Nashville’s transformation into a hockey town


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Despite a loss to Tampa Bay, the Nashville Predators’ 2022 stadium series marked the fifth-largest crowd in NHL history.

For native Nashvillians, hosting the Stadium Series marked a milestone for their hometown.

“I’ve lived here all my life, at 66, and I’ve seen how it grew. We were really happy when we had pro sports here in town,” said Nashville native David Patton. “We have been subscription [holders] since 2006, had the same seats every year.

David Patton was not only born and raised in Nashville, but he also raised two daughters in Music City. They offer a perspective that some might not recognize today.

“Bridgestone Arena and the Nashville Predators have made Nashville a safe place to travel downtown. Growing up, we didn’t go downtown and when the Predators came in, that’s when we started to see the growth in downtown Nashville that continues today,” said her daughter Dee Patton.

The Pred’s 2017 Stanley Cup run also positioned Nashville to host major events, like the NFL Draft and the Grand Prix.

“I’m a great hockey player, I’ve always been a great hockey player, and one of the things I said this weekend was, ‘I’m glad to see Nashville really stuck together. to the Preds and it’s become a hockey town,” said Rob Wisniewski, who flew in from New Jersey for the game.

Although he lives hundreds of miles away, Ian Booth traveled from Virginia to see the game.

“I grew up being a fan of Paul Kariya and when he was traded here I followed him to the team,” Booth said. “It means everything, especially to be here after missing the Cotton Bowl; I was upset that I missed this match. So when I found out they were hosting this one, I wasn’t going to miss it at all.

This weekend’s Stadium Series further cements Nashville as a city that brings sports fans together.

“We are happy that the NHL recognizes Nashville as a hockey city and we are delighted that so many people come to us,” said Lori Patton.

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“And we would like to see a baseball team,” laughed David Patton.

A total of 68,619 fans attended the 2022 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series at Nissan Stadium.

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