As many of you following the blog are aware, fellow General, Jaime organized a group trip to Nashville so we could watch the Devils take on the Predators. If you ever have the opportunity to go, Nashville is a great destination for hockey!
The Bridgestone Arena, home of the Nashville Predators, is a beautiful, huge arena, with a great view from any seat. When you buy tickets, you can even choose a package that includes an all-you-can-eat buffet of arena food. With a variety of options such as soda, pretzels, peanuts, popcorn, hotdogs and nachos there’s sure to be something for everybody. If you are part of the 21 and over set, they also offer an “adult” option which includes beer. The staff there are friendly and helpful, directed us when we were lost or just said hello and welcomed us to their city as we passed by.
As if all of that isn’t enough, the atmosphere during game time is incredibly fun. I am not certain if it is only an opening night event, or part of every game, but there was a live band playing all night. For opening night introductions, their cheerleaders skated out with a giant Nashville Predators flag, and danced and cheered. Gnash, the predators Saber-tooth tiger mascot, dropped in from the ceiling and the players all entered the ice through a giant Saber-tooth Tiger head!
The crowd knows how to have a good time, and they are loud and proud of it. Bring your sense of humor to Nashville (aka “Smashville”) because they do taunt the visiting team- loudly and in unison. All of it is in good humor though, and as a Nashville fan told me “Sure, we’ll tease you, but we’ll take you out for drinks afterward.” I definitely got teased, but everyone was smiling and pursuing friendly conversation. Many of the Predators fans we met were amazed we drove 15 hours for a hockey game, and all of them welcomed us to their city and hoped we were having an enjoyable visit.
Enjoy we did, as the Devils gave us a great performance, overcoming a 2 goal deficit to win in the shoot out. After listening to the arena taunt our players throughout the game, it felt great to see them fight back for the win! We had a big celebration up in our section with high fives, cheers of “MOOOOOOOOSE!”, “KO-VY!”, “Captain Zach” and “Let’s Go Devils” that I’m told could be heard on the telecast!
All of that just describes our game day experience. As you know if you followed Jaime or myself on Twitter, there was a lot of great sight seeing and activity within Tennessee. I was fortunate enough to fit in a visit to the Jack Daniel’s Distillery, which gives free walking tours to the public, and a visit to downtown Nashville where there are tons of places to eat, and live performances of country music to enjoy. Right next to the arena is the Country Music Hall of Fame as well, which offers a look at the history of country music and displays hundreds – probably thousands – of items from the genre’s greatest artists.
If you drive from New Jersey, the scenery is gorgeous, and we were fortunate to have sunny, temperate weather during our visit. If you ever get a chance to go, I highly recommend the trip. I would return in a heart beat!
This is the third arena outside of New Jersey that I have visited. I have a long way to go to catch up to Jaime, but I’m open to suggestions for my next trip!
So, Devils Army, where have you gone and what was your favorite part about your trip? Let us know in the comments!