In a decision that surprises nobody, NHL fans will get to hear country music at Nissan Stadium when the Predators participate in the outdoor hockey game. The Preds will face the Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning on Feb. 26 on a special outdoor rink in the city’s football stadium.
Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley will headline the evening with a surprise selection of music meant to pay homage to the city. NHL chief content officer Steve Mayer said the artists will perform sets that he hopes are “uniquely Nashville.”
“We’re gonna play off Broadway and Nashville and the colors,” Mayer said. “For us it’s so important that you show off the city to everyone [who] tunes into the hockey game.”
The NHL’s Stadium Series is a show as much as a hockey game
Past Stadium Series games also featured some music, but Nashville’s turn hosting means more tunes and more stars than ever before. Not only will Nashville’s game feature multiple headliners, but the television broadcast will also feature multiple song performances; not just a quick song at an intermission.
The NHL won’t give away many more details. But Mayer did say the first intermission will feature a “salute to country music.” Mayer also said he hopes that the Stadium Series will build off the momentum Nashville enjoyed by hosting the Stanley Cup Finals in 2017 and the All-Star weekend in 2016.
“The bar is pretty high with what we’ve done in the past, but we do believe with Miranda and Dierks that we can beat it,” Mayer said.
The festivities at Nissan Stadium will also give fans a chance to meet NHL alumni, shoot some practice pucks, and take photos with the Stanley Cup outside the gates. Of course, being played in Nashville where so many artists call home, the big game could feature even more star power than just Miranda and Dierks.
“I don’t think we’re done,” Mayer said. “This the first of many announcements. We’re gonna put on a show.”
The Stadium Series at Nissan will mark the first time the Predators’ organization has hosted an outdoor game or event. In 2020, the team traveled to Dallas to play the Stars in the Winter Classic.
A U.S. Olympic hockey player suffered a devastating injury in Beijing
On the opening day of the Olympics, American star forward Brianna Decker fell to the ice screaming in pain after a brief tussle with a Finnish player.
The “gruesome” injury occurred in between the first and second periods. Forward Amanda Kessel said it was a “sickening moment” as she and the rest of her teammates heard Decker crying in pain. But Kessel also reminded the media how tough Decker is as a competitor.
“She’s one of the toughest players that I’ve ever played with or against. So you know she’s not staying down on the ice or crying when it’s not bad,” she said. “It’s definitely a gut punch.”
The women’s hockey team has since routed Russia and Switzerland as they prepare to face continental rivals Canada.