Stanley Cup Playoffs fever has taken over Nashville.
From the flags and banners flying proudly around town to the massive watch parties across the city - indoors and out - Predators pride is as abundant as it's ever been.
That excitement hasn't been lost on Nashville businesses and corporations with roots in the city, either. Companies like Bridgestone, Nissan and Dunkin' Donuts, staunch supporters of the team, are seeing their names receive national attention during the run, thanks to the club's success.
And just as the more 17,200 in Bridgestone Arena, and the countless others watching elsewhere, have seen their heart rates rise with each goal and save this spring, so too are those who partner with the Predators.
"This playoff run has definitely raised Nashville's profile as a true hockey town, and Bridgestone is incredibly proud to be part of that journey," CEO and President of Bridgestone Americas Gordon Knapp said. "Bridgestone Arena has always provided a definitive home-ice advantage for the Preds and a great experience for the fans, but the last few weeks have seen it rise to a whole new level."
"We are so proud of our hometown team and the tremendous excitement that they are bringing to the entire Nashville community during this playoff series," Vice President of Marketing Communications and Media of Nissan North America Jeremy Tucker said. "The Preds drive for excellence is why Nissan is committed to the team as a partner, for six years running now. We are hoping for a Nashville Predators appearance in the Stanley Cup Final, and even more attention for this up-and-coming city that we both call home."
The Predators did plenty of winning over the course of the regular season and into the playoffs, and that's meant a lot of Dunkin' Donuts coffee fueling Nashvillians - more than 55,000 free medium cups to be exact. With the Predators Win, You Win program, Dunkin' Donuts Nashville has seen fans stop in after a Preds victory, and the hope is a few thousand more cups will find their way out the door in the coming weeks.
"Being the official coffee of the Nashville Predators is a natural fit for Dunkin' Donuts Nashville," Dunkin' Donuts Field Marketing Manager Katie Metts said. "Guests consider us a part of the team, which has been a great way for us to reach new customers and allow our advertising to develop a natural and organic tie into the city."
It's not just coffee that Preds fans have been enjoying during the run. Businesses right outside of Bridgestone Arena on Broadway have seen slews of crowds clad in Gold throughout the postseason as fans gather before and after games.
Tin Roof Broadway General Manager Kristin Washington, who has been at the franchise for 15 years, says she's never seen fandom like this.
"It's more hyped before and after the games for sure," Washington said. "I think this is the craziest I've seen it."
Speaking of hype, Nashville's Mayor Megan Barry kicked off the 2017 home playoff schedule when, along with Carrie Underwood, she took to the ice before Game Three against Chicago and waved the Gold rally towel to fire up a building that has reached record decibel levels over the past few weeks.
"I couldn't be more proud of the Nashville Predators and what they have accomplished so far in this season," Mayor Barry said. "We are closer than ever to the Stanley Cup, and the entire city is energized around a Preds victory. Their continued success has been a major boost to our hospitality and tourism industry downtown, and has helped to cement Nashville's place as one of the great hockey towns in North America."
If they didn't know it already, those around the world are now beginning to realize what Mayor Barry and the rest of Smashville were already well aware of - Nashville is indeed a hockey town. So the next time you're in the market for a cup of coffee or a new set of tires, think of those who support the same team we all do.
"Nashville is our home, and we are committed to helping it grow and thrive," Knapp said. "One way we can do that is by supporting our hometown teams. We're rooting for this ride to continue for a few more weeks so that the Preds and our community can celebrate a few more historic moments at Bridgestone Arena. We like it, we love it and we want some more of it."