NHL Stadium Series: Music City Lives Up to Its Name
The hockey match from Nashville’s Nissan Stadium will be as much concert as sports event
The 2022 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series, taking place this weekend in Nashville and broadcast on Turner Sports from the NFL Tennessee Titans’ Nissan Stadium, illustrates the growing synergy between sports and entertainment.
Reminiscent of the intersection with country music at the 2019 NFL Draft — that three-day event brought 600,000 fans and $132.8 million in visitor spending to the Music City while more than 47.5 million fans watched on ESPN — the first of the NHL’s Stadium Series events to take place in Nashville will feature defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning and the hometown Nashville Predators, and attendees and home viewers will hear music from Dierks Bentley and Miranda Lambert between periods during the game, after Jessie James Decker performs the national anthem and Dustin Lynch sings the game opener.
Live-event production for everything outside of the stadium itself is being provided by locally based Tristar Production Group, which handles the Titans’ live production during the NFL season, including pregame and halftime entertainment and player introductions, as well as event production for regional motor sports in Nashville and at the Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, AL. The company also provided outdoor production for the Music City Grand Prix last August.
“Sports and entertainment is absolutely what has been growing the business for us now,” says Jason Rittenberry, CEO, Tristar Production Group, and COO, Music City Grand Prix. “We had been focused on music and other live events in the area, but, more and more, those events include sports. Nashville has a number of major-league teams, and those leagues are increasingly embracing music and entertainment, for its own sake but also as a way to reach a new fanbase for their sports.”
Emblematic of that will be hitmaker Walker Hayes, performing from the league’s new TikTok Tailgate Stage outside the stadium.
Tristar Production Group will deploy multiple d&b audiotechnik PA systems for those stages, as well as lighting and Clear-Com intercoms. All the music performances are scheduled to be broadcast as part of the aired event.
“This is a huge event,” says Rittenberry. “It’s on a massive scale, on a par with the NFL Draft three years ago.” He notes that his staff and those of the NHL and Clair Global, which is providing the sound and lighting for the in-stadium music and events, had to contend with the 6+ in. of rain that fell on Nashville over two days this week.
“The stages are in the stadium, around it in the parking lot, and around the area,” he says. “It’s on a huge scale, but that’s what sports and entertainment are looking for: the big event.”