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NewsChannel 5 Tours Renovated Bridgestone Arena

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Posted at 6:48 PM, Sep 11, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-14 09:35:49-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Workers have been racing to finish $8 million of upgrades: it’s a face lift for the 20-year-old Bridgestone Arena.

“When guests come back from the Predators season they will see a new area,” said VP of Event Operations David Chadwell.

Chadwell gave NewsChannel 5 a private tour, showing off the new bathrooms and concessions.

“This is a barbecue stand that's gonna have a 300 pound capacity smoker,” he said, motioning to the construction.

They painted stairwells gold and showed off the larger, plusher seats made of pleather. Those have been installed on the 100-level.

“We were able to decrease some aisle sizes due to codes and increase the chair sizes where we could,” Chadwell said.

But the change that will affect visitors the most has been the upgrade to security.

“In previous years we've worked with wands. And it's a slower process, it’s physically taxing on the employees,” he explained.

More than 20 metal detectors are up and running at the different entrances. But they're a little different than what you might expect.

“You can walk through these units that we’ve chosen with your keys, wallets, jewelry, watches,” Chadwell said.

The only regular item that can’t pass through is a cell phone. An attendant will hold your phone as you pass through the metal detector.

The new security debuted a few weeks ago, and fans ran into long lines at concerts like Kelly Clarkson. To help speed up the process the staff has asked visitors to show up 20 minutes early so they're not racing to get inside.