Barry Trotz was recognized for surpassing a major league milestone early in the '08-09 season

Country Music superstar Carrie Underwood packed the Arena during her December 2008 show 
Carrie Underwood hit the international scene in 2005 when she won American Idol. But her success and talent had shot through the roof by the time she performed at Bridgestone Arena on Dec. 7, 2008. The year before, she had released her second album, "Carnival Ride." It sold more than half a million copies in the first week and came in at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 200 Albums and Hot Country Albums. It went certified double platinum before the end of the year. The album was still red hot when Underwood performed on Dec. 7, 2008 at Bridgestone Arena during her Carnival Ride Tour. More than 1.2 million fans came to see her shows in 2008.
Robert Plant and Allison Krauss hail from two separate musical worlds. Plant is the former vocalist for the iconic rock band Led Zeppelin and Krauss is one of the reigning queens of bluegrass. Despite the dissimilar backgrounds, sweet music was made when the two joined forces in 2007 to record a duet album entitled "Raising Sand." The album, which was partially recorded in Nashville, was met with much critical and commercial success and spawned a U.S. and European tour. Just over a month after the tour performed at Tennessee music festival Bonnaroo, Krauss and Plant made a stop at Bridgestone Arena on July 19, 2008. Fans who made it out to that special concert were treated to music from the album "Raising Sand" as well as other American roots music and reworked Led Zeppelin tunes.

Allison Krauss and Robert Plant shared the spotlight during their 2008 tour stop to the Music City

Did You Know:

  • The architect for Bridgestone Arena was HOK Sports. The firm has designed some of the finest structures in the world, including the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C., Apple’s Headquarters Campus and leading sports facilities like London Olympic Stadium, Camden Yards, Jacobs Field and Coors Field.
  • Bridgestone Arena features parking inside the building for concerts and athletic events, but also for surrounding attractions that have popped up since the arena’s opening 15 years ago. The garage features more than 250 parking spaces, and there are more than 12,500 public parking spaces within a 10-minute walk of the building.
  • For those who don’t live downtown, Bridgestone Arena is still easy to get to. There are three major interstate highways (I-40, I-65, I-24) that lead downtown which make it an easy trip for those who live in regional cities.

In Their Own Words:

"There is an intangible that you can’t measure with the money it brings downtown. It’s about community and having a sports team. It rallies people together. There is community pride when you have a professional sports entity. Having the Predators here has definitely enhanced that. You can’t replace that with money."
   --Original Bridgestone Arena Employee, Bob Kohl, Senior Director of Broadcasting

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