Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Touring the Home of the Predators

Predator fans have made Bridgestone Arena one of the loudest arenas in the NHL. The home of Predator nation can be an intimidating barn.

As much as the arena is home to the fans, it is the home away from home for the players. Ever wonder what their home is like?

I'm glad you asked.

Why don't we take a tour of the part of the arena that is home to the Predators.

This is the Predators Locker room where they dress before the games. The locker room is located at the end of the tunnel that leads to the ice. Here you see the practice jerseys and equipment set out for the players.

Immediately off the locker room at one end is the stick room. The room contains a multitude of sticks for the players that are stored for future use. The players have several sticks at the bench in case one breaks, and this is where the extra sticks are held. Notice too that they game jerseys (last year's model) are stored in this room as well.

Each player will shape the blade of the stick to their preference. The equipment room, also located off the locker room is equipped with equipment to shape sticks as well as sharpen and repair skates and other equipment.

The training room is where players receive treatment or stitches during the game, and where the trainers work on injured players when the team is in town. Although you don't see it in this shot, there is a host of medical devices here for the maintenance of the players physical health.

This is a lounge area/meeting space for the team. As you can see, there is a television for the players use, as well as several computers. There are comfortable couches and chairs for the team members as well as tables where they can have lunch. As Mattias Ekholm has mentioned in his diary, the team likes to have lots of meetings. The meeting space for the players is very accommodating.

The Predators have a state of the art work out facility. This is used for off ice testing at the start of the season as well as in season conditioning. This large facility is located across the hall from the locker rooms.

Predator fans will recall that the arena flooded in May of 2010, and one of the casualties of that event was the team's locker room, meeting space, and work out areas. All had to be rebuilt after the flood. After taking a tour, it can be said that the facilities are first class.

This is a glimpse of where the Predators spend much of their day. While we see them on ice for practice, the hub of their activity occurs in these facilities.

I want to thank Colin Wilson, who was gracious enough to take an afternoon that he had off to give me the tour.

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