SPORTS IN NASHVILLE
Professional sports bring year-round big league-action to Music City from the first pitch to the last dropped puck.
National Football League: Tennessee Titans – Tennessee’s franchise team is one of 32 teams participating in the prestigious National Football League (NFL). In 1999, the team moved into the new 68,800-seat coliseum located on the east bank of the Cumberland River downtown, known as LP Field after sponsor Louisiana Pacific.
National Hockey League: Nashville Predators – Music City has taken to the “Preds” following the team’s debut in the Bridgestone Arena in 1998. Nashville has matured into a solid franchise, known for its hard-hitting, never-give-up style of hockey as well as its supportive and boisterous fans.
Pacific Coast League Baseball: Nashville Sounds – The 2005 PCL Champion Nashville Sounds call Greer Stadium home. The professional baseball team has operated since 1978. The Nashville Sounds is a AAA affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers and member of the 16-team Pacific Coast League.
Big-ticket events turn the national and international sporting spotlight on Nashville throughout the year. Professional, amateur and college athletics all bolster Nashville’s profile as a sports town to be reckoned with.
Franklin America Mortgage Music City Bowl – Pitting a Southeastern Conference team against an ACC rival, the nationally-televised post-season matchup is in its 15th year.
NCAA Basketball – Men’s and Women’s NCAA First and Second rounds have been hosted here.
Country Music Marathon & 1/2-Marathon – A full 26-mile and half 13-mile course let pros and thousands of weekend runners alike run Music City every spring. Sporting a uniquely Nashville touch, the Country Music Marathon features over 50 live bands, 28 high school cheer squads along the race course, and welcomes the field home with a post-race concert by a country music superstar.
Running of the Iroquois Steeplechase – The nation’s oldest, continuously-run, weight-for-age steeplechase. A seven-race card with the featured Iroquois Memorial benefits the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and features some of the most elaborate tailgating in the city. The race is typically held on the second Saturday in May at Percy Warner Park.
John Merritt Classic Weekend – (Labor Day Weekend) Tennessee State University (TSU) hosts the annual John Merritt Classic, which pits the football teams (and marching bands) of two historically black colleges against each other in this game honoring the legendary TSU coach. The action takes place downtown at LP Field.
World-class facilities make great venues for fans and players alike. In addition to pro and college fields, ice rinks and baseball diamonds, Nashville is in the heart of NASCAR country. With two tracks in and around the city, Nashville can accommodate stock car and open wheel racing as well as drag racing and funny cars.
Allen Arena at Lipscomb University – State-of-the-art arena with 5,000 permanent seats and up to 13,000 square feet of floor space. Glass-enclosed hospitality suite and seven luxury suites on-site.
Bridgestone Arena – The 20,000-seat multipurpose arena opened in the winter of 1996. The Arena is home to the NHL Nashville Predators and has hosted a variety of significant sporting and musical events, including the World Figure Skating Championships, NCAA and SEC basketball tournaments, and the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.
Centennial Sportsplex – The sports complex housing an indoor aquatic center with an Olympic-size, 50-meter pool and a recreational pool, a tennis tournament complex with 16 lighted outdoor courts plus a 2,600-seat stadium. Housing what was originally the city’s only ice rink, Centennial is now one of four ice rinks in the city and is the practice site for the NHL Nashville Predators.
Curb Event Center at Belmont University – This 5,000-seat facility features permanently mounted Triax video installation, digital sound and lighting, 1,800 three-phase amps on the floor, 40’x 60’ staging, and in-house catering. In 2008, the Curb Event Center hosted the town hall debate between presidential nominees Barack Obama and John McCain.
Fairgrounds Speedway – Rated the NASCAR “Number One Short Track in America,” the Tennessee Fairgrounds is home to weekly NASCAR Winston Racing Series March through September. “The Fairgrounds” served as training grounds for such NASCAR standouts as Darrell Waltrip and Sterling Marlin.
Gentry Center – The Howard C. Gentry Complex, on the campus of Tennessee State University, includes an arena with 10,000 permanent seats and 24,090 square feet of exhibit space. A portable stage is available.
LP Field – One of the premier sports and entertainment facilities in the country, LP Field is home to the NFL Tennessee Titans in addition to the Tennessee State University football team, Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, and the annual CMA Music Festival. The stadium has 68,900 seats, 176 luxury suites, two 13,000-square-foot club lounges for a total of 26,000 square feet of event space, plus large expanses of parking area that can be tented. New multi-million dollar renovations at LP Field will happen in time for the 2012-2013 Titans season that will include new speakers, new high-definition videoboards (that will be among some of NFL’s largest for outdoor stadiums and four times larger than the current screens), elevators to provide service for upper deck seat holders and general improvements to LP Field infrastructure.
Memorial Gym – Located on Vanderbilt University’s campus, the gymnasium was built in 1952 as a memorial to Vanderbilt men and women who served in the armed forces during World War II. Renovation completed in spring 2002 added a new practice gym with three courts and new office space for men’s and women’s basketball. The gym seats approximately 14,100.
Music City Raceway – Serving Nashville’s speed lovers for more than 50 years with NHRA championship drag racing, Music City Raceway is Nashville’s playground of power.
Before the pros came to play in Nashville, Music City was a college sports town, with cross-town traditions and interconference rivalries running deep through the area’s 21 accredited colleges and universities. Nashville still loves its college sports. Vanderbilt University takes pride in its Southeastern Conference (SEC) teams. Tennessee State University, Belmont University, and Lipscomb University play Division 1-A basketball.
For those who’d rather get into the game than just watch it, Nashville’s four resort golf courses feature 108 holes of championship play; Nashville was even listed as #5 in Livability.com’s article “Golf’s Best Kept Secrets: 10 Great Golf Cities.” The city also offers golfers more than 14 public courses. Travelers looking for more wild in their greens will find an extensive network of public parks within the metro city limits perfect for walking, running, horseback riding, and exploring. Fishing, hunting, boating, hiking, water sports, and camping also lie nearby, with boat and water recreation equipment rentals available on Percy Priest and Old Hickory lakes.
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