Back in February, Bridgestone Arena was honored by Pollstar Magazine as the 2014 Arena of the Year, and today, the state of Tennessee recognized the accomplishment and the ongoing success of the venue and its staff.
State Representative Bill Beck presented Nashville Predators and Bridgestone Arena CEO Jeff Cogen and President Sean Henry with a framed proclamation during Wednesday’s Sports Authority of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County Board of Directors Meeting at Nissan Stadium, honoring the Arena and its management for their recognition in the sports and entertainment business.
“We’ve got the best arena in the whole United States,” Beck, who represents the 51st District in Davidson County, said. “That is just absolutely amazing for a city the size of Nashville, and it shows the strength of the management over at the arena.”
“It’s always nice to get recognized for obvious reasons, but more importantly for our staff,” Henry said. “We claim to have the best staff in sports and entertainment and it’s nice to see other people say, ‘Yes you do.’ We always put our players, our performers, and our guests first and that’s important. That’s what we are, this is why we build our plans, this is why we set our goals and it’s incredible when you have 200 people come to life to execute it. It’s nice to have that recognition to share with them.”
After receiving nominations for eight consecutive years for Arena of the Year by Pollstar Magazine, a publication which focuses primarily on the concert industry and also reports on news regarding sports and entertainment, Bridgestone Arena received the honor after beating out the likes of Madison Square Garden in New York and Staples Center in Los Angeles.
“We are all proud of Bridgestone Arena and the gem it is to our city,” newly-elected Chairwoman of the Metro Sports Authority of Nashville and Davidson County Kim Adkins said. “We have a lot of tourists coming to our city because of our sports and entertainment offerings. Bridgestone Arena is definitely a leader across the world and continues to show off Nashville.”
The Arena was named the sixth-busiest building in the U.S. by Pollstar in 2010, 2011 and 2013, and in a report released just last month, ranked second in the United States and eighth in the world for concert ticket sales, according to Pollstar’s MidYear Ticket Sales report.
The Predators have also had their share of attendance milestones, selling out 30 regular season games at Bridgestone Arena for the first time in franchise history. A club record 691,028 fans watched a hockey game at the Arena in 2014-15, including 17,401 on Dec. 30 against St. Louis, the single-game hockey attendance record for the building. The Arena averaged 16,854 fans in attendance, good for 98.5 percent capacity over the course of the season, a number second only to the lockout-shortened 2012-13 campaign.
Constantly undergoing renovations to remain one of the top arenas on the continent, Bridgestone Arena has received new seats across the lower bowl over the course of the summer, as well as updates to restrooms and concession stands throughout the building, all designed to enhance the patron experience, be it for Predators hockey, concerts or family shows.
The growth at 501 Broadway doesn’t show signs of wavering anytime soon either, thanks to the success of the Predators on the ice, but also the wide array of concerts and events that have put Bridgestone Arena on just about any list as a must-see venue.
“Our goal is very simple: to be the number one sports and entertainment venue in the United States, built around a Stanley Cup championship team,” Henry said. To do that, you need to take those steps and things are good right now…We’re poised for a great season this year on the hockey side and I guarantee we’re going to beat last year’s attendance and number of events on hockey and on the event side. This is a pretty exciting year coming up.”
It’s not only those who make their livelihood within the walls of Bridgestone Arena who are aware of the prosperity emanating from the building at the corner of Fifth and Broadway. Those in the city of Nashville and the state of Tennessee are taking notice, too.
“It’s just beyond the wildest dreams that I could have ever imagined growing up in Nashville,” Beck said of having a top-tier facility in Music City. “I’m so proud of the management and the Predators for all that they do, not only at Bridgestone Arena, but throughout the community and throughout Middle Tennessee.”