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So, you’re coming to Smashville...

Before you enter the friendly confines of Bridgestone Arena, get to know some of the history that was made there and the traditions that take place inside.

Anaheim Ducks v Nashville Predators Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Getting to Bridgestone

You’ll need to park. While you have a ton of options, there are three solid plans for parking:

  1. You can park at the Music City Center. While you’ll pay around $20, you’ll have the ability to walk across the street to the entrance to the Arena.
  2. Another pricier lot is the Pinnacle building. It’s usually a little less than the MCC, but you’ll walk a couple of blocks to get to the Arena.
  3. The smart money move is to park a little farther away at one of the many $5 or $10 lots and then use your Bird or Lime app to pick up one of those awesome electric scooters and ride in style to the door of the Arena. You can drop the scooter nearby. It probably won’t be there when you leave, but you’ll find another one. Remember to ride on the street and not the sidewalk. Oh, and make sure you download the app before you get there.

Some History

The Nashville Predators have played at Bridgestone Arena since 1998. The new expansion Nashville team selected Barry Trotz as their first coach.

The Predators qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs in their sixth season (2003-04). They lost in the first round to the Detroit Red Wings, but they’ve made several playoff appearances since.

In 2014, the Predators opted not to renew the contract of Trotz and hired Peter Laviolette as their second head coach. In 2017, the Predators advanced past the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time in team history. They defeated the Anaheim Ducks in six games to advance to the Stanley Cup Final. The Predators were defeated in six games by the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Predators won their first Presidents’ Trophy in 2018.

The team has only had one general manager, David Poile. Known for his savvy management, Poile acquired Filip Forsberg from the Washington Capitals, managed to keep Shea Weber by matching a 14-year offer sheet, swapped defender Seth Jones for center Ryan Johansen, and pulled off a three-way trade with the Colorado Avalanche and Ottawa Senators for Kyle Turris...just to name a few moves.

Traditions

Chants

  • With one minute left in each period, the announcer says “there’s one minute remaining in the period” and all the fans respond “Thanks, Paul!”
  • If you’re on the opposing team, you suck. There’s no other way to look at it.
  • During the lineup announcements, add “SUCKS” after each opposing player name. “HE SUCKS, TOO” comes after the opposing coach is announced.
  • When the opponent is announced to be on the power play, follow it up with “AND THEY STILL SUCK!”
  • Listen for chants to start from Cellblock 303 (the nickname of section 303) the two biggest you’ll hear are:

Soon after each Predators goal, listen for the saber tooth tiger roar:

THANK YOU (GOALIE’S LAST NAME), MAY WE HAVE ANOTHER?

HE SHOOTS…HE SCORES…YOU SUCK!”

GIB-SON (example)

GIB-SON

GIB-SON

YOU SUCK!

IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT

IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT

IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT

IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT

During the goal celebration song (you’ll see Tim McGraw), the song “Gold on the Ceiling” starts playing, chant along with:

HEY, YOU SUCK!

HEY, YOU SUCK!

AND WE’RE GONNA BEAT THE HELL OUTTA YOU!

YOU, YOU, YOU, YOU, YOU!

To WOO or not to WOO?

This is something near and dear to my heart. As the game draws to a conclusion, many of the more inebriated denizens of Smashville begin to “WOO” loudly. What starts as one, lone voice usually becomes a chorus of competing “WOO” calls. In my personal opinion (SCSOTF) I think this is horrible. It sounds akin to the call of a drunken pedal tavern rider, but it also seems to immediately precede a late game goal by the opposition. This is why I humbly ask you to refrain from joining in on this unfortunate “tradition”.

In summary: It’s not a tradition. Don’t “WOO”.

In-Arena Notes:

  • Like most arenas, the concession food is quite expensive. If you’re starving for something unique, try the catfish bites or hot chicken and pimento sandwich. There’s also some pretty great BBQ in and near the arena.
  • There is a pretty nice selection of local beers on the lower level. Try some Yazoo, Jackalope, or Fat Bottom.
  • In the upper levels you can find some frozen spirits such as Rose, whiskey sweet tea, and margaritas. You can also get them in a refillable souvenir cup.
  • Since seating is general admission for the NWHL game, you’re going to be able to pick your seat. There’s not a bad seat in Bridgestone Arena, but try to grab a mid-ice seat in the 100 level. You also can sit behind the benches or behind the nets for an up-close and personal view of your favorite players.
  • The goal horn can be startling. If you’re under it (the Fan Zone is directly under the horn), be ready.
  • The Nashville Predators do not wear yellow. They wear gold.
  • If “Shout” comes on during a stop in play, be prepared to dance. Same goes for “Low.” Make sure you sing at the top of your voice if “Friends in Low Places” or “You Got What I Need” is played.
  • If someone tries to start the wave, just let them tire themselves out, they’ll figure it out eventually.
  • You can find plenty of Nashville Predators merchandise around the arena. Most of it is your standard run of the mill NHL licensed merch, but Bridgestone is home to some unique Preds merch such as pucks, silly shirts that pay homage to franchise history, enamel pins, bobble heads featuring your favorite players and their pups, and even plush toy versions of the beloved mascot Gnash, that are the size of a small human.
  • If you’re looking for something that’s a little more subtle but still pays tribute to hockey, you can pick up a “SMASH” or “NASH” hat in Preds colors inside the arena. They’ve become a staple in Nashville, you can’t walk down the street without seeing someone wearing one.