Cellblock 303 Leads The Way In Smashville

Posted at 8:02 PM, May 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-17 21:12:00-04

Smashville has earned a reputation. Loud, infectious, exciting, one of the best arenas in pro sports, and a lot of that is thanks to a group sitting in section 303.

Cellblock 303.

"There's nothing else like it," Ashley Cummins, a member of Cellblock 303 said. 

The section has led chants at Predators games since the first home game in October of 1998. 

"We just picked 303 on a whim, there was no particular thought behind it, it was just the section we liked with a nice angle of the ice," Mark Hollingsworth, known as "The Warden," said. 

Hollingsworth picked the location with his friends. During the first game, he stood up and told the surrounding fans that he and his friends planned to be loud, planned to cheer, and planned to have a fun time. Within just a few games, most of the section had joined in on the fun, and over the years, the rest of the stadium has joined in as well. 

Some of the chants are well-known, like the automatic, "Thanks Paul" after Paul McCann announces there's one minute left in the period. 

What many don't know, is that in Cellblock 303, the chant starts about 4 seconds earlier. With 1:04 left in a period, they yell, "How much time is left in the period?" To which Paul responds "One Minute." That's when the whole crowd says "Thanks Paul." 

Then, there are the lesser known chants, the ones known as "regional hits." 

"Zebra, zebra, short and stout, find your head and pull it out!" Hollingsworth proclaimed, aiming that chant at the refs on the ice after a bad call. 

All of the chants were originally gathered from college, minor league, and major league hockey fans around the Country, and some new ones were added.

Hollingsworth and other members of Cellblock 303 handed out fliers to fans who wanted to learn the chants, and now in 2017, Bridgestone Arena and Predators fans are known as some of the best, and some of the loudest. 

"There's something really special going on with this team, and things are just sort of lining up right," Hollingsworth said. 

Members of the group said they're excited about how well the Predators are doing and they're happy that all of the fans outside of Cellblock 303 are joining in, adding that Cellblock 303 has become a mentality more than a location.

"We're loving every minute of it, win or lose. We're gonna be here cheering these guys on," Brian Binkley, a member of Cellblock 303, said. 

And while the focus is on the game, every time the Preds play at home, people who sit in section 303 are excited to see their friends and people they call family. 

"It's great to have 40 nights a year that we know we can be around friends and family, it's great," Stephen Dishman, a member of Cellblock 303, said. 

Dishman's daughter, Sasha, when to her first game when she was 5 weeks old in the Cellblock. Now 11-years-old, she still goes to games, growing up a Predators fan, and growing up around people who have enjoyed seeing her, and others in the section, grow into the people they are today. 

The Cellblock is hoping the Preds can make it all the way and bring the cup to Nashville, but regardless, they're enjoying the ride, and they're inviting anyone who wants to join in to learn the chants, and to get on board, because hockey has never been more exciting in Nashville than it is now. 

To learn more about Cellblock 303 and to see all of the chants, you can visit their website