That most wonderful time of the year, the start of hockey season, shifts into high gear this weekend in Smashville. The Predators have announced the schedule of activities for the third annual Preds Fest, a three day celebration of hockey in Nashville. Here is the release from the Predators with details of the upcoming events:
The Nashville Predators are gearing up for their third annual Preds Fest, a fan-appreciation celebration from Sept. 30-Oct. 2 featuring several unique experiences to mark the start of the hockey season in Smashville.
“We are ready to drop the puck on another season of Nashville Predators hockey and I know our fans are chomping at the bit as well,” Nashville Predators President/COO Sean Henry said. “That’s why we’ve created three full days of programming to satisfy their hockey hunger – with the centerpiece being a plaza party and an exciting preseason match-up against the Carolina Hurricanes. From open skates, to autograph signings to free merchandise and game tickets, Preds Fest holds something special to get every fan ready for a fantastic season in Smashville!”
Preds Fest begins on Friday, Sept. 30 with a Kids Club Members-Only Skate at Bridgestone Arena from 5:30-6:30 p.m. To sign up for the Kids Club, presented by Delta Dental, visit nashvillepredators.com/kidsclub. The ice then opens up for a Public Skate from 7-8 p.m. Concession stands will be open and the Sixth Avenue garage (on the corner of Sixth and Demonbreun) will be free and open to the public for parking. Fans must bring their own skates as there will be no skate rental available on site. Fans should also be on the lookout from noon through 2 p.m. for Predators staff handing out free merchandise around town. During that time, mascot GNASH will be at the Daily’s gas station in Joelton (1284 Jackson Felts Rd.) greeting fans, signing autographs and helping fans pump gas.
Day Two of Preds Fest begins on Saturday, Oct. 1 with an Open House from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., providing fans the chance to tour Bridgestone Arena, ask questions and personally select seats for the upcoming season. Between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. there will also be player autographs on the main concourse. Fans in attendance who open a Fifth Third Checking account receive $100 off any season ticket. Also on Saturday morning from 1-3 p.m. will be a Youth Hockey Clinic featuring former Nashville Predator Cliff Ronning. This clinic is open to any youth hockey player aged 10-12 that plays at house or travel skill level. Registration may be accessed at nashvillepredators.com/youthclinic. Clinic viewing is open to the public.
Preds Fest kicks into high gear on Saturday afternoon with a pregame party on the Bridgestone Arena plaza from 4:30-7 p.m. featuring youth hockey rinks, inflatable activities, games, live music and concessions. Day Two also features a FREE preseason game vs. the Carolina Hurricanes at 7 p.m. Secure free general admission tickets by visiting nashvillepredators.com/freeticket (while supplies last). During the first intermission of Saturday’s game Preds forward Mike Fisher and defenseman Francis Bouillon will be signing autographs on the main concourse with Alum Cliff Ronning signing during second intermission (players subject to change without notice). Fans are also encouraged to bring school supplies for a collection to benefit LP Pencil Box – a free school supply store for educators that provides learning materials for impoverished students in the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools. Make sure to stop by the Patrón Platinum Club after the game for the Daily’s post-game radio show on 102.5 The Game.
Preds Fest concludes on Sunday, Oct. 2 with an open-to-the-public High School Hockey Jamboree at Bridgestone Arena from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. featuring a day filled with 12 Greater Nashville Area Scholastic Hockey League games. Games are open the public and free to attend. Sunday also features an appearance at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt’s We Care for Kids Day from 2-4 p.m., including games, prizes and an appearance by team mascot GNASH.
The Nashville Predators close out their eight-game preseason schedule this week with a trip to Winnipeg bookended by home games. The Preds host the Washington Capitals tonight at 7 p.m., before jetting to Winnipeg for the first of back-to-back contests on Friday night at 7 p.m. The preseason culminates with the annual Preds Fest Game on Saturday when the Carolina Hurricanes come to town. Games then start counting on Friday, Oct. 7 and Saturday, Oct. 8 with back-to-back road contests to open the 2011-12 regular season against Central Division foes Columbus (7 p.m. on FOX Sports Tennessee) and St. Louis (7 p.m. on FOX Sports Tennessee). The Preds home opener comes the following Thursday, Oct. 13 when the Phoenix Coyotes come to Smashville (7 p.m. on SportSouth).