It began as a labor of love from Councilwoman Sheri Weiner.
She and her constituents wanted an ice rink in Bellevue. in June of 2018, Predators leadership got together in Bellevue with members of the Metro Government of Nashville and Davidson County Office of the Mayor, Sports Authority of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County and the Nashville Board of Parks and Recreation to break ground and commemorate the partnership.
The 110,000 square-foot structure will house two sheets of ice and 12 locker rooms, and is set to open in September 2019. In addition to the ice, which is no small feat to create and maintain, there will be a Grab and Go Stand, similar to the Twice Daily concession locations at Bridgestone Arena, as well as a full restaurant with views of both rinks.
There will be room for more than 1,000 spectators on one rink and more than 500 for the other. A state-of-the-art Ice Plant System by Cimco, as well as two brand-new electric Zambonis – which will be the only ones in the entire state – will help to ensure the facility has top-notch technology for ideal ice conditions.
There will also be a dry-land training facility, a full-service hockey and skating store, a Nashville Predators Alumni lounge and private party rooms available for rental. Tournaments and events are already being scheduled with youth and adult hockey leagues to be offered, as well as the G.O.A.L!, or “Get Out and Learn” program which offers children the opportunity to experience the excitement of hockey without the cost of purchasing equipment. G.O.A.L! provides beginner players the opportunity to learn the basic skills of hockey through 45-minute, on-ice sessions at local rinks. Participants will learn forward strides, stops/starts, turns and crossovers, backward skating, stick handling, passing and shooting. Sessions encourage participants to actively partake in fun drills geared toward their skill progress. In addition, there will be Little Preds “Learn to Play” and PREDecessor for “boys and girls ages 4 to 18 years old who can skate on their own”. Both programs are currently staples at Ford Ice Center. In addition, the Preds Ice Center will host the Predators 2019 Rookie Tournament, an annual prospect showcase between other NHL teams.
“We can’t wait to open this facility,” Ford Ice Center General Manager Danny Butler said.
“We’re excited to have two more sheets of ice in Nashville, which will provide hockey players and figure skaters from all over the state and beyond further opportunities to do what they love. This project will be a huge benefit to Bellevue, West Nashville and the surrounding communities, and we’re pleased to have the Predators logo at the forefront.”