CLARKSVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Clarksville-based F&M Bank will have exclusive naming rights at the new Montgomery County Event Center, Sabretooth Sports & Entertainment, a subsidiary of the Nashville Predators, announced Tuesday.
Sabretooth Sports & Entertainment will operate the 250,000-square-foot facility in downtown Clarksville when it opens during the 2022-23 season.
“Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durrett had a very specific vision for the region, with the driving force for that being a dynamic event center right here in the heart of Clarksville,” Nashville Predators President and CEO Sean Henry said in a news release. “City of Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts and Austin Peay State University Athletic Director Gerald Harrison jumped on board with their visions for what the event center could do for their city and school, respectively. These three individuals and their passion put us on the right track to create something special. The one thing we were missing was a dynamic, community-minded business leader to fully bring that project to life, and you can’t ask for a more community-centric individual that F&M Bank President and CEO Sammy Stuard. The core values at F&M Bank align so well with what we will achieve with this event center. No matter what the last name of the center will be called – forum, stadium, coliseum, hippodrome or arena – it won’t matter, because the first portion being F&M Bank all but guarantees our success.”
Montgomery County commissioners approved on Tuesday a new multi-purpose event center that has the potential to transform downtown.
Ground broke on the facility in November 2020 and construction work continues at its downtown location of First Street and College Street. The venue is scheduled to open during the 2022-23 season under Sabretooth Sports & Entertainment management. SS&E will be responsible for its overall day-to-day operations and will be charged with booking the facility.
“This is an exciting opportunity to partner with Montgomery County, Sabretooth Sports & Entertainment, LLC and the Nashville Predators on such a monumental investment in historic downtown Clarksville,” said Stuard in a news release. “Over 30 years ago, F&M Bank leaders envisioned the potential growth of Clarksville, moving its corporate headquarters here, and in 2007, we built a 48,000-square-foot main office facility in the hart of Public Square. The Montgomery County Event Center will not only be a center for entertainment, but also a stimulus for continued economic growth and small business expansion.”
The venue’s primary tenant will be Austin Peay State University, whose men’s and women’s baskeball teams will call the facility home. In addition to the facility's main, flexible event space – which will be able to host sporting events, concerts, banquets, conventions, trade shows and other events – the multi-level venue will feature a separate sheet of ice that will be used for youth and adult hockey leagues as well as figure skating. The main arena bowl will also be able to add an ice surface, giving it the ability to host hockey tournaments and attract larger on-ice events or competitions much like the existing Ford Ice Centers in Antioch and Bellevue. Using these ice sheets, the Predators will offer a variety of learn-to-skate programs at the facility, continuing their mission to expose and grow hockey to more Middle Tennessee residents.
It also will contain luxury suites, premium seating, private hospitality space, party rooms and common areas that will have full access to the arena bowl. The Austin Peay men's and women's basketball teams will move their coaches' offices and training facilities into the facility, which will also house their practice court.
The soon-to-be-named venue will hold roughly 6,000 fans for concerts; 5,500 for basketball games; and 5,000 for hockey games.