Details have emerged on a proposed Bridgestone Arena lease extension for the Nashville Predators, which calls for the team to commit to facility upgrades and remain through 2049.
The Predators have struck an agreement with the administration of mayor David Briley on a proposed lease extension for the downtown Nashville arena. Under those terms, the Predators would remain at the facility through 2049–their current pact runs until 2028–while investing $350 million in Bridgestone Arena renovations and maintenance over the next 20 years. In addition, the agreement would eliminate annual operating subsidies from Nashville Metro government’s general fund, but still allow the Predators to capture incentives through sales tax collections and ticket tax revenue.
Those incentives would be used to help fund renovations and maintenance at the facility. Several major improvements could come as a result of the lease extension, with the first expected to be an addition of new seating and a press box in 2021. In discussing the deal, Predators CEO Sean Henry is emphasizing that the lease extension would allow Bridgestone Arena to remain a key player in downtown Nashville’s booming entertainment scene. The lease is pending the approval of the Metro Nashville Sports Authority, which is expected to render its vote next month. More from The Tennessean:
“When you look at unique venues and real strong partnerships, they can really change a city and they can change areas,” Henry said. “We’re pretty proud of that, more so than wins and losses, rankings, awards. We like those and brag about those all the time.
“But what we’re really excited about is that I’m hard-pressed to find another venue in North America where you can point to it and say, ‘Look what’s happening around that building.’ “
Metro Director of Law Jon Cooper detailed the arrangement to the sports authority board at its meeting on Thursday. The board is expected to vote on the new lease next month.
Under the plan, the first major upgrade will come in 2021 when the franchise intends to add about 1,200 seats to the upper level in addition to a new press box.
Should this proposal move forward, it would allow the Predators to pursue major Bridgestone Arena renovations and solidify one part of Nashville’s busy sports facilities scene. Local officials have already committed to new soccer-specific stadium that will open for upcoming MLS expansion club Nashville SC in 2022, while it seems likely that the NFL’s Tennessee Titans will want long-term upgrades to Nissan Stadium.