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Smashville Set-Up: Husband & Wife First Met At A Preds Game

by Doug Brumley / Nashville Predators
Just What the Doctor Ordered

You never know what may happen when you come to a Nashville Predators game.

Take the case of Dr. Peter Sonkin. A full-season ticketholder since Day One, the retinal surgeon came to a game in February 2000 expecting to find a friend and the friend’s guest in two of his four seats.

“It just so happened that that night I had gotten off work late,” says Sonkin, who practices at Tennessee Retina. “I was supposed to have a date, so we ended up canceling that. I ended up going to the game by myself late, expecting to see my buddy there and whomever else he was bringing—probably his wife.”

But when Sonkin got to his second row seats, he instead found two women seated where his guests should be.

“I just kind of nicely said to them, ‘Hey, I think you may be in the wrong section or the wrong seats. A buddy of mine is supposed to be here. These are my tickets.’ They proceeded to show me their tickets and told me that a friend of theirs had given them tickets—that he wasn’t able to go and he had wanted her to go, possibly to meet somebody that he had wanted to set her up with.”

Suddenly it all started making sense to Sonkin. He’d been set up on a blind date with a woman named Linda. Fortunately it was a good one—a very good one.

“We hit it off quite nicely at the first game,” Sonkin says. “A few weeks later we started to date and now, 12 years later, we’ve been married ten years and have two children.

“I guess I can partially credit the Predators organization with helping me find my wife,” he adds with a chuckle.

The couple’s two boys, Scott (age 9) and Ben (5), have been attending Predators games since they were babies—in those very same seats Sonkin has held since Day One—and are “tremendously huge” Predators fans, according to their father. The two also play ice hockey at Centennial Sportsplex.

Their hockey knowledge is way beyond what Dr. Sonkin’s was when he moved to Nashville in the summer of 1998 and signed up for four season tickets for the city’s new hockey team.

“I wasn’t particularly a hockey fan,” he admits. “I thought it was a great venue to take referring doctors and for business meetings. It was great for first dates. Little did I know it would be a means for me to meet my future wife. So it worked out quite well. And of course I will never exchange the seats or change those seats. Those are now willed to my kids.”

As for the friend who masterminded that first date, he was ultimately a groomsman at the wedding despite some initial good-natured ribbing from Sonkin.

“I told him, ‘Look man, if you wanted to set us up you should have been a little bit more formal.’ ” says Sonkin. “ ‘What if I had shown up with another date? It would have screwed everything up.’ I guess it was just meant to be. It all worked out perfectly.”

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