Originally written on Fang Faction  |  Last updated 12/29/12
Over the past few years, the Nashville Predators and Bridgestone Arena have seen an increase in the amount of fans who attend the home games. Last season was the biggest increase in fan attendance, keeping fans who looked down on Smashville quiet. The fans of the Predators set a sellout record of 25, exceeding the record made in the 1999-2000 season which was set at 20. However, some refuse to acknowledge those numbers and turn their noses to it.     In the year of 2012 season finale of "CNBC Sports Biz" on the NBC Sports Network, host Brian Shactman previews what will happen in sports business for 2013. Number two on the list had nothing to do with the NHL Lockout, as expected, but rather about small-market teams and the effect it will have on the National Hockey League. Shactman interviewed a sports "know-it-all" and the know-it-all said smaller-market teams like Dallas, Florida, Tampa Bay, Carolina, Phoenix and--you guessed it--Nashville will hurt the NHL because those teams aren't making the league enough money and is turning into a loss for the league. He went on to say that those teams should be moved to places in Canada and the northwest (Seattle) where the NHL could thrive. CNBC Sports Biz did a team logo map of the teams with low attendance. They corrected the know-it-all and took off the Nashville Predators logo. What he failed to mention were the Colorado Avalanche, 22nd; New Jersey Devils, 24th; Winnipeg Jets, 25th; and New York Islanders, 29th, who all have mediocre attendance numbers and are in big-market locations. Luckily, the Islanders will be moving to Brooklyn where they should thrive. By the way, the Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes are ahead all of those major market teams at 21st and 22nd. It seems like this guy doesn't understand what is happening in the Music City and needs to stop piggy-backing on everyone else's opinions. His stats are old and need to be updated. And if he isn't aware of the change, than thousands of others aren't as well. Speaking of stats, let's looks at them from last season. The Predators finished 20th in average attendance and attendance percentage, right behind Boston, San Jose and Edmonton. Also, the record setting 25 sellouts mentioned earlier. But, that does not phase him. Given, Nashville will never compete with hockey markets like Vancouver, Toronto, Boston, Montreal, Detroit, etc., but the Music City is doing better each season. It is time for over-generalized hockey fans and personalities to realize that this city loves its professional hockey at Bridgestone Arena. A good product on the ice is what motivates smaller-market teams to thrive, and that is what the fans in Nashville have. The owners have done an excellent job to make sure that every seat is filled on game-night. It is time for the hockey world to realize that Nashville is a hockey city.
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