'Splashville' back to Smashville: How the Preds are working to reopen Bridgestone Arena after a flood

Posted at 4:07 PM, Nov 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-28 19:58:26-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — It's not unusual to find fans inside Bridgestone Arena, but it is pretty unusual when the space is covered with actual box and industrial fans.

A team of HVAC units currently line Sixth Avenue, pumping in as much air as possible to dry the place out.

"It’s definitely… it looks like a mess. A whole mess," said Tanyel Brown, who was walking by Bridgestone and saw the spectacle. "I bet it was a big mess."

A mess might be an understatement. Employees at the Nashville Predators Team Store found two to three inches of water covering all the floors Friday morning when they came into work. The steady stream turned a place we call Smashville into more like "Splashville."

"It is unfortunate and we’re going to fix it. That’s kind of the summary," said Scott Potter, the director of Metro Water Services Friday morning.

Metro Water has determined it was a 10-inch water line, that feeds into the arena that ruptured due to "natural causes." Metro Water didn't elaborate further but Potter told reporters this on Friday.

"It’s most likely due to a crack or something that formed, who knows when? That’s how a pipe like that will fail when it does," he said.

Two games have been canceled already, which is why contractors are working hard to make sure there aren't anymore.

Nashville Predators president and CEO Sean Henry tweeted out Tuesday morning, "Very thankful for our partners throughout SMASHVILLE to get us in a position to ideally host the Ducks Tuesday!! Complete restoration will take a while but the combination of our staff and fans’ passion and patience will allow us to safely host events earlier than most could!"

So far, Maren Morris's scheduled concert at Bridgestone this upcoming Friday also remains on the schedule.

"Gonna take down a few walls, a lot of ceiling tiles that haven’t fallen already," Henry told reporters on Friday.

Those are all minor details to Henry as long as the real fans can return to truly soak it all in.

Meanwhile, a few of the Nashville Predators team members pooled their money to buy lunch for all the contractors working to restore Bridgestone Arena, including Roman Josi and Matt Duchene.

Puck drops in Smashville at 7 p.m. Tuesday night.

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