Nashville Predators fans streamed into the four Sport Seasons locations in Middle Tennessee on Thursday to be among the first to own the brand-new Predators jerseys.
“You never know how it’s going to be when there is something new like this is released but the response has been great,” said Lance Bowers, an apparel buyer for Tennessee-based Sport Seasons. “The jersey looks great. It’s very basic and bright. I think people really like them.”
When Sport Seasons partnered with the Predators to be the exclusive jersey launch-day location, Bowers had to plan ahead. He had previously planned to have Reebok send separate shipments in September, November and December, but sensing a strong rush by Predators fans on launch day, he combined all three orders into one.
It proved to be good planning. The four Sport Seasons locations had special 6 a.m. early-bird openings and Predators fans took full advantage.
The Cool Springs location had a party-like atmosphere. Predators dancers and GNASH were on hand, and the Predators flagship station, 102.5 The Game, held a live remote from 4-6 p.m.
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Some lucky fans also received free tickets to the regular season home opener on Oct. 13. The Predators official Twitter handle, @PredsNHL, asked fans to come to the Cool Springs location, find the ticket table inside, and say, “Smashville,” to win free tickets.
One of the winners was Bill Beydler, 51. His son 21-year-old son Chase lives in Crossville and saw the Tweet. He called his dad who lives in Franklin.
“He said, ‘Go over there and see if you can get those tickets,” Bill said with a laugh. He scored the two tickets and said he is looking forward to attending the game.
“I’ve been to other NHL arenas,” Bill said. “But the atmosphere in Bridgestone Arena engages the fans more than anywhere else I’ve been. The team always plays with energy. It’s just fun. It’s great family entertainment.”