NASHVILLE– The NHL’s first outdoor game at Nissan Stadium will also feature a nightly tribute to Nashville’s country music and entertainment scene.
The 2022 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series between the Nashville Predators and the Tampa Bay Lightning on Feb. 26 (7:30 p.m. ET; TNT, SN360, TVAS2, NHL LIVE) will feature performances from a dozen music country and rock-and-roll artists, as well as a house band.
Country singers Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley will headline, playing during the first period intermission, but many more artists are expected to be announced next week.
“We’re obviously in the entertainment capital of the world, and certainly in the South,” NHL Chief Content Officer Steve Mayer said Friday. “From the (national) anthem throughout the game, we intend to put on a show. That’s what everyone here in Nashville expects, and we’re going to salute this region and country music .”
The ice rink at the top of the field at Nissan Stadium will also have a local flavor.
It will be surrounded by design elements inspired by Nashville’s Broadway entertainment district, including neon marquees, historic brick buildings, musical notes and a cowboy boot with a skate blade as well as a cowboy hat with a hockey stick in the band, a nod to the Predators.
“This one is going to be awesome, and that’s one of the reasons we were really looking forward to coming to Nashville — all that this area has to offer,” Mayer said. “It’s our hope that when we play a game like this, and someone listens to this game, they watch the field and they know in five seconds that we’re in Nashville.
“We think we have some really good plans here. We’re really excited to be here… We think we’re going to put on a show.”
Mayer said that every time the whistle blows or the television goes off during the game, the house band – The Stadium Biscuits – will join a special guest to play for the fans. At the end of the commercial break, the TV show will show the artists singing for viewers at home.
The first-half intermission performance featuring Lambert and Bentley will last 10 minutes and will be televised in its entirety by TNT and Sportsnet.
“It’s the first time we’ve had something this long — the whole performance — on television,” Mayer said. “Uniquely, they’ll each play their own songs. There might be a few special guests, and then they’ll end up together.”
Nissan Stadium is home to the Tennessee Titans of the NFL, many of whom have supported the Predators by attending games over the years. Mayer said the NHL will also integrate the Titans into game night entertainment. The Predators have already released a number of social media posts of Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan, one of the team’s most enthusiastic hockey fans, getting ready for the game.
“I think you’ll see them before the game starts – that’s all I’ll say,” Mayer said. “If you look at our history, we’re certainly taking advantage of where we’re at, and celebrating where we’re at and celebrating other sports. In that market, there are a lot of Tennessee Titans players who are our fans of the Predators.”
Another tradition that has long been part of Predators culture will also find its way into the activities.
Nashville fans have occasionally tossed catfish onto the ice at Bridgestone Arena before big games, a Southern version of the Detroit tradition of occasionally tossing the octopus onto the glass.
“There may be a catfish that pops up deliberately, and I’m sure there could be a few that come into that environment in other ways and in other ways,” Mayer said. “We will have very strict security checks. But I think there will be a moment on Saturday night which could involve a catfish, yes.”