The Nashville Predators’ push for the Stanley Cup might not have ended in a parade, but the economic benefits of their quest for the cup will be felt throughout Music City for awhile.
At an end-of-season press conference Thursday, Predators CEO Sean Henry joined Mayor Megan Barry and Butch Spyridon, CEO of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp, to break down the financial impact of the Predators’ historic season, and the numbers were big.
Overall, the estimated economic impact of the Predators’ 11 home postseason games was $50 million, according to local officials. And that number only includes money generated from the games and watch parties, not the additional revenue that poured into the city’s bars and restaurants. For comparison, CMA Fest — which happened the same weekend as the Predators’ final push for the Cup — has an average economic impact of $60 million.
Here’s how the $50 million breaks down (officials didn’t have data for the opening round):
- Round 2: Roughly $3 million per game
- Round 3: Roughly $5 million per game
- Finals: $8 million per game
Officials also estimated that during their playoff run, the Predators brought in roughly $2.7 million for the city in ticket, merchandise and concession sales.
“Those numbers are incredible, and we’re probably going to build some sidewalks with them,” Barry joked during the day’s event.
Another interesting economic data point from the day’s event was that the Predators — through both existing and pop-up shops — sold more merchandise during the two-month playoff run than the team does during a regular 82-game season.
The success of the Predators comes 10 years after the team was almost forced out of Nashville, before it was ultimately saved by a local leadership group, which is now led by chairman Tom Cigarran. At the time, the focus was boosting the amount of season-ticket holders, which are already up following the team’s Stanley Cup run, according to Henry.
“The financials of this team have been reset for generations,” Henry said during the conference.
What’s Cookin’ Downtown Nashville
A run to the Stanley Cup Final can do wonders for a town, and while the Nashville Predators fell just short of a championship, the city of Nashville still had reason for a standing ovation on Thursday.
Predators President and CEO Sean Henry, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry and President of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation Butch Spyridon were on hand at Bridgestone Arena to discuss the economic impact delivered by the deepest postseason run in franchise history – and the numbers were impressive.
Spyridon and his team estimate the overall economic impact from a record 11 home playoff games for the Preds exceeded $50 million, including $8 million for each game of the Stanley Cup Final.
That’s not to mention the amount of national exposure and attention for not only the city, but also the franchise and the game itself.
“There’s no doubt, it was a great season,” Henry said. “It was a special year, and when we get a chance to raise that Western Conference banner, we’ll really appreciate what a wonderful year it was. We’ll get to celebrate with our fans, and most importantly, once we do that we start our opportunity to build upon the success we had this year.”
Henry offered his thanks and appreciation to Mayor Barry and the city of Nashville, stating that the public/private partnership the Preds enjoy with the city is “the envy of the country.” Henry also thanked the CVC, Downtown Partnership, Chamber of Commerce, Sports Authority, Music City Center and the Country Music Association for the roles each played in helping to make the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs in Nashville one-of-a-kind.
The Nashville Predators Foundation also played a part, making donations from money raised throughout the playoffs from watch parties and other vehicles over the past two months.
The Foundation first made a $50,000 donation to the Nashville Public Education Foundation and its Pre-K Enrollment Program, followed by a $5,000 donation to Operation Stand Down Tennessee. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Second Harvest Food Bank also received $1,000 donations from the Foundation.
Henry admitted he would have rather been planning a parade than attending Thursday’s press conference, but he knows how much this run does and will continue to do for the city of Nashville and Middle Tennessee for years to come. And the hope is the Predators will make a habit of continuing to show Music City is indeed one of the great hockey cities in America.
“We’ve always said as a franchise, we can do a lot more than just win games and bring concerts in,” Henry said. “The growth, the economic impact, the effect on the community and organizations that change people’s lives every day, that’s more important to us. But it comes with winning and it comes with filling the building up for hockey games and concerts, so it really is impactful. What a great city to work in, to live in, to play in, and now we play a slightly larger role in bringing better things to life.”