An expanded concourse, boutique hotel, second ice surface and an office tower could be part of a Bridgestone Arena overhaul, as the Nashville Predators (NHL) lay out a plan for the next phase in the arena’s history.
Bridgestone Arena opened in December 1996, and its impact on downtown Nashville is evident every night the Preds are in town: while the crowd are certainly present along Broadway on most nights, there’s an added excitement before and after the game. And while the vision of Bridgestone Arena 2.0 — developed by the Predators in association with Populous, the Kansas City sport-architecture firm responsible for the original Bridgestone Arena — is certainly intriguing, Preds officials say they are merely floating concepts as to the fan experience could be improved.
The stated goal of the study, which the Predators and Metro kicked off in February, is to extend the life of the building. The report mentions a tower to be located at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Broadway that would be used for a hotel, office space and/or residential space. The report also identifies a new social rooftop patio area, a restaurant to anchor new retail space and adding a second sheet of ice on-site.
“How do we fundamentally continue to renovate this building but in the next 10 to 12 years really transform it?” [Predators CEO Sean] Henry said, explaining the goal of the Populous report….
Other notable projects in the report include more toilets and concession facilities, increased amenities at all levels, revamped stadium suites, new event plazas including rooftop hospitality and street-level hospitality, and new team and facility offices at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Demonbreun Street where a new sheet of ice would be added. The overhaul for the corner of Sixth Avenue and Broadway would include the new tower plus conference and meeting space, street-level retail and a relocated team store and visitors center.
You see much of these in newer sports facilities: the goal is to keep fans in the building as long as possible, especially the millennials who love to linger over a drink or three in a rooftop bar. We’ve seen this style work well in arenas like Amway Center, home of the Orlando Magic (NBA), where a host of similar amenities have proven to be a huge success. And with downtown Nashville absolutely booming, the improved amenities are important to the Predators remaining competitive in a crowded entertainment market.
Renderings courtesy Nashville Predators and Populous.