Becoming stagnant is less than ideal in the world of sports. Year after year, the Nashville Predators strive to rise above the status quo, and the upcoming 2015-16 season is no exception.
From the anticipation and excitement surrounding the on-ice product and improvements within Bridgestone Arena, to the implementation of new ticketing options and unparalleled promotions, as well as the hosting of the 2016 NHL All-Star Game, the 17th season in franchise history could take its place among the best ever.
New seats have been installed in the lower bowl of the arena, while the upper level will see the renovation within the next year. Also set to debut are enhanced concession stands with a fresh look and more variety for fans to choose from.
“Whether you’re coming to your 30th game of the year, your fifth game in five years or your first game ever, we want people to walk away saying, ‘That was absolutely incredible,’” Predators President Sean Henry said. “People come into Bridgestone Arena off of Broadway, they’re revved up and our goal, our job, is to keep that excitement going up until the first puck drop when the team takes over.”
One of the ways the Preds will do just that is the introduction of Golden Saturdays at each of the club’s 14 Saturday home games this coming season. Not only will the players sport gold helmets on the ice, but fans in attendance will have every opportunity to be a part of one of the most unique experiences across the League, including a giveaway item every Saturday to every fan wearing Preds gold.
“We knew how special Saturday nights were already… but putting that next stamp of connecting the fans’ passion to the best night of the week and to something really unique in closing that loop, reinforcing the fact that Bridgestone Arena is the most intimidating building to play in for opposing teams… it really changes what Saturdays will be,” Henry said. “For our fans, they know when they come out to any game, it’s going to be special because they created that. On Saturdays, that’s our way to pay them back a little bit and say, ‘Here’s some rewards.’ Every Saturday is going to be special.”
In addition to the Saturday experience, the Predators are offering new 13-game flex plans on the ticketing side, allowing fans the opportunity to mix and match the games they want to see most, while still receiving season-ticket holder benefits, including the opportunity to purchase tickets to the 2016 NHL All-Star Game.
“Our flex plan gives our season-ticket holders the ability to mix and match games and change price ranges,” Predators Senior Vice President of Ticket Sales Nat Harden said. “For example, if they want to go to the Detroit game and sit down low, they have the ability to do that. Maybe on a Tuesday night, they want to see Vancouver, but they prefer the option to sit in the upper level. It’s very flexible, and it gives them season-ticket holder benefits, priority on concert tickets, and they get to experience and receive all of the perks for being a season-ticket holder. At the end of the day, we want to make sure we take down every barrier possible for people to buy a season ticket.”
The new flex plan is just one example of the Preds striving to improve upon the fan experience year after year, constantly evaluating and revamping programs and offerings in an ever-changing sports landscape.
“We take great pride in being ahead of the curve and being the leaders in this industry,” Harden said. “We’ve got a lot of creative people here and we want to make sure that we’re always providing something new and different for our fans.”
A slew of those changes will come on Saturdays in Nashville, with gold taking its place at the forefront. As the brand continues to be embraced, the organization hopes to create an atmosphere in which the team’s primary color is the only one on display throughout the stands.
“We’re going to have golden cups at the concession stand, we’ll have the golden section of the game, we’ll have the golden fan of the game, we’ll have golden memories and we’re doing all these different elements in our game presentation to reinforce the gold brand,” Harden said. “If you’re a [University of] Tennessee fan, when you go to a Tennessee game, you wouldn’t dare show up without wearing orange. We want to create that atmosphere here and this is just to reinforce that gold brand. I think we’ve got a great strategy to do that.”
Those who attend a Preds game in 2015-16, especially those who are members of the Loyal Legion, will be treated to a collection of improvements, not only material changes, but the way things are executed in and around Bridgestone Arena.
“If you’re a season-ticket holder, you’re coming out here 45 nights a year and we want to make sure every time you come out there’s something a little bit different,” Harden said. “We challenge ourselves to do that, and I think this year, our ticket holders will feel that. They’ll see it in the seats that they’re sitting in, the restrooms they go to, the concession stands they go to and the giveaways they receive; we’ve got a lot of great things going on. You can’t ever stay the same, you always have to improve and that’s what we all try to do.”
Stay tuned to NashvillePredators.com over the coming weeks for additional stories and information on the exciting changes within Bridgestone Arena set to debut this season.