In a little under a year, Ford Ice Center has gone from a few holes in the ground to an incredible 90,000 square foot facility that is a shining example of the success of the Nashville Predators public-private partnership with Mayor Karl Dean and the Metro Nashville Government.
Ford Ice Center will not only serve as home to the Nashville Predators youth and adult hockey initiatives and the Scott Hamilton Skating Academy, but also as home to local college teams and one of several homes of the Nashville Jr. Predators organization.
On Friday, Sept. 12, the Nashville Predators and Metro Government will cut the ribbon to officially open Ford Ice Center. The ribbon cutting will start a weekend full of activities that not only celebrates the opening of the new facility with a Party in the Park, but also the beginning of the 2014-15 Nashville Predators season with the Predators Rookie Tournament (featuring rookies from the Boston Bruins, Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning) and the Predators’ Skate of the Union address.
Before Friday’s ribbon cutting and the start of the grand opening celebration, take the next few minutes to look back on the last year, following Ford Ice Center’s progression from groundbreaking to grand opening.
June 17, 2013 – Mayor Karl Dean announces the addition of a community ice rink as part of the city’s new mixed use complex in southeast Davidson County. Mayor Dean also announces that the complex will include an expanded branch library, new regional community center and park.
October 9, 2013 – Mayor Karl Dean is joined by Nashville government representatives, Nashville Predators executives and players to ceremonially breakground on the new ice rink in southeast Davidson County.
March 4, 2014 – The Nashville Predators announce they have entered into a naming rights partnership with the Mid-South Ford Dealers for the new rink development.
April 2, 2014 – Craig MacDonald is announced as Ford Ice Center hockey director. MacDonald is in charge of managing all the rink’s hockey programs with a focus on growing the youth hockey program and developing the rink’s adult hockey program, providing opportunities for everyone to play hockey, no matter their age or skill level.
April 10, 2014 – The Nashville Predators and Olympic figure skating Gold Medalist Scott Hamilton announced the formation of the Scott Hamilton Skating Academy. Hamilton will be actively involved with the Academy, helping develop learn-to-skate and figure skating curriculums.
July 8, 2014 – Bill Fauver, a four-time National Silver Medalist, five-time World Championship team member and a two-time Olympian is named Ford Ice Center skating director by the Nashville Predators and the Scott Hamilton Skating Academy. Fauver manages all skating programs and assists Hamilton in the building of learn-to-skate and figure skating curriculums and helps facilitate skating competitions.
July 16, 2014 – The Nashville Predators announce that Perani’s Hockey World, one of the premier hockey shops in the United States, will operate the pro shop inside Ford Ice Center. Perani’s Nashville location is the company’s 24th store, bringing Middle Tennessee never-before-seen servicing for beginners, elite athletes, men, women, hockey players, figure skaters, teams and more.
July 24, 2014 – Workers begin making the first sheet of ice at Ford Ice Center.
Ever since workers finished the ice at Ford Ice Center, the facility has been a hub of activity; featuring the first G.O.A.L! program taking the ice on September 4, Vanderbilt University Club Hockey try-outs, learn-to-skate programs with Scott Hamilton and Bill Fauver and everything in between.
In just four days, Ford Ice Center will have its grand opening, launching the facility’s regularly scheduled programming that includes house leagues for youth and adults, regular learn-to-skate classes, university hockey games and more. Without a doubt, the addition of Ford Ice Center to an already strong group of ice rinks and hockey facilities in Middle Tennessee will help continue the growth of hockey and skating throughout the area, creating a place for both the young and old to gather, be active and have fun.
ABOUT THE GRAND OPENING
Whether you have been a hockey fan since the Preds arrival in 1998 (or before!) or are just new to ice sports, join the Nashville Predators this weekend for a slew of special events at Ford Ice Center.
The special events kick-off on Friday night at 4:30 p.m. with a ribbon cutting ceremony, featuring Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and several other honored guests. Weekend highlights include: a Friday night Party in the Park (5-7 p.m.), a Saturday Party in the Park (beginning at 11 a.m.), the Nashville Predators Skate of the Union address (3:15 p.m.), Nashville Predators Rookie Tournament (Preds play on Saturday at 4:30 and on Sunday at 7 p.m.), autograph signings, inflatables, food trucks, a giant TV and more! Stay tuned to www.nashvillepredators.com and www.fordicecenter.com for a complete schedule and more information.