Nashville, Tenn. (March 2, 2017) - The Nashville Predators on Thursday, March 2, announced the development of a new ice rink at One Bellevue Place. This the second location the Preds have created to grow the sport of hockey through Middle Tennessee, the first being Ford Ice Center in Antioch. The Predators are now involved in three of Nashville's biggest recreational operations in Ford Ice Center, Centennial Sportsplex, and now Bellevue.
Thursday's announcement featured a lineup of notable speakers who have contributed to the development of the project, including Mayor Megan Barry, Predators President and CEO Sean Henry, District 22 Council Member Sheri Weiner, Managing Partner with Crosland Southeast Tim Sittema, Nashville Parks Director Tommy Lynch, Sports Authority Chairperson Kim Adkins and Olympic Gold Medalist Scott Hamilton.
"The hockey facility and the regional community center we plan to build will make One Bellevue Place an even more attractive development for Bellevue, Nashville and Middle Tennessee," Mayor Megan Barry said. "They'll bring a better quality of life, more economic activity and more tax revenue to help pay for services and infrastructure. Metro is fortunate to have such a strong partnership with the Predators, who consistently think big about how we can work together to make our community even better."
The overwhelming success at Ford Ice Center through not only its youth hockey, Learn to Skate programs and Scott Hamilton Skating Academy, but also its establishment as an economic driver for Antioch, revealed the natural progression to move forward with the development of a second ice complex. Ford Ice Center has been operating at full capacity since its inception, making it one of the busiest rinks in North America. Much of the ice complex's success is attributed to the partnership with the Sports Authority, a beneficial relationship for not only Ford Ice Center, but also Bridgestone Arena - most recently seen through the Sports Authority's approval of the Arena's fiscal year 2018 budget which reflects plans to boost its revenue and expenses - and now Bellevue.
"The Metro Sports Authority is proud of the success of Ford Ice Center and that now even more Nashvillians will have a place to skate and play hockey," Chair of the Sports Authority Board Kim Adkins said.
The Nashville Predators project the new Bellevue rink to operate with the same success, resulting in two of the busiest rinks in North America calling Nashville home. This could not be done without the strong partnership the organization has with the Mayor's office, the Sports Authority, and Metro Parks and Recreation.
"Former Mayor Karl Deal's vision of the success that would come about through a rink-build in Antioch, has all come true; from the economic impact to the growth of youth hockey, Ford Ice Center is a tangible image of the positivity our public-private partnership brings to Middle Tennessee," Henry said.
"Mayor Megan Barry's visionary commitment to parks, a healthy lifestyle and quality of life, is seen through our public-private partnership to create a second ice rink, proving further that only good will keep happening through our relationship with Metro."
The partnership between the Nashville Predators and the city of Bellevue, seen most recently through the One Bellevue Place lease agreement, will continue to provide more opportunities for grass roots hockey and ice programs in Metro Davidson County.
"The Nashville Predators are, in my humble opinion, the best NHL experience! Period," Hamilton said. "I have been blessed to partner with them in their mission to increase participation in ice sports and fan engagement in Middle Tennessee. Today is a huge step toward eliminating access barriers for families wanting to learn, play and grow their skills on the ice. The Scott Hamilton Skating Academy is proud to take this next step with the Nashville Predators in announcing our next public two-surface skating center in Bellevue. The Hottest City in the USA is about to get even cooler!"
The rink will be the finishing touch to an already-elaborate development currently under construction at One Bellevue Place and couldn't have happened without the NHL, NHLPA, the Nashville Predators, the Sports Authority and the city of Bellevue working hard together to continue the development of an already-thriving Metro Parks and Recreation department led by Nashville Parks Director Tommy Lynch.
"From the 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend to the outdoor rinks, and now the Bellevue development, a partnership between Nashville Parks and the Nashville Predators opens up endless recreational opportunities for Middle Tennessee," Lynch said.
"On behalf of Bellevue's residents and Council representatives, I share that we are grateful to the Predators for their vision, to Mayor Barry for her commitment to Bellevue/West Nashville's families and to developer Tim Sittema and his team for believing in Bellevue," Weiner said.
Guests were treated to an exciting performance from Bellevue Middle School's marching band as well as street hockey setups, food and beverages. Nashville Predators front office staff arrived in Bellevue decked in GOLD to fill the location with Smashvillians eager to grow the sport of hockey.