Nashville Predators Break A Franchise Attendance Record
By Chris Cannon
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Nashville Predators and their fans made history Thursday night at Bridgestone Arena. For the seventh consecutive time the team sold out the arena, breaking the previous record of six.
The Predators hit the sell out number of 17,113 seats during their game with the Dallas Stars.
"We didn't even know it, but this record, if you will, snuck up on us," said Nashville Predators' president Sean Henry.
Just a few years ago the Predators would have had a very hard time breaking this attendance record. At the time, the team was struggling to even make certain NHL benchmarks.
"And tonight's a great example of how good things can be. Now we're talking about how many sell-outs we're going to have, not how many people are in the building," Henry added.
In the 300 level of the arena, Victoria Stedman sat and watched the Predators take on the Stars, just like she has done for many years now.
"I love the speed, I love the game, I really do. I got hooked from the first time," Stedman explained.
She has noticed all the new fans that fill the seats around here and she is glad to have the company.
In a suite not too far away, Colby Johnson watched the game with his friends. The college student can pinpoint the moment he feels fortunes changed for the Predators.
"I remember whenever the team was supposed to move to Hamilton, everyone really said no, really lashed out and got attached to the team. Sort of like I did from he beginning," Johnson said.
Johnson is referring to the team's proposed move to Ontario, Canada. A wave a public support, and eventually a change in ownership kept the Predators in Nashville.
With more and more people going to home games, the players on the ice cannot help but notice the momentum building behind them.
"Forget about numbers, forget about who's in the building, or not. Talk to our players, they know when they're at home, they know when the building's full," Henry said.
The team still has half a season's worth of home games to go. They are on pace to break the all-time record for sell-outs. The Predators had 20 sold-out games during their inaugural season in 1999.