Dear Season-Ticket Holder,
Your Nashville Predators are off to a strong start to the 2015-16 season. Bridgestone Arena was just named the IEBA 2015 Venue of the Year, and after winning the 2014 Pollstar Building of the Year, is again a finalist for the award this year. Plus, the hockey world will soon descend upon Smashville as we host the 2016 NHL® All-Star Game and surrounding activities. It is truly a special time for our franchise and our fans.
These benchmarks are just the latest examples of the short and long-term vision and planning by our organization and the execution by a staff full of terrific and dedicated individuals. Ours is now a model that others in the professional sports industry look to and follow. All of this planning and execution directly impacts you as we deliver a more exciting and successful product on the ice, a world-class venue and atmosphere as well as unparalleled customer service.
Just over five years ago, our ownership group embarked on a search to identify a CEO to lead our organization. We were fortunate to attract Jeff Cogen as CEO and Sean Henry as President. In reality, on August 10, 2010, we and they, knew we were introducing our CEO of the present and our CEO of the future. From there, we developed our very simple but direct goals: Bridgestone Arena is the No. 1 sports and entertainment venue in the United States and its centerpiece is the Stanley Cup Champion Nashville Predators hockey team.
Jeff and Sean have spent every day creating and developing the culture both internally and externally that has put this organization on its current upward trajectory. They overhauled and expanded our organization, while reaching out and forming strong partnerships within the community that have elevated us to new levels. The health of the franchise and building have never been stronger — record season ticket sales and marketing partnerships, enhanced broadcast and media rights packages, more building activity than ever before, creation and growth of Ford Ice Center along with our philanthropic efforts through the Nashville Predators Foundation — and the future is even brighter, especially combined with the on-ice product under the direction of General Manager David Poile and Head Coach Peter Laviolette.
Today is the day we take a step forward in our evolution with the seamless and planned transition as Sean Henry assumes the role of CEO and President, effective Dec. 1. Jeff Cogen has informed us of his desire to step aside, pending completion of his oversight on the 2016 NHL All-Star activities, and retire from the leadership role he has had with the Predators. On behalf of our ownership group, staff and fans, we are sincerely grateful to Jeff for his passion, expertise and leadership over the past five years.
We are also equally proud to turn over the organizational direction and operations to Sean, who has been a partner in this venture with Jeff and at the forefront of so many of our advancements, notably our partnerships with Metro Government, the SEC, CMA and many others, to the development of new projects that benefit our fans such as the Lexus Lounge, concession stand enhancements and security measures to our integration of new technology to better serve our fans and partners. There is no one more connected to our fans and partners, especially through social media, than Sean.
Sean has a strong executive leadership team in place that includes Executive VP/General Counsel and CFO Michelle Kennedy, Senior VP/Corporate Development, Broadcast and Entertainment Chris Junghans, Senior VP/Booking David Kells and Senior VP/Ticket Sales and Amateur Hockey Nat Harden. This leadership team will build upon and further develop the sound foundation Sean and Jeff have created. We have so much to look forward to — CMA Awards, 2016 NHL® All-Star Weekend, future SEC Tournaments as well as the ongoing schedule of concerts and family shows, growth of Ford Ice Center and, of course, our quest for the Stanley Cup.
Our ownership group is confident that Sean Henry, the executive leadership team and our more than 150 Predators and Bridgestone Arena staff will drive our franchise and building to new heights. Today, we congratulate Sean and look forward to supporting his efforts in leading the organization while we thank Jeff for his many contributions and wish him and his family success and good health as he moves on.