The man who made hockey in Nashville happen - WSMV News 4

The man who made hockey in Nashville happen

Posted: Updated:
Nashville Predators fans celebrate Sunday's historic win. (WSMV) Nashville Predators fans celebrate Sunday's historic win. (WSMV)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

The Nashville Predators are heading to the NHL Western Conference Final for the first time in franchise history.

It’s been a long road since the franchise was born in 1998, and one person who deserves major credit never played a minute of hockey in his life.

“I remember the reaction when I said Nashville and hockey, and it wasn’t real good,” said former Governor and Nashville Mayor Phil Bredesen.

Twenty years ago, Bredesen didn’t listen to the critics. If he had, the victory scene outside Bridgestone Arena on Sunday may never have happened.

In the mid-1990s, Nashville built a new arena and hoped someone would fill it.

Bredesen and a team went to NHL headquarters in New York City to make their pitch.

In 1997, Bredesen made the announcement that changed downtown Nashville.

“Nashville has an NHL hockey team,” the former mayor said.

The concern at the time was selling tickets in the South and wondering if anyone would come to the games.

“We truly believe we needed one year to educate fans on the game of hockey,” Bredesen said.

Needless to say the fans figured it out.

Bredesen, a season ticket-holder from the beginning, attends most games. He’s too modest to tell other fans his role in making it all happen.

Copyright 2017 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • The man who made hockey in Nashville happenMore>>

Powered by Frankly
WSMV
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2017, WSMV; Nashville, TN. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.