Plans to add Preds practice facility moving forward - WSMV Channel 4

Plans to add Preds practice facility moving forward

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

The pro hockey season may be frozen right now, but plans to build another community hockey rink and a practice facility for the Nashville Predators are moving forward.

The Preds currently practice at Centennial Sportsplex, but other teams also use the same ice rink, which can mean a packed schedule.

"Ice skating and hockey is growing leaps and bounds, and we're getting to the point - particularly with high school teams - the kids are having to come here pretty late at night," said Les Keller, with Centennial Sportsplex.

Now, the mayor's office is pitching Antioch - specifically near Hickory Hollow Mall - as a possible location for a new facility similar to the Sportsplex, a Metro government source tells Channel 4 News.

Mayor Karl Dean's office would not comment Wednesday, but the city's finance director said previously another Nashville rink is in the planning pipeline.

"Part of our negotiations with the Predators, for them to stay in town, the new agreement is for them to develop another practice rink in conjunction with the team," Metro Finance Director Rich Riebeling said in September.

However, Antioch may have to compete with Bellevue, as the old Bellevue Center has also been mentioned as a possible location. It, like the Hickory Hollow Mall area, would have to be redeveloped first.

The Predators front office said in a statement Wednesday they are currently working with Metro in scouting sites all across Davidson County and no site has been chosen thus far.

Neither the Predators nor the mayor's office could provide a timeline as to when a decision would be made, so the people who work and play at Centennial Sportsplex will have to wait a while longer.

"I've heard these rumors for a lot of years working up here. Thus far, nothing has come to fruition, so I just hope maybe down the road here something actually will happen," Keller said.

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