In today's Metro Sports Authority meeting, the Nashville Predators were able to clear up a couple key outstanding issues with the civic body which governs their arena lease, and provided a tantalizing preview of what's to come. J.R. Lind of the Nashville Post reports:
...team President Sean Henry said two January University of Alabama-Huntsville hockey games scheduled for the arena could set up the Music City for a future run at the NCAA Men's Division I Hockey semifinals and finals, "The Frozen Four."
Henry, who came to Nashville from Tampa, which is scheduled to host the event in 2012, said some scoffed when that city made a push to play host to the games. Tampa will join Anaheim as the only Sun Belt cities to host the finals.
The tournament sites are set through 2014 and the NCAA has not yet sent out invitations to bid on future finals, but Henry indicated Bridgestone Arena will make a play once they are.
On January 14 & 15, Bridgestone Arena will host a pair of games between the University of Alabama-Huntsville and Merrimack, allowing local hockey fans a chance to sample the college game, and giving those fan bases an opportunity to visit Nashville that weekend.
Hosting a Frozen Four (the NCAA hockey championship) could not only make for an additional high-profile event at Bridgestone Arena (and hence downtown Nashville), but perhaps more importantly, would bring hockey-loving visitors from colder climes to enjoy the sights and sounds of Music City. Down the road, they might follow their NHL teams when they come to play the Predators, too.