With hockey season just around the corner, the Nashville Predators are continuing their dedication to providing the most thrilling fan experience in sports. New vendors, branding, lighting and signage - plus an upgraded goal horn - have arrived at the home of the Preds ahead of Opening Night.
And when you head to Bridgestone Arena, come hungry.
In the eight years prior to the pandemic, the Arena underwent $80 million in renovations throughout the venue. Similarly, this year, all fans and constituents will find new hospitality and game-experience options throughout each concourse and space in the building.
"This is always one of the most exciting parts of the year," Executive Vice President of Entertainment and Venues David Kells said Wednesday. "As always, all of these improvements are made with direct input from our fans. From food and beverage options to the safety and security of the arena to themes and chants, they evolve naturally from input from our fans… This year is just another evolution of all of that."
Before even entering the Arena, the newly-renovated Pete & Terry's Tavern will remain a premiere staple for all fans. With larger TVs, new ceiling fans inside and outside of the bar, new menu options and updated graphics, the Tavern will continue to be a popular destination for a pregame meal or postgame beverage.
Once inside, attendees will be greeted by a variety of fresh options thanks to new hospitality sponsors throughout the building. Located just outside of the Nashville Locker Room Team Store, Bearded Iris and Diskin Cider will provide fans a fresh spot for a drink. With colorful murals and branding in the midst of the main concourse, this will be an ideal spot for an intermission break.
On the Gary Force Acura Level, Pontoon Brewing is now occupying the large bar and concession area formerly branded by Wicked Weed. With navy and Gold throughout the bar and a unique mural of hockey-playing beavers gracing the back wall, Pontoon Brewing is well equipped for all fans' needs.
Thanks to KultureCity and singer Lauren Daigle, a new sensory room has also been added to the Gary Force Acura Level to create a space for fans with autism, PTSD, dementia, Parkinson's and other needs.
"We are happy to partner with Lauren Daigle on [a sensory room]," Kells said. "She decided to partner with [KultureCity], and with us, to bring this room to life to make Bridgestone Arena even more of an inclusive environment for all fans."
Moving down one level, the Yuengling Flightdeck, now occupying the former Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row Smashville space, will be a go-to spot for suite guests.
Offseason renovations would not be complete without upgrades to the Lexus Lounge as well. Patron branding will now be incorporated into the Lounge's satellite bar and new custom design features throughout the Lounge will key on Lexus' logo and various hockey symbols. A new candy wall and additional snacks and desserts will also be offered to Lounge guests.
With Patron set to take over branding in Lexus Lounge, the Patron Platinum Club will soon welcome a new sports partner in hopes of creating every diehard fan's favorite Bridgestone Arena destination. The new club will also boast a full radio studio and be the site of 102.5 The Game's pre- and postgame show.
But perhaps the most anticipated experience enhancement of the season is an upgraded goal horn that is sure to elevate Bridgestone Arena celebrations.
"Come Opening Night, it is going to be a whole new experience. Pin your ears back - it's a really fun thing to hear," Kells said. "It's a noticeable difference and a big chunk of excitement that has been brought to our games."
And then there's that bit about coming hungry.
As always, the chefs at Bridgestone Arena have been in the kitchens all summer long crafting up mouthwatering, eye-popping offerings completely unique to Smashville.
Some of the highlights include a Tennessee Whiskey burger, a two-foot long Slap Shot Sub with Nashville hot chicken and smoked brisket, the Smokehouse Helmet with smoked brisket, pulled pork, BBQ sauce and fries, and The Firecracker - an egg roll-wrapped jumbo hot dog with hot chicken, jalapeno cream cheese and Frank's Red Hot rub.
Pete & Terry's Tavern has revamped their menu as well, including a Tennessee Reaper Chicken Sandwich and the Tavern Reuben, and fans will enjoy traditional southern favorites on the suite level, including Sweet-Tea Smoked Ribs, Southern Picnic Pan-Fried Chicken and Nashville Hot Chicken & Waffles.
Pro-tip: there wasn't a bad bite in the house, but the Smokehouse Helmet and The Firecracker were both crowd favorites from Wednesday's tasting session.
Enjoy the first-look at the new items below, and map out your culinary tour before your next visit.