Bridgestone Arena reopens for Predators game

New video shows water spewing inside building after water main break
New video shows how much water was gushing inside Bridgestone Arena after the water main break and the Preds will take to the ice on Tuesday night as scheduled.
Published: Nov. 27, 2022 at 10:01 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 29, 2022 at 10:33 AM CST
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - The Nashville Predators announced Tuesday’s game will go on as scheduled at a morning press conference at Bridgestone Arena.

Games scheduled for Friday and Saturday were postponed after a water main broke on Sixth Avenue South outside the arena, causing thousands of gallons of water to flow into the arena.

The Predators released video on Tuesday showing how much water spewed inside Bridgestone Arena during the early morning hours on Friday.

Nashville Predators President and CEO Sean Henry said they don’t know exactly how much water entered the arena, but they believe it was millions of gallons.

“Millions of gallons of water cascaded throughout the concourse, throughout the box office, down our aisles down through the electrical rooms, the water systems, everything we have,” Henry said. “We had 1,000 box fans drying out the building. We had temporary duct work set up through the building by noon, 1 p.m. Friday. Everyone game up their holiday weekend.”

Henry said they had hundreds of people including Metro Nashville workers and Bridgestone Arena staff working around the clock to clean up the mess. He said most of the water was pumped out of the building by Saturday morning.

“The fact that we’re hosing a game tonight is pretty remarkable,” Henry said. “I know a lot of people were disappointed we didn’t host a game on Friday or Saturday or a college game Friday night. There was some thought that we wouldn’t be able to host an event for a month.”

“We had to be kind of deliberate and a little bit slow when we’re closing those valves,” Metro Water Services Director Scott Potter said. “That’s the first thing for us is to get the water shut off and stop the damage, then we assess what we have.”

Potter said there have been an unusual amount of water main breaks this fall.

“Unfortunately, we deal with this pretty regularly when we have temperature inversions or droughts or ground shifts. It can cause breaks like this,” he said. “This is what we do for a living on the emergency response side.”

Water could be seen spewing from a sidewalk grate on 6th Avenue South and flowing toward the Music City Center on Demonbreun Street.

Henry said there will be a lot of work before Tuesday’s game, the Maren Morris concert on Friday night and following the concert.

As the doors reopen to fans on Tuesday night, Henry wanted fans to know they would notice some inconveniences like half the elevators not working. Concession stands will be open but may have limited supplies. Henry said a temporary TV control room would be operating the scoreboard at Tuesday’s game so there can be replays and a clock for the game.

“It will be some inconvenience to our fans, but the best thing of all is we’re playing hockey in Smashville in front of our fans,” Henry said. “We’re probably going to remediate from this for the next 3, 4, 5, 6 months. Every single electrical system. Every piece of video will either be replaced or taken apart to be dried out or cleaned out, but we don’t know the full extent of the financial damage, but it’s extensive. But you know what’s great, we’re going to host an event tonight.”

Henry said another important aspect to being able to reopen Bridgestone Arena was making sure the fire panel and safety panels were operational.

Henry said there are holes in some walls and those are there to help the drying process continue. He said they have replaced ceiling tiles and will replace most carpets, but the control room for the video board will take a little longer.

The break was reported at 6 a.m. on Friday and flooded the arena’s main concourse and event levels. Metro Public Works worked to get the situation under control, but the water caused damage to the floors, ceilings, and tiles inside the arena, going up to three feet high in some areas.

Friday’s game that was scheduled between the Predators and the Colorado Avalanche was postponed due to the flooding. In addition, Saturday’s game between the Preds and Columbus Blue Jackets was also postponed with make-up dates for both games yet to be announced. On Friday, the Music City College Hockey Classic game between Northeastern and Western Michigan was relocated to the Ford Ice Center in Bellevue.