A run to the Stanley Cup Final can do wonders for a town, and while the Nashville Predators fell just short of a championship, the city of Nashville still had reason for a standing ovation on Thursday.
Predators President and CEO Sean Henry, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry and President of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation Butch Spyridon were on hand at Bridgestone Arena to discuss the economic impact delivered by the deepest postseason run in franchise history - and the numbers were impressive.
Spyridon and his team estimate the overall economic impact from a record 11 home playoff games for the Preds exceeded $50 million, including $8 million for each game of the Stanley Cup Final.
That's not to mention the amount of national exposure and attention for not only the city, but also the franchise and the game itself.
"There's no doubt, it was a great season," Henry said. "It was a special year, and when we get a chance to raise that Western Conference banner, we'll really appreciate what a wonderful year it was. We'll get to celebrate with our fans, and most importantly, once we do that we start our opportunity to build upon the success we had this year."
Video: Preds president shares how team united city
Henry offered his thanks and appreciation to Mayor Barry and the city of Nashville, stating that the public/private partnership the Preds enjoy with the city is "the envy of the country." Henry also thanked the CVC, Downtown Partnership, Chamber of Commerce, Sports Authority, Music City Center and the Country Music Association for the roles each played in helping to make the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs in Nashville one-of-a-kind.
The Nashville Predators Foundation also played a part, making donations from money raised throughout the playoffs from watch parties and other vehicles over the past two months.
The Foundation first made a $50,000 donation to the Nashville Public Education Foundation and its Pre-K Enrollment Program, followed by a $5,000 donation to Operation Stand Down Tennessee. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Second Harvest Food Bank also received $1,000 donations from the Foundation.
Video: Mayor Barry describes Preds impact on Nashville
Henry admitted he would have rather been planning a parade than attending Thursday's press conference, but he knows how much this run does and will continue to do for the city of Nashville and Middle Tennessee for years to come. And the hope is the Predators will make a habit of continuing to show Music City is indeed one of the great hockey cities in America.
"We've always said as a franchise, we can do a lot more than just win games and bring concerts in," Henry said. "The growth, the economic impact, the effect on the community and organizations that change people's lives every day, that's more important to us. But it comes with winning and it comes with filling the building up for hockey games and concerts, so it really is impactful. What a great city to work in, to live in, to play in, and now we play a slightly larger role in bringing better things to life."