The best fan experience in all of sports is about to get an upgrade.
As is customary, Bridgestone Arena is undergoing its summer renovations, and come September, Nashville Predators fans will notice a big difference. Work is underway in the form of an $8.5 million project dedicated to installing new LED ribbons inside the arena bowl, adding a new audio system and a completely revamping the in-house control room.
What does it mean for Preds fans? An in-game experience that will instantly become the best ever seen and heard at 501 Broadway.
"This is one renovation where it's all about the fan," Predators and Bridgestone Arena Senior Director of Events Ben Bosse said. "This is a way we can elevate that game experience even further. We've done that pretty continuously over the years, but this is one where it's really fan-centric, and I think it'll be an awesome experience for people when they see it."
Gone are the old display boards and static, backlit signage affixed to the fascias around the bowl of the arena, and they'll be replaced with state-of-the-art LED ribbons that will stand 64 pixels tall, compared to the 16-pixel display of seasons past. That means a much crisper picture for fans, not to mention the myriad of different information the ribbons will now be able to display.
In addition to the arena sound system receiving a complete overhaul, the all-new control room on the event level of the building - the hub where everything a fan sees on the Megatron or LED ribbons originates - will allow Predators game operations to do things they never could in the past.
That includes the upgrade to a full 1080p system, capable of super slo-mo replay to show fans additional looks at the action from angles never seen before. That will be possible, in part, thanks to 11 total point-of-view and robotic cameras, many of which will be available for the first time this fall. One view will even have a wireless transmitter that will be able to show footage such as GNASH repelling from the Arena rafters during the pregame show.
The goal has always been to keep Bridgestone Arena as one of the top facilities around the NHL with the number of amenities available to fans. That's why millions of dollars are put back into the improvement of the facility each summer, and this time around, patrons will notice the difference the minute they step into the arena to begin the new hockey season.
"Bridgestone Arena is 20 years old, and we pride ourselves in not treating it as such," Bosse said. "With all the renovations we've done over the last five or six years, this is just the next phase, and we're really excited to see it take a step forward."
"We're going to keep some things in our back pocket for the playoffs, but the show our fans will see on a nightly basis will be top notch," Director of Technical Operations David Graham said. "Preds fans deserve to be wowed every time they're in the building with the on-ice product, and we want to be just as impressive with our presentation."