It’s the story of a building with more identities than the killer in a horror movie.For the entirety of their lifecycle, the Kats’ home games were played in the building originally known as Nashville Arena, then the Gaylord Entertainment Center, and then the Sommet Center. Owner Bud Adams pondered the idea of building a new arena when the franchise was reinstated in 2005, but the Nashville Predators agreed to welcome the Kats into their fold once more.Currently known as the Bridgestone Arena, the building which housed the Kats was only one year old when the team was created. The architectural firm HOK Sport (which itself has now changed its name to Populous) was behind the aesthetically-appealing engineering of the stadium, which features a Frisbee-shaped stadium with a rectangular entry area and lobby.The first name change came in 1999, when the Gaylord Entertainment Company signed a 20-year contract with the Nashville Predators to the tune of 80 million. However, this momentous partnership was dissolved in 2005, and in the interim between choosing a new name, media outlets picked back up on the original. This renaming became official in March of 2007, when the Gaylord name was removed, but alas, the building’s nomenclature was not to remain static for long.The Sommet Group (based in Franklin) purchased the arena naming rights two months later on May 18, 2007, for an undisclosed amount. The Sommet connection lasted for an even briefer periodthe Predators sued the group in 2009. Early in 2010, Bridgestone (the rubber tire conglomerate) stepped in as the new owner of naming rights, and the arena was accordingly renamed once again.Is it too early to start entering the new name into our records? It’s got to be expensive continuing to buy new domains. Whatever the name, though, the arena holds our memories of the Kats’ few classic seasons, and that will never change.
October 12, 2010
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