Restoration Efforts Continue at Bridgestone Arena After Water Main Break

The Nashville Predators and the staff at Bridgestone Arena were preparing to host a packed slate of events over Thanksgiving weekend, but a water main break just outside the arena near Sixth Avenue threw a wrench into those plans.

The break was reported at 6 am Friday, flooding the arena’s main concourse and event levels. Metro Public Works worked with Bridgestone Arena’s staff to get the situation under control quickly, but the water caused damage to the floors, ceilings and tiles inside the arena, sitting up to three feet high in some areas.

Friday’s scheduled game between the Predators and the Colorado Avalanche was postponed due to the flooding. Saturday’s game versus the Columbus Blue Jackets was also postponed, with make-up dates for both games yet to be announced. Additionally, Saturday’s Music City College Hockey Classic game between Northeastern and Western Michigan was relocated to Ford Ice Center Bellevue; Western Michigan won that battle of two of the NCAA’s top 20 teams, 6-4.

“It’s obviously nothing any of us wanted,” Preds forward Matt Duchene he said. “The team’s been playing great lately, it gets the momentum [going] and it’s disappointing not to have two great games at home on Thanksgiving weekend.”

Following a Saturday morning practice at Centennial Sportsplex, a number of Predators players wanted to express their appreciation to city and arena workers for their tireless efforts, and to the fans for their patience during the remediation efforts.

“I just wanted to say thank you to all the workers for working hard every day at the arena,” Captain Roman Jose said in a video on the Predators official Twitter account. “To all the fans – thank you for your patience. We can’t wait to be back.”

Tweet from @PredsNHL: A message from the Captain 🔽 pic.twitter.com/BlY5OnHtFa

“I know these past couple days haven’t been what we expected,” defenseman Mattias Ekholm he said. “But hopefully it’ll be back to normal soon. Thank you a whole lot to the arena workers that are doing all their best to get our arena back in shape and ready to go for the future.”

While the players continue to prepare for Tuesday’s game against the Anaheim Ducks, Bridgestone Arena staff is working to repair the damage and get the building ready to welcome fans back through its doors. Senior Vice President of Operations Kyle Clayton said on Saturday that the progress made over the previous 48 hours was “absolutely incredible” and that the arena was in a “remarkable position.”

Thanks to the efforts of operations staff, custodial crews and countless others inside and outside the Predators organization, Bridgestone Arena expects to reopen its doors in time to host Tuesday’s game as scheduled. While some of the arena’s systems and guest support functions may not be 100 percent operational for Tuesday’s game or Friday’s Maren Morris concert, Predators President and Chief Executive Officer Sean Henry is steadfast in the organization’s appreciation for everyone’s efforts in getting the building as prepared as possible .

“We can not say thank you enough to everyone that has worked tirelessly to restore Bridgestone Arena and ready it for Preds games and events once again. More than 30 public agencies and private companies have mobilized with us in our mission to safely reopen the venue for games and events this week,” Henry said.

“We had a great schedule for Thanksgiving weekend with expectations of hosting 40,000 fans for the three hockey games, but unfortunately, we were unable to open our doors. We look forward to hosting 17,000 of hockey’s best fans on Tuesday for our game with the Anaheim Ducks and we thank everyone for their patience as we continue with the restoration.”

More information on this evolving situation will be shared with fans and ticket holders for Tuesday’s game as it becomes available.

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