Bridgestone Arena

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Bridgestone Arena
The Stone; The Bridge; The Tire Barn
Bridgestone Arena Logo.svg
Bridgestone Arena (Northeast corner).JPG
Bridgestone Arena in 2015
Bridgestone Arena is located in Nashville
Bridgestone Arena
Bridgestone Arena
Location in Nashville
Bridgestone Arena is located in Tennessee
Bridgestone Arena
Bridgestone Arena
Location in Tennessee
Bridgestone Arena is located in the United States
Bridgestone Arena
Bridgestone Arena
Location in the United States
Former namesNashville Arena (1996–99, 2007, 2010)
Gaylord Entertainment Center (1999–2007)
Sommet Center (2007–10)
Address501 Broadway
LocationNashville, Tennessee
Coordinates36°9′33″N 86°46′43″W / 36.15917°N 86.77861°W / 36.15917; -86.77861Coordinates: 36°9′33″N 86°46′43″W / 36.15917°N 86.77861°W / 36.15917; -86.77861
OwnerSports Authority of Nashville
Davidson County
OperatorPowers Management Company


  • End-stage 18,500
  • Half-house 10,000
  • City Theater: 5,145
  • Center-stage 20,000
Record attendance19,047 (March 22, 2019; Mumford & Sons)[1]
Field size750,000 sq ft (70,000 m2)
Broke groundJanuary 20, 1994[2]
OpenedDecember 18, 1996
Renovated2007, 2011, 2015
Construction cost$144 million
($251 million in 2020 dollars[3])
ArchitectHOK Sport
Hart Freeland Roberts, Inc.
Project managerBrookwood Group[4]
Structural engineerThornton Tomasetti
Services engineerSmith Seckman Reid Inc.
General contractorTurner/Perini[5]
Nashville Predators (NHL) 1998–present
Nashville Kats (AFL) 1997–2001, 2005–07

Bridgestone Arena (originally Nashville Arena, and formerly Gaylord Entertainment Center and Sommet Center) is a multi-purpose venue in downtown Nashville, Tennessee United States. Completed in 1996, it is the home of the Nashville Predators of the National Hockey League.


Designed by HOK Sport in conjunction with the Nashville-based architecture/engineering firm Hart Freeland Roberts, INC., it was designed at an angle on the corner of Broadway and 5th Avenue in Nashville in physical homage to the historic Ryman Auditorium, the original home of the Grand Ole Opry.[6]

Bridgestone Arena is owned by the Sports Authority of Nashville and Davidson County and operated by Powers Management Company, a subsidiary of the Nashville Predators National Hockey League franchise, which has been its primary tenant since 1998.


Bridgestone Arena January 15, 2011, following a Predators game.
2014 NCAA Women's Final Four

The Predators hosted the NHL Entry Draft here in 2003; it was also the location for the 2016 NHL All-Star Game.

In 1997, it was the venue of the United States Figure Skating Championships, and in 2004 hosted the USA Gymnastics National Championships. It was the home of the Nashville Kats franchise of the Arena Football League from 1997 until 2001, and hosted the team's revival from 2005 to 2007, when the Kats folded.

The arena has hosted college basketball events, including both men's (2001, 2006, 2010) and women's tournaments of the Southeastern Conference and the Ohio Valley Conference. Nashville will serve as a primary venue for the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament nine times between 2015 and 2025 (2015–2017, 2019–2021, and 2023–2025) after the SEC signed a long-term agreement with the Nashville Sports Council in 2013.[7] It hosted the 2014 NCAA Women's Final Four, the 2018 SEC Women's Basketball Tournament and will host again in 2022 and 2026.[7]

In odd-numbered years, the arena was regularly one of eight sites to host the first and second rounds of the men's NCAA Basketball Tournament for the first ten years of its existence, though it was taken out of the rotation for several years, partly due to the obsolete octagonal mid-1990s-style scoreboard that hung above the arena floor. It was replaced in the summer of 2007 by a new $5 million scoreboard and digital control room.[8] The NCAA Tournament returned to Nashville in 2012.

Since 2002, the arena has hosted a Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough Series event every year (except in 2005 and 2006) until 2010. The event moved to the Arena in 2002 after having previously occupied the Municipal Auditorium from 1994 to 2001; during the venue's first year hosting this event, the Built Ford Tough Series was known as the Bud Light Cup.

The venue has also hosted numerous concerts and religious gatherings. Beginning in 2006, the Country Music Association Awards have been held in the arena, after the awards show moved from the Grand Ole Opry House with a one-year stop in New York City at Madison Square Garden in 2005.

Due to the 2012–13 NHL lockout, the Predators did not host any games that season until January 19, 2013. Instead, the arena hosted a Southern Professional Hockey League preseason game between the only other Tennessee pro hockey franchise, the Knoxville Ice Bears, and their cross-border rivals Huntsville Havoc on October 20.

Seating capacity[edit]

Bridgestone Arena has a seating capacity of 17,159 for ice hockey, 19,395 for basketball, 10,000 for half-house concerts, 18,500 for end-stage concerts and 20,000 for center-stage concerts, depending on the configuration used. It has also hosted several professional wrestling events and a boxing card since its opening.

The seating configuration is notable for the oddly-shaped south end, which features two large round roof support columns, no mid-level seating, and only one level of suites, bringing the upper-level seats much closer to the floor.

The arena can be converted into the 5,145-seat Music City Theater, used for theater concerts and Broadway and family shows, by placing a stage at the north end of the arena floor and hanging a curtain behind the stage and another to conceal the upper deck. The arena also features 43,000 square feet (4,000 m2) of space in a trade show layout. Mumford & Sons set the attendance record on March 22, 2019, with 19,047 fans in attendance.[1] Kacey Musgraves set the record for the highest attendance for a female headliner with 18,373 fans during the Oh, What a World: Tour.

Arena construction[edit]

During construction of the arena there was a major time loss accident October 5, 1995 when a temporary column collapsed. Lead ironworker connector Daniel Lane Foreman suffered a shattered pelvis and was hospitalized for 10 days at Vanderbilt University Hospital. Ironworker Raymond Vance Foreman received minor injuries and was treated and released.

Notable events[edit]

Besides hosting the Nashville Predators, because of its location near Music Row and Nashville's role as the center of country music, Bridgestone Arena has seen many other famous performers and events:


Date Artist Tour / Concert Name
April 21, 2010 Billy Joel The Circle Tour
December 5, 2010 Crazy Love Tour Crazy Love Tour
April 3, 2011 Rush Time Machine Tour
August 17, 2011 Maroon 5 & Train 2011 Summer Tour
September 16, 2011 Taylor Swift Speak Now World Tour
September 17, 2011 Taylor Swift Speak Now World Tour
June 21, 2011 New Kids on the Block & Backstreet Boys NKOTBSB Tour
July 3, 2011 Mötley Crüe, Poison, & New York Dolls Glam-A-Geddon
July 18, 2011 Britney Spears Femme Fatale Tour
August 19, 2011 Katy Perry California Dreams Tour
February 17, 2012 Drake Club Paradise Tour
February 24, 2012 Journey Eclipse Tour
March 7, 2012 Big Time Rush Better with U Tour
April 27, 2012 Van Halen A Different Kind of Truth Tour
September 23, 2012 Carrie Underwood Blown Away Tour
December 13, 2012 Aerosmith Global Warming Tour
January 18, 2013 Justin Bieber Believe Tour
March 2, 2013 Pink The Truth About Love Tour
March 6, 2013 Bon Jovi Because We Can
March 10, 2013 Lady Gaga Born This Way Ball
March 24, 2013 Maroon 5 Overexposed Tour
April 27, 2013 Jimmy Buffett & Coral Reefer Band Songs from St. Somewhere Tour
June 18, 2013 New Kids on the Block, 98 Degrees & Boyz II Men The Package Tour
June 19, 2013 One Direction Take Me Home Tour
July 13, 2013 Beyoncé The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour
September 6, 2013 Muse The 2nd Law World Tour
September 19, 2013 Taylor Swift The Red Tour
September 20, 2013 Taylor Swift The Red Tour
September 21, 2013 Taylor Swift The Red Tour
October 16, 2013 Eagles History of the Eagles – Live in Concert
October 23, 2013 Michael Bublé To Be Loved Tour
October 25, 2013 Selena Gomez Stars Dance Tour
November 26, 2013 Paramore The Self-Titled Tour
November 27, 2013 Kanye West The Yeezus Tour
February 1, 2014 Keith Urban Light the Fuse Tour
February 7, 2014 Kings of Leon Mechanical Bull Tour
February 22, 2014 Brad Paisley Beat This Summer Tour
March 13, 2014 Billy Joel Billy Joel in Concert
March 29, 2014 Demi Lovato The Neon Lights Tour
April 17, 2014 Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band High Hopes Tour
June 27, 2014 Katy Perry Prismatic World Tour
August 7, 2014 Miley Cyrus Bangerz Tour
October 26, 2014 Paul McCartney Out There
December 19, 2014 Justin Timberlake The 20/20 Experience World Tour
January 17, 2015 Linkin Park The Hunting Party Tour
February 21, 2015 Jason Aldean Burn It Down Tour
February 27, 2015 Maroon 5 Maroon V Tour
March 26, 2015 Kenny Chesney The Big Revival Tour
March 27, 2015 Kenny Chesney The Big Revival Tour
May 1, 2015 Zac Brown Band Jekyll and Hyde Tour
May 11, 2015 The Who The Who Hits 50!
May 27, 2015 New Kids on the Block The Main Event
July 8, 2015 Imagine Dragons Smoke + Mirrors Tour
July 12, 2015 Fall Out Boy & Wiz Khalifa The Boys of Zummer
July 31, 2015 Shania Twain Rock This Country Tour
September 5, 2015 Kelly Clarkson Piece by Piece Tour
September 11, 2015 Lady Antebellum | Wheels Up Tour
September 13, 2015 Ed Sheeran x Tour
September 22, 2015 Ariana Grande The Honeymoon Tour
September 25, 2015 Taylor Swift The 1989 World Tour
September 26, 2015 Taylor Swift The 1989 World Tour
March 18, 2016 Rihanna Anti World Tour
June 21, 2016 Selena Gomez Revival World Tour
June 27, 2016 Justin Bieber Purpose World Tour
July 23, 2016 5 Seconds of Summer Sounds Live Feels Live World Tour
August 14, 2016 Drake & Future Summer Sixteen Tour
August 17, 2016 Dixie Chicks DCX MMXVI World Tour
September 7, 2016 Demi Lovato & Nick Jonas Future Now Tour
September 22, 2016 Carrie Underwood Storyteller Tour: Stories in the Round
September 24, 2016 Kanye West Saint Pablo Tour
October 13, 2016 Florida Georgia Line Dig Your Roots Tour
October 15, 2016 Adele Adele Live 2016
October 16, 2016 Adele Adele Live 2016
November 7, 2016 Stevie Nicks 24 Karat Gold Tour
February 14, 2017 Ariana Grande Dangerous Woman Tour
February 18, 2017 Bon Jovi This House Is Not for Sale Tour
May 5, 2017 Luke Bryan Huntin', Fishin' and Lovin' Every Day Tour
May 6, 2017 Luke Bryan Huntin', Fishin' and Lovin' Every Day Tour
May 17, 2017 New Kids on the Block, Boyz II Men, & Paula Abdul Total Package Tour
May 26, 2017 Eric Church Holdin' My Own Tour
May 27, 2017 Eric Church Holdin' My Own Tour
July 31, 2017 Shawn Mendes Illuminate World Tour
August 4, 2017 Tim McGraw & Faith Hill Soul2Soul: The World Tour
August 5, 2017 Tim McGraw & Faith Hill Soul2Soul: The World Tour
August 30, 2017 Kendrick Lamar The Damn Tour
September 9, 2017 Lady Antebellum You Look Good World Tour
October 18, 2017 Katy Perry Witness: The Tour
October 29, 2017 The Weeknd Starboy: Legend of the Fall Tour
November 13, 2017 Guns N' Roses Not in This Lifetime... Tour
November 15, 2017 Jay-Z 4:44 Tour
December 7, 2017 Janet Jackson State of the World Tour
February 6, 2018 Lana Del Rey LA to the Moon Tour
March 28, 2018 Demi Lovato Tell Me You Love Me World Tour
April 15, 2018 Lorde Melodrama World Tour
May 4, 2018 Foo Fighters Concrete and Gold Tour
May 26, 2018 U2 Experience + Innocence Tour
June 12, 2018 Harry Styles Harry Styles: Live on Tour[10]
July 7, 2018 Sam Smith The Thrill of It All Tour
July 10, 2018 Imagine Dragons Evolve World Tour
July 13, 2018 Kesha & Macklemore The Adventures of Kesha and Macklemore
July 21, 2018 Shania Twain Now Tour
September 11, 2018 Fall Out Boy Mania Tour
September 17, 2018 J. Cole KOD Tour
September 18, 2018 Drake & Migos Aubrey & the Three Migos Tour
September 23, 2018 Maroon 5 Red Pill Blues Tour
October 2, 2018 Florence and the Machine High as Hope Tour
October 7, 2018 Bruno Mars 24K Magic World Tour
October 8, 2018 Bruno Mars 24K Magic World Tour
October 16, 2018 Twenty One Pilots The Bandito Tour
October 24, 2018 Elton John Farewell Yellow Brick Road
October 26, 2018 Lynyrd Skynyrd The Last of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour
December 2, 2018 Childish Gambino This Is America Tour
January 24, 2019 Metallica WorldWired Tour
January 25, 2019 Panic! at the Disco Pray for the Wicked Tour
February 27, 2019 Fleetwood Mac An Evening with Fleetwood Mac
March 10, 2019 Pink Beautiful Trauma World Tour
March 20, 2019 Travis Scott Astroworld – Wish You Were Here Tour
March 22, 2019 Mumford & Sons Delta Tour
March 28, 2019 Zac Brown Band Down the Rabbit Hole Live
March 29, 2019 Kelly Clarkson Meaning of Life Tour
April 9, 2019 Kiss End of the Road World Tour
May 9, 2019 Justin Timberlake The Man of the Woods Tour
May 16, 2019 The Who Moving On! Tour
July 19, 2019 Michael Bublé An Evening with Michael Bublé
August 2, 2019 Shawn Mendes Shawn Mendes: The Tour
August 15, 2019 Queen & Adam Lambert The Rhapsody Tour
August 19, 2019 Iron Maiden Legacy of the Beast World Tour
August 26, 2019 Backstreet Boys DNA World Tour
September 10, 2019 Jonas Brothers Happiness Begins Tour
September 27, 2019 Carrie Underwood Cry Pretty Tour 360
October 13, 2019 Thomas Rhett Very Hot Summer Tour
October 20, 2019 The Chainsmokers World War Joy Tour
December 5, 2019 Ariana Grande Sweetener World Tour
January 13, 2020 Celine Dion Courage World Tour
February 19, 2020 The Lumineers III: The World Tour
March 4, 2020 Post Malone Runaway Tour[11]
March 6, 2020 Dan + Shay The (Arena) Tour[12]
March 7, 2020 Dan + Shay The (Arena) Tour
September 29, 2021 Harry Styles Love On Tour[13]
October 1, 2021 Harry Styles Love On Tour

Awards and nominations[edit]

The Bridgestone Arena was nominated for the 2007 Pollstar Concert Industry Venue of the Year Award. This is the fourth time the venue has been nominated. The first was in 1998 as the Nashville Arena, and then in 1999 and 2000 as the Gaylord Entertainment Center.[14] In 2017 it was named loudest arena in sports.

Naming rights[edit]

The arena's original name when opened in 1996 was Nashville Arena.

As Gaylord Entertainment Center (2006)

In 1999, the arena was renamed Gaylord Entertainment Center after a 20-year, $80 million naming rights contract was signed between the Predators and Nashville-based Gaylord Entertainment Company, which at the time was a minority owner of the team.[15][16]

In February 2005, it was announced that the Predators and Gaylord (which had earlier sold its stake in the team) had reached an agreement terminating any further involvement between them, and that the Gaylord name would remain on the building only until a new purchaser could be found for the naming rights. As a result, many in the Nashville media quickly reverted to calling the facility by its original name. With the beginning of the 2006 season, the Predators began referring to the arena by its original name as well. In doing so, the team replaced the "Gaylord Entertainment Center" wordmark on the center ice circle with the original "Nashville Predators" wordmark from the inaugural season. The "Gaylord Entertainment Center" name, however, was still displayed on the building's exterior signage at that point.

The facility was officially renamed Nashville Arena again, and all Gaylord signage was removed from the building's exterior on March 16, 2007.[17]

On May 18, 2007, Sommet Group, a Franklin-based collection of companies whose services included human resources administration, payroll processing, software development, computer repair, insurance, and risk management bought the naming rights to the arena, and it became known as Sommet Center. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.[16][18] The company had previously been the corporate title sponsor for the Predators during the 2007 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The agreement had lasted little more than two years when the Predators sued the Sommet Group on November 25, 2009 for breach of contract, alleging the latter had failed to make numerous payments under the naming rights agreement. As part of the suit, the Predators stated intentions to seek a new title sponsor for the arena.[19] Sommet Group's headquarters were later raided by the FBI and IRS due to suspicion of fraudulent activities, and the company subsequently filed for bankruptcy and was liquidated.[20][21] Sommet's founder, Brian Whitfield, was eventually convicted of fraud, including using some of the fraudulent funds to secure the arena naming rights.[22]

Bridgestone Arena

Unlike the Gaylord parting-of-ways, Sommet Group's name was stripped from all signage inside and outside the arena as soon as the team was legally allowed to do so. The building briefly resumed using the Nashville Arena moniker until February 23, 2010, when it was announced that the Predators had signed a naming rights deal with Nashville-based Bridgestone Americas, Inc., the North American subsidiary of Japanese tire manufacturer Bridgestone. The arena became known as Bridgestone Arena.[23]


In the summer of 2007 a number of renovations were made to what was then called the Sommet Center at a cost of several million dollars.[24] Renovations included changes to concession stands and public areas, as well as major changes to infrastructure. The most obvious change was the August 2007 replacement of the original center-hanging scoreboard (at a cost of $3.6 million[24]) with a new scoreboard made by ANC Sports.[25] The original analog scoreboard had become outdated and was no longer supported by the original manufacturer, making parts difficult to come by.[26] The new scoreboard is referred to as the "megatron" by arena and Predators staff. In addition, the TV–media control room was renovated at a cost of $2.6 million.[24]

During the summer of 2011, a new NHL-mandated ice and dasherboard system was constructed and installed in the arena. In addition, the south side of the upper concourse was redesigned as a "fan zone". The wall separating the arena and that part of the upper concourse was removed.

In the summer of 2015, the Predators began replacing all of the arena's seating. This project was completed in Summer of 2016.[27]

In the summer of 2019, the scoreboard above center ice was replaced with a new model known as "FangVision" which measures 12 feet (3.7 m) high and 34 feet (10 m) wide, along with the replacement of urinals in the men's toilets with waterless versions.[28]


  1. ^ a b Paulson, Dave (March 25, 2019). "Mumford and Sons Break Bridgestone Arena Record, Perform at Grimey's". The Tennessean. Nashville. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  2. ^ "Around the South Region in Brief". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. January 21, 1994. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
  3. ^ 1634 to 1699: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy ofthe United States: Addenda et Corrigenda (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1700-1799: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How much is that in real money?: a historical price index for use as a deflator of money values in the economy of the United States (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1800–present: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  4. ^ "Clients: Overview". Brookwood Group. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
  5. ^ "Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, National Harbor – Turner Construction Company". Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  6. ^ "Arena History". Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  7. ^ a b "SEC picks Nashville as primary tourney site". 15 October 2013. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  8. ^ Cass, Michael (January 12, 2007). "Predators and Metro Have Unresolved Issue". The Tennessean. Nashville. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
  9. ^ "Predators to host 2016 NHL All-Star festivities". New York City: NHL Enterprises, L.P. November 19, 2015. Retrieved November 19, 2015.
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Sommet Center Nominated As Venue of Year". Nashville Business Journal. December 3, 2007. Retrieved December 5, 2007.
  15. ^ "Predation Facts, information, pictures – articles about Predation". Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  16. ^ a b Mullen, Bryan (May 18, 2007). "Predators Say New Naming-Rights Deal A Sign They Are Staying". The Tennessean. Nashville. Retrieved May 19, 2007.[permanent dead link]
  17. ^ Mullen, Bryan (March 17, 2007). "New Arena Name Could Help Preds". The Tennessean. Nashville. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
  18. ^ Brumley, Doug (May 18, 2007). "Arena Now Named the Sommet Center". Nashville Predators. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
  19. ^ Gee, Brandon (November 23, 2009). "Predators Sue Sommet Group, Want to Rename Arena (Again)". Nashville Business Journal. Retrieved November 25, 2009.
  20. ^ Ferguson, Nicole; White, Eric (July 6, 2010). "FBI Raids Sommet Group In Cool Springs". NewsChannel 5. Archived from the original on June 29, 2011. Retrieved July 7, 2010.
  21. ^ Reisinger, Brian (August 23, 2010). "Judge Grants Ch. 7 Petition Against Sommet". Nashville Business Journal. Retrieved August 24, 2010.
  22. ^ Lind, J.R. (November 10, 2014). "Sommet founder convicted for $20m fraud". Archived from the original on June 20, 2015. Retrieved June 20, 2015.
  23. ^ "Predators' Home Could Be Bridgestone Arena Next Week". The Tennessean. Nashville. February 23, 2010. Retrieved March 11, 2010.[dead link]
  24. ^ a b c "Sports Authority Pleads for GEC Funds". The City Paper. Nashville. June 22, 2006. Archived from the original on January 29, 2013. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
  25. ^ Nashville Predators – Features: New scoreboard reaches Sommet Center floor – August 16, 2007 Archived June 23, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ Nashville Predators – Features: New video features on Preds TV – October 26, 2007 Archived June 23, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^ Steimer, Jacob. "Predators unveil ambitious expansion ideas for Bridgestone Arena (with slideshow)". Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  28. ^ Organ, Mike (18 September 2019). "Predators' Bridgestone Arena renovations include 300% bigger scoreboard, better concessions". The Tennessean. Retrieved 6 November 2019.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
first arena
Home of the
Nashville Predators

1998 – present
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New Orleans Arena
NCAA Women's Division I
Basketball Tournament
Finals Venue

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Amalie Arena
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Nationwide Arena
Host of the
NHL All-Star Game

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Staples Center
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Madison Square Garden
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