From National Anthems to Watch Parties, Preds CEO Has Hand in All
by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Communications & Content Coordinator
All things considered, it’s not a bad time to be a fan of the Nashville Predators.
With the team clinching its first berth to the Stanley Cup Final in franchise history, morale, excitement, ticket demand – it’s all through the roof.
That’s where Predators President and CEO Sean Henry comes in, tasked with overseeing the business side of the historic run and showcasing hockey in Music City to the world.
“The excitement and the hype around what we have going on is absolutely incredible” Henry said. “We are the talk of the town, talk of the state, talk of the country, and really talk of the continent, and that’s really exciting for us. We’ve all worked really hard to get where we are.”
Henry addressed a number of questions and concerns on Wednesday morning, including ticket availability for the Stanley Cup Final. While the allotment of season-ticket holder options have sold out, approximately 150-200 tickets are set to go on sale to the general public on Friday morning at 10 a.m. CT via Ticketmaster.
Henry also added that the 100 day-of-game $15 tickets, presented by Twice Daily, will remain as well. Plus, there is always the chance to see the release of NHL broadcast holds, League holds and visiting team ticket holds on the day of the game as additional options.
For fans unable to secure tickets, the outdoor watch parties are only going to get bigger and better. Henry expects to announce details for Stanley Cup Final watch parties – home and away – within the coming days. Plus, with the Country Music Association festival coming to town and leading into the second weekend of June, the Preds and CMA are working with the city to plan some of the most impressive parties Nashville has ever seen.
“It’s so much fun to actually have to plan around 100,000 people visiting our city for CMA festival and make them all Predators fans,” Henry said. “I think that’s what’s going to happen.”
Since the playoffs began, the Preds have seen season-ticket equivalents grow from 10,000 to approximately 12,000 today. Henry estimates that number could top out around 14,000 before the start of the 2017-18 season, numbers that were once thought impossible in the city.
Perhaps the biggest questions pertain to who might be performing the national anthem at Bridgestone Arena when Games Three and Four roll into town. There’s probably a better chance of encountering a traffic-free interstate in Nashville than there is discovering who will belt out the stars and stripes ahead of time, but the process has been unforgettable for Henry and his staff.
“We’re pretty fortunate to be sitting in a city with so many incredible performers that want to be a part of this excitement,” Henry said. And the best part about most of them are it’s not their first game… it’s just the opposite. They’ve been part of what we are doing for a long time, they’re big fans, they’re here more often than they are not for our games, so it’s not about selection, and the hardest part is the coordination of their schedules. This is the prime touring schedule for so many people, and the sacrifices that some of those performers are making in returning to Nashville for one night then going back on tour is pretty humbling in reality.”
But when there’s a product available like what the Preds have going, everyone wants in.
“We’re standing here today talking about playing in the Stanley Cup Final,” Henry marveled. “We’re so excited about it.”