The Nashville Predators are stepping up to help their community during its time of need. In partnership with Bridgestone Arena and the Ford Ice Centers, the Predators organization has donated $2.7 million to local tornado and pandemic relief funds.
Tennessee has been dealt a difficult last six weeks when a string of powerful tornados swept through the middle region of the state March 3 that killed over two dozen. In the weeks since, the area has seen the SEC basketball tournament cancelled and Predators season paused due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. To date, Tennessee has recorded more than 5,000 cases and a death toll of 124, including Nashville music legend John Prine.
“A community’s strength comes through during and after misfortune and the response in the last 45 days has spoken volumes about our Middle Tennessee community,” Predators CEO Sean Henry said of the efforts. “Commitment to our community has been a cornerstone of our franchise and we are focused on doing everything possible to help rebuild neighborhoods and provide resources and assistance that will allow all of us to return to a sense of normalcy as quickly and safely as possible.”
In the days before their season was halted, the Predators worked to aid the greater Nashville community suffering from the March tornadoes as players distributed supplies to those in need and Bridgestone Arena held fundraisers. These efforts along with donations from team executives and those in the hockey community raised $500,000 for the Community Fund of Middle Tennessee as the region works on rebuilding.
The Predators’ COVID-19 relief efforts have gone even further. Ownership and executives created a $1 million assistance fund to provide payment for event staff out of work with the paused season. The team donated $100,000 to the Mayor’s Relief Fund and will distribute $700,000 to various charity groups throughout the month of April while a number of players have made their own personal contributions. Additionally, the organization has hosted a successful blood drive and is working to provide meals for essential personnel working on the front lines of the virus.
“Through these initiatives and partnerships, we are able to assist the hundreds of event-staff members who make Bridgestone Arena so successful, provide financial resources to hundreds of organizations that provide critical services throughout our market, show our appreciation to the essential operations and personnel during a crisis and help rebuild neighborhoods and communities in Middle Tennessee,” Henry added. “We hope and encourage others to join in offering resources and assistance as our community shows we truly are ‘Nashville Strong.'”
The Predators recently revealed they are working to aid season ticket holders as well during this period of uncertainty by offering different payment plans.