If the NHL resumes play, Nashville wants to be a host city for games

The NHL has not finalized a plan to resume play
Posted at 4:39 PM, May 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-20 19:50:24-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A new, potential plan from the NHL could bring hockey back to your TV. Monday, the NHL Commissioner announced they were looking to pick eight or nine cities across North America that would host multiple teams and games a day, to help them finish the 2020 season.

If hockey does return, the city of Nashville says they want to be a part of it. "We want to raise our hand and say, why not Nashville?" said Butch Spyridon, the CEO of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation. "We’re about as well equipped as any city. We have practice surfaces, we have a great arena, we have hotels within walking distance and we have a great geographic location."

Under this plan, there would be no fans inside the arenas, but Spyridon says it's worth pursuing because all of the visiting teams could help fill downtown hotel beds.

"We’re running 20% occupancy in the city so we have a lot of capacity and I know our hotel partners are looking for any sign of life," said Spyridon.

Spyridon also believes, fans could return to Lower Broadway. In his mind, each team could take over a Honky Tonk, as long as there's the proper social distancing.

"The Blackhawks fans are at Tootsie's. The Red Wings fans are at Legends. We could have a pretty cool experience for the fans as well and still abide by health guidelines," he said.

To be clear, the NHL and city leaders haven't even had a direct conversation about any of this. Still, Spyridon believes this is the perfect way to get Nashville's economy out of the penalty box.

"If you don’t raise your hand and say we’re interested, then you’re never going to get anything, and at this point we are interested in any and all opportunities," said Spyridon.

NewsChannel 5 reached out to the Nashville Predators for this story, but they tell us they never comment on potential business, only officially confirmed events.