The Nashville Predators will call Bridgestone Arena home for decades to come, as the Metro Sports Authority has approved a 30-year lease extension.
Last month, it was learned that the Predators had struck an agreement with the administration of mayor David Briley on a proposed lease extension for the downtown Nashville arena. The Predators were previously operating under a lease that ran until 2028, but the extension commits the team to Bridgestone Arena through 2049. As part of the deal, annual operating subsidies from Nashville Metro government’s general fund will be eliminated, but the Predators can still capture revenue through increased ticket surcharges.
The new agreement is expected to facilitate about $350 million in investment from the Predators into future upgrades at Bridgestone Arena over the next 20 years. Key terms of the lease extension were revealed last month, and the deal became official after the Metro Sports Authority granted its unanimous approval on Thursday. More from The Tennessean:
Between the ticket fees and their own capital investments, the Predators ownership group is preparing to put about $350 million in upgrades at Bridgestone Arena in the next 20 years.
Ticket surcharges, currently capped at $2 per ticket, will increase to $3 per ticket on July 1. Capital improvement fees will also rise to $3 per ticket or 5% of the total cost of a ticket, whichever is lower. Those fees increase the total ticket surcharges the team will use for capital improvements at the arena to as much as $6 per ticket. The surcharges will rise by 5% annually beginning in 2021.
“Today’s final decision by the Metro Sports Authority is great news for Nashville, the Predators and the taxpayers,” Briley said. “These new agreements relieve the city and taxpayers of our financial burden at Bridgestone Arena, which opened in 1996, and will keep the Preds there for at least the next 30 years.
“This achievement would not have been possible without the Preds being such a committed partner to Nashville. The special relationship between our city and the Predators only got stronger today, and I’m proud to be a part of it.”
Bridgestone Arena originally opened in 1996, and has been home to the Predators since the franchise began play as an NHL expansion team in 1998.