Note: This is a feature that will run periodically at BHDL, based mostly on our own experiences, and partly on the upcoming games scheduled for the Blackhawks. Our hope is that eventually we will have a post for all 29 NHL arenas that the Blackhawks visit. We might even get a UC write-up from a visitor's perspective. If you've seen a Hawks game in another team's barn and want to contribute, send an email to
Nashville has always been a city I’d wanted to visit, and while last season a trip to Music City didn’t seem to fit with my schedule, this year it has the distinction of being the only city within reasonable distance to have a Saturday game scheduled against the Hawks. Twice.
I couldn’t go to the November game due to conflicting travel plans, but with a few friends, I was able to make the trip to Nashville in mid-January. It’s definitely a place I’d like to visit again soon, but in the meantime, here’s the guide for anyone planning to head over and watch the Hawks as they visit the Predators for the last time this season.
The Bridgestone Arena
- Flights - About $81 one-way on Southwest. It’s not too far away from Chicago so it isn’t done.
- From the Airport - There are numerous shuttles available from the airport to downtown Nashville, but taking a taxi there isn’t a bad idea either, since it’s a flat rate of $25.
- Hotel - We stayed at the Sheraton Nashville Downtown, but again, any hotel downtown would be great.
- Transportation - Nashville is pretty easy to walk around, actually. There’s some sort of bus system but you don’t really need it.
- Arena Accessibility - High. Bridgestone Arena is right downtown, within walking distance from most hotels as well as the honty-tonks that Nashville is known for.
- Tickets - Pretty okay. Not as cheap as I would have thought, but decent.
- Arena - Not bad. Couple random things I remember: a smoking section, awesome funnel cake (I’ve missed this in the last road trip guides, but it kind of feels sometimes like the UC concessionaires aren’t as awesome as the ones I’ve visited. RBC Center had DIPPIN’ DOTS.)
- In-Game Entertainment - I wish I could remember where I’d put my notes from this trip-- I knew there were some things that I told myself not to forget, besides the fact that they had actual cheerleaders dancing in the 100-levels throughout the game. Or at least, during stoppages in play. But that’s all I got, which probably means they don’t have anything too out of the ordinary going on.
- Heckler-per-Visiting-Fan Ratio - Not bad, although I’ve heard some stories in the past. We were left alone. (There was this one father and son tandem in the Predators Store, though, that I thought were quite hilarious. The father was clearly a Preds fan, but his son was wearing a Kane jersey. The little guy was looking at a Blackhawks puck quite longingly, but before he could ask, his father said, in a huff, “I’m not buying you any more Blackhawks stuff.”)
City Recommendations (ie, Making the Most of the Trip)
- Pregame Meal - ANYWHERE. Literally, there are about a dozen places to go within a stone’s throw from Bridgestone. We went to Jack’s BBQ, but there’s also Paradise Park, which as far as I can tell is Nashville’s version of the Billy Goat, among others. Jack’s BBQ is one of the meat and three type places down south, where you get to pick your choice of meat plus three veggie side dishes. It crowds up just before the game, is the only thing, so get there a little early.
- Postgame Drinks - Along Broadway there will be tons of bars that you can go to post-game, and those will more often than not have live music and no cover charge. Pretty sweet, huh? Further down Broadway, towards the river, you’ll come across 2nd Ave, which will have a couple other bars as well, these with cover charges of around $5 to $10. You’re encouraged to make a night of it. You’re welcome.
- Hangover Breakfast - Monell’s. I’m not even going to give you the benefit of checking any other place out, even though there were quite a few suggestions. It doesn’t even matter that it’s a bit of a way away from the downtown area-- grab a cab and get the cab company’s number so you have a ride back home. It’s that worth it. Monell’s is a Southern dining place where you’re seated with strangers in a table for 12 (unless, of course, there’s already 12 of you, in which case yay, you have a table to yourselves) and they’ll bring out food for everyone. They’re typically open for dinner as well, but we didn’t have time for that kind of meal so we opted to go for Sunday brunch, in which we were served, in no particular order: muffins, cinnamon rolls, cheese grits, potatoes, a meat platter (with ham, bacon, sausages, and breakfast patties), corn pudding, fried chicken, a couple of other things I’m pretty sure I’ve forgotten, and JUST when you think you’re so full you can’t eat any more, out comes the pancakes. So maybe if you’re hungover from the night before this may not be the most awesome place to go to or it all goes back up, but then again, it still could be. Seriously. Best place in Nashville EVER.