Fans, collectors and hockey players alike all made their way to Ford Ice Center for the Nashville Predators’ annual Used Equipment Sale on Saturday. The sale, a favorite item on the team’s summer calendar, gives the organization an opportunity to part with equipment of all kinds – from skates, sticks and practice jerseys to laundry bags, socks and locker room name plates – and make room for new gear arriving for the upcoming season.
“It’s a cool opportunity for fans to get some of the equipment that the team uses during the year,” Predators Head Equipment Manager Pete Rogers told NashvillePredators.com last week prior to the sale. “We give the fans a special opportunity to wear an actual piece of equipment that’s game used, and for a decent price too, usually less than the original price of the item. It’s a great way of the team to give back to the fans.”
This year, for the first time, the sale was held at Ford Ice Center, and as people arrived for the day’s other activities – including inflatable games, food trucks, open skate and the Preds Development Camp Scrimmage – the line for the Used Equipment Sale could be seen stretching out into the parking lot.
Jen Cherry, who waited about an hour to get the opportunity to look through the rooms of equipment on Ford Ice Center’s second level, wasn’t fazed by the wait.
“I think it’s good for the fans – we like a piece of the team,” Cherry said. “That way we can be proud and show our support for the Preds.”
Like Cherry, season-ticket holders David Veile and his son Houston were happy to get an opportunity to purchase something that brought them a little closer to the team they love.
“A lot of times with professional sports, the team feels pretty separated from the fans, so this is an opportunity to be closer to the team,” the elder Veile said. “To hold stuff they’ve played and practiced with – it really just brings the team closer to the fans.”
The Veiles were part of the group of Used Equipment Sale shoppers that were on the hunt for a special piece of memorabilia – not to play with, but to take a place of honor in their home.
“We got a James Neal stick; it’s pretty exciting,” Veile said. “It’s for [Houston’s bedroom] wall.”
While many shoppers, like Cherry and the Veiles, purchased memorabilia for show, many in attendance were looking for a good deal on equipment they can put to use themselves.
Trey Steele, a Day One season-ticket holder and a hockey player, arrived at Ford Ice Center quite early on Saturday morning, and was able to walk away with two pairs of skates, pants, two sticks, socks and a few practice jerseys.
For Steele, he sees the Used Equipment Sale as just another way the Preds are helping to build hockey in Middle Tennessee.
“It helps everybody out in the community; so many people are starting to play in the community and something like this helps get that price cut and a lot of these people are using equipment,” Steele said. “[The equipment] is going to go right back on the ice. You get a price cut and you can keep playing hockey.”
All of the prospects' jerseys worn during the Development Camp scrimmage game are up for auction through the Nashville Predators Foundation, cast your bid here. (Auctions end July 20)