Nashville, Tenn. (September 13, 2021) - Bridgestone Arena announced today that effective Oct. 2, all guests aged 12 and older will be required to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test administered by a healthcare professional within 72 hours prior to the event that includes their name and the date of the test to attend all Nashville Predators games and events held at the venue. The Predators, who have called Bridgestone Arena home since their inaugural season in 1998-99, are the 14th team in the National Hockey League planning to start the 2021-22 season in a venue with similar regulations focused on health and safety.
The new policy is scheduled to remain in place through at least Nov. 15. An announcement will be made at the beginning of each month reaffirming or altering procedures and protocols for the next 75 days, but could be modified in the interim, as all policies and procedures remain subject to change. Arena officials will continue to work with local, state, and federal governments and health agencies, along with the National Hockey League in monitoring all pertinent COVID-19 activity so that it can make the most prudent decisions during these evolving times.
"Throughout the pandemic we have been consistent in stating that the health and wellness of all arena guests, Predators fans, our employees, players and performers is our number one priority," said Sean Henry, President and CEO of Bridgestone Arena and the Nashville Predators. "Just two months ago, we believed that we were returning to a sense of normalcy, but unfortunately, with the impact of the delta variant, that has not been the case. We are united with health care professionals in our belief that the only way to end this pandemic is to get more people vaccinated.
"To that end, we want to do our part with these policies to make sure that our game and event attendees are as safe as possible and, at the same time, we will use our public platform to amplify the message of the importance of vaccines in hopes of encouraging more people to get vaccinated."
Guests under the age of 12 will be permitted to enter Bridgestone Arena if they wear a mask at all times while inside the venue, or if they present a printed or digital negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test administered by a healthcare professional within 72 hours prior to the event that includes their name and the date of the test.
"We're incredibly thankful to our guests and fans, who have continued to not only adhere to the policies but help us create and shape them," said Henry. "Based on feedback from those fans, tour managers and other venues both locally and around the country, we're hopeful that protocols like these will allow us to continue to host the biggest shows on tour, while at the same time bringing 17,159 of the best fans in sports to our games."
The organization continues to partner with the Metro Public Health Department to offer free COVID-19 vaccinations at Bridgestone Arena in connection with every event. Vaccination opportunities will also be held at the Ford Ice Centers in Antioch and Bellevue every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. CT.
"The Metro Public Health Department appreciates Bridgestone Arena consulting with us to develop their enhanced COVID Entrance Protocol," said Hugh Atkins, Director, Bureau of Environmental Health Services. "Bridgestone Arena's protocol not only helps protect event attendees, but also encourages vaccination, which is our best tool for ending the COVID-19 pandemic."
"On behalf of all or our health care workers and staff battling this pandemic every hour of every day, I'd like to thank our partners at Bridgestone Arena for having the courage to step forward like this," said Dr. C. Wright Pinson, Deputy CEO and Chief Health System Officer at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. "We all recognize that the only way to stem the COVID-19 pandemic in middle Tennessee and across the country is to increase vaccination levels and we salute our local leaders, like those at Bridgestone Arena and the Predators for doing their part."
Specific details related to how the process of collecting information will work as well as a FAQ related to these new protocols are available here. In addition to these newly announced policies, Bridgestone Arena will continue to recommend that all guests for all events wear masks except while actively eating and drinking in the venue. Arena management also acknowledges that some specific tours may impose additional requirements that may be added to those being announced today; such additional requirements will be communicated and enforced if and when necessary.