Nashville, Tenn. (January 10, 2019) - Nashville Predators Holdings LLC, the group of primarily local executives in finance, healthcare and private business who form the team's ownership group, announced Thursday that Herb Fritch assumed the role of Chairman of the team's Board of Directors effective Jan. 9, 2019. He assumes the role occupied by Tom Cigarran since March 2010.
"Over the past nine years, Tom has helped propel the Nashville Predators and Bridgestone Arena to become both the No. 1 franchise in all of sports as selected by ESPN, Pollstar Arena of the Year for the second time in 2017 and another nomination in 2018," Fritch said. "When I first became a part of the Predators ownership group in 2007, I did so as a civic duty. In the past 11-plus years, our loyal and growing fanbase has taken the Predators to heights I never imagined. I'm proud to be a part of something that has had such an impact on this city and region."
"Our ambition in 2019 and beyond is to continue to build on the momentum that has been created under Tom's leadership, always keeping our One Goal at the forefront: to become the No. 1 Sports and Entertainment venue in the United States with a Stanley Cup Champion Nashville Predators as its centerpiece."
As Founder and CEO, Fritch built HealthSpring into a $4.6 billion enterprise at the time of its acquisition by Cigna in 2012, and served as President of the Senior Segment at Cigna-HealthSpring until retiring from the position in November of 2016. Beginning his career in 1973 as an actuary, Fritch has more than 40 years of experience in the managed healthcare business.
A graduate of Carleton College, Fritch and his wife Barbara are also renowned for their philanthropic efforts through the Herbert A. (Herb) Fritch Family Foundation, and are members of United Way's Tocqueville Society.
"When I assumed the role of Chairman the plan was always to have Herb be my successor when we were both ready," Cigarran said. "I am proud of what we have built - the health of the franchise and Arena have never been stronger - and I have the utmost confidence that the organization, under Herb's leadership, will continue its upward trajectory."
Under Cigarran's direction, the Predators and Bridgestone Arena saw unprecedented success. The franchise advanced to its first-ever Stanley Cup Final in June of 2017, hosted one of the most successful All-Star Weekends in January of 2016, and is in the midst of a sellout streak that currently stands at 131 games. The organization has also achieved franchise records in season-ticket sales, as well as sponsorship and premium seating revenues, while establishing business partnerships with world-class companies such as Bridgestone, Nissan and Fifth Third Bank. Bridgestone Arena has also seen historic activity, being named Pollstar's 2014 and 2017 Arena of the Year while ranking among the busiest arenas in North America by the publication over the past six years.
Cigarran's status as member of the team's ownership group will not change, and he will assume a role as one of the Predators Alternate Governors' on the NHL Board of Governors.