The Nashville Predators and Music City have long promised a unique blend of tunes, hockey pucks and good times. From bands playing during intermissions to the guitar pick logo on the right shoulder of the club’s jerseys, the Predators know they have something special at the crossroads of hockey and music, and they don’t intend to forget that marriage when the celebration of the NHL’s 2016 All-Star Weekend begins later this year.
In a meeting with Nashville media on Tuesday, Predators CEO Jeff Cogen and President Sean Henry fleshed out their vision for the community-wide event they picture when the All-Star festivities begin. According to the duo of top Preds execs, that’s why the party has to start even earlier than it has in years past. Henry said the All-Star “campus” coming to Nashville will start outdoors and in early December, with the actual All-Star Game not coming until the end of January.
“Picture the CMA Festival meets the All-Star Game,” Henry said. “We want to make sure we’re celebrating hockey for Nashville and for [tens of thousands] of people.
“There will be a lot of outdoor events, combined with Fan Fair [a NHL staple of All-Star Weekend]. Ideally, the outdoor rink and the park is populated that first week of December, almost like [New York City’s] Rockefeller Center. The League was excited about it because it can really change what the All-Star Game continues to be.”
The desire to put a Nashville fingerprint on the widely-popular event shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Neither should the promise to make the 2016 All-Star Weekend so exceptional it changes the course of future renditions of the festivities.
Part of the way the landmark All-Star Weekend in Music City comes to fruition, says Cogen, is through the expansive, lively winter park that will stretch from Broadway and Demonbreun to 4th and 6th Avenues in downtown Nashville.
“[The park] will feature an ice rink, concert stage and we’re going to do music and family fun for the community,” Cogen said. “We want to be inclusive to the community by the creation of these free events linked to the celebration.”
Both Cogen and Henry explained they only want to tip their hand so much about all the six-to-eight-week festivities will include, but did continue to reference their desire for a Nashville-focused event which includes just about everyone in a celebration of hockey and Music City. That is what the Predators are best at after all.
Note: Also announced in the meeting was that All-Star Game/Weekend tickets will go on sale to Preds full season-ticket holders this month with priority for reserving spots filtering to half season-tickets holders, etc. after that. To purchase full season tickets and claim your spot for All-Star Weekend priority, click here.