Nashville wants to host one of the NHL’s marquee events, and has submitted a bid to get it.
According to The Tennessean, the Preds have thrown their hat the ring to host the NHL’s All-Star Game at Bridgestone Arena for 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. Reports of the bids broke following a recent budget hearing for the city’s Metro Sports Authority.
Sean Henry, chief operating officer of the arena and its main tenant, the Nashville Predators, said Thursday that the bid was submitted this week.
“We’re pretty optimistic that we’re going to have one in the very near future,” Henry said during a budget hearing for the Metro Sports Authority. “We should be hearing some positive news, I think, in the next few weeks.”
“That is super to hear,” said Councilman Charlie Tygard, who had asked Henry about the possibility.
In a phone interview today, Henry said the recent openings of the Music City Center and the Omni Hotel mean “we have the facilities to do it. And I feel pretty good, pretty confident.”
In an email, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told The Tennessean he couldn’t comment on individual bid proposals but did say the league would hopefully “be in a position to make an announcement on the 2016 All-Star Game” by July 1.
The All-Star Game hasn’t been played since 2012 — when Ottawa hosted — due to the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign and 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. The 2015 edition will be held in Columbus, and it’s fair to speculate that Nashville would be in line to host such an event. The organization has never held an All-Star Game and only hosted one draft, back in 2003.