As we close out the year to approach 2017, we are looking back at some of the most memorable moments Bridgestone Arena and the Nashville Predators had in 2016.
News in Smashville:
- Just six days into the new year, the Predators made a significant trade, acquiring center Ryan Johansen from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for defenseman Seth Jones. A one-for-one swap of star players, the deal gave Nashville a new piece they hadn't had before. In over 75 contests with Nashville since the trade, Johansen has averaged approximately .75 points-per-game while playing in the top-six of the forward group.
- Less than six months after landing Ryan Johansen, David Poile made not only the most significant trade in franchise history and shook up the hockey world when he acquired Norris Trophy winning defenseman P.K. Subban from Montreal in exchange for Shea Weber. Another one-for-one swap, the deal sent shockwaves across the League as the Preds looked to take another step toward achieving their ultimate goal.
- After winning Game Six in Round One, 3-1, over the Anaheim Ducks in Nashville, the Predators forced their first-ever Game Seven on April 27 in Anaheim. Forwards Colin Wilson and Paul Gaustad gave Nashville a 2-0 advantage with goals in the opening 16 minutes, and Pekka Rinne made 36 saves to push the Preds into the Second Round for the third time in franchise history.
- Game Four of the Predators Round Two Series versus the San Jose Sharks etched in several entries in the franchise record book and in the hearts of the team's fans as well. James Neal forced overtime with a one-timed strike in the final four minutes of regulation and then Smashville watched as not one or two but three overtime periods ticked by. Just past 1 a.m. (CT) and at 11:12 of the third overtime session, Mattias Ekholm fired a shot on the Sharks' net that rebounded to a waiting Mike Fisher, who deposited the rebound into the goal. The win not only tied the Second Round series at two, but marked the Predators' first playoff overtime win at home in team history and the set a new mark as the franchise's longest game played (111:12).
- Another thrilling Game Six victory - this time in Round Two - propelled Nashville to their second consecutive Game Seven, and the second in franchise history. Though the Predators would fall to the Sharks in the series-deciding game at SAP Center, the contest marked Nashville's 14th played in their 2016 postseason run - setting a franchise record.
- After a stellar 2015-16 season, the Predators locked up a key piece of the future when they inked forward Filip Forsberg to a six-year, 6 million contract, two days before the Subban trade. Forsberg has tallied over 150 points during his time with the Preds thus far, including 33 goals in 2015-16, tying the single-season franchise record for goals scored.
- On Aug. 26, the last Friday of the month, Preds single-game tickets went on sale, with the demand smashing records never seen before in the team's front office. Ticket sales were more than 50 percent higher than they have ever been the opening week of single-game ticket sales, while season-ticket sales continued to increase as rapidly as the franchise has ever seen.
- When the Predators captaincy position became vacant in the summer of 2016, Nashville's management and coaching staff knew they didn't have to look far. On Sept. 8, Mike Fisher was named the seventh captain in franchise history.
- Season-ticket holders, fans and Preds personnel filled the plaza on Oct. 1 for the annual Skate of the Union address to hear from players, coaches and management on the upcoming season. Some of the bigger announcements made that afternoon before the Preds took the ice that evening for a preseason matchup included the news of Head Coach Peter Laviolette's contract extension and the selection of James Neal and Roman Josi as Alternate Captains for the 2016-17 season.
- The Preds have sold out 45 of 46 games this 2016 calendar year, to date. Those 45 sell-out games come from 20 out of 21 regular-season games from January to April, all six playoff games and all 19 home games from October to December.
- For the first time in franchise history, the Nashville Predators have sold out of all premium seating inventory and have created a waiting list.
- For the second consecutive year in team history, all 82 games of the regular season were announced to be televised through the 2016-17 season.
- The Nashville Predators Foundation distributed over 50,000 in grants to Nashville and Middle Tennessee-based community service and charitable organizations - a record amount - and over 00,000 to Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.
- For the third consecutive year, the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund, which was started by Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne and former captain Shea Weber, presented a check to help fund pediatric cancer research at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt. In October, Rinne and GNASH presented Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt with a check from the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund, totaling over 30,000 in cash; the Preds have donated over million to the hospital over the last seven years combined.
- In October, more than 200 volunteers from the Nashville Predators and various organizations joined forces to build a new playground through KaBOOM! for St. Mary Villa's Development Center; the playground was the sixth built by the Nashville Predators Foundation and KaBOOM!.
- Bridgestone Arena is celebrating its 20th anniversary all season long. December marked the official anniversary month for the building and featured highlights from the most memorable moments over the last 20 years.
- 2016 marked the 15th year of the CMT Music Awards, country music's first fan-voted awards show recognizing country's best video and musical achievements. The CMT Music Awards is consistently the channel's highest rated and most-watched event of the year and calls Bridgestone Arena home.
- Bridgestone Arena once again hosted the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament, tournament hosting 182,198 fans. 19,613 fans watched Kentucky play Texas A&M in the 2016 SEC Championship Game.
- On January 18, 2016 Madonna made her first-ever appearance at Bridgestone Arena as part of her Rebel Heart Tour.
- The arena's sold-out shows include two Blake Shelton concerts, two Carrie Underwood concerts, one Keith Urban concert and the biggest Opening Weekend is Smashville history. The weekend of October 13-16 was entirely sold-out with Florida Georgia Line's show, the Preds home opener and two Adele concerts, marking it the biggest sold-out Opening Weekend in Arena history.
- Bridgestone Arena hosted its 10th CMA Awards Show, which happened to fall on the CMA's 50th Anniversary Awards show and celebration.
- During the month of October, Bridgestone Arena was named one of the top-five busiest venues in the United States, consistently ranking among both the nation's and world's top venues for concert ticket sales, according to international trade publication Pollstar. Furthermore, the Predators were named the sixth-best franchise in the four major North American Sports by ESPN's Ultimate Rankings. Out of 122 teams, the Nashville Predators ranked number one in Fan Relations, Stadium Experience and Affordability as well as second overall among NHL clubs.
- Bridgestone Arena underwent close to 0 million in renovations during the summer of 2016, which included the completion of entirely new arena seating, environmentally-conscious restroom enhancements and over a dozen new food and beverage stands. With the most recent upgrades, the Arena has invested close to 0 over the course of six years to continuously improve 501 Broadway.
- The Predators held their annual Blue and Gold scrimmage and celebrated the second anniversary of Ford Ice Center on Sunday, Sept. 25. Guests enjoyed inflatables and public skate sessions, equipment sales and autograph sessions with Preds players before the scrimmage took place.
- Ford Ice Center annually hosts over 20 tournaments a year, averaging 30 teams each tournament, 16 players each team for an average of three nights. This generated over ,320,000 in hotel revenue and 28,800 individual hotel nights.
- Ford Ice Center is running at 100 percent capacity during peak hours. Currently, the rinks open at 5:00 a.m. and close at 1:00 a.m., with the last team starting practice at 11:45 p.m.
2016 NHL All-Star Weekend in Nashville:
- The city of Nashville hosted the NHL's All-Star celebration from Jan. 30-31. Over 0 million in economic impact was estimated during the showcase, with over 5,000 hotel rooms occupied.
- The days saw over 34,000 in combined attendance for the Skills Competition and Game.
- 25,000 attended each outdoor concert on Saturday and Sunday for a combined attendance of 59,000 for the entire Weekend.
- With the help of the Nashville Predators, the NHL and League partner McDonald's, the NHL All-Star Legacy Project was unveiled that same weekend, giving 30,000 square feet of newly renovated space to Nashville Inner City Ministry, as part of the 2016 NHL All-Star Legacy Family Life Center through a grant in excess of 00,000.
- The All-Star Game was the most watched and highest rated All-Star Game in NBC's history (1.194 million average; 1.89 million peak).
- In addition, merchandise sales were amongst the best the NHL has ever seen for an All-Star Weekend.
- "Nashville glowed Predators gold this weekend, and the whole hockey world got to see it," The Tennessean's Jessica Bliss of the Tennessean wrote. "From the star-studded entertainment to the high-energy arena atmosphere, our city wowed visitors from NHL cities across the continent and did our team proud."