The Nashville Predators' unlikely Stanley Cup Finals run has been fun to watch on so many levels. As a sports fan, it's the true underdog story. The #8 seed from a non-traditional market barely squeaking into the playoffs, and then breezing through some of the most storied franchises in the NHL en route to the first ever Finals appearance for the franchise...against the defending champions and one of the Top 3 franchises in hockey history.
They're going to make a movie about this one day.
But, even if you're not a sports fan, you have to be impressed with how Nashville has come together as one...a community of friends...to support our hometown team in ways that have never before been witnessed in professional sports.
Tens of thousands of people have flooded Broadway, Ascend Ampitheater, Walk of Fame Park, various bars around town...literally ANYWHERE that they could gather....armed with rally towels, signs, fake Listerine bottles, and catfish propaganda. Lower Broadway, an area that's often loathed by Nashville locals, has all of a sudden become THE place to be again, as thousands of fans - some new and some old - don their gold and blue and cheer loudly...SUPER loudly...at every hit, every save, and every goal that has gotten us to this point
America has taken note. Fans of other teams, sports commentators, even CHARLES BARKLEY himself is putting the world on alert about how awesome of a sports town Nashville is.
Mayor Megan Berry has been AMAZING...shutting down portions of the city to dedicate to the Preds, and even appropriately re-naming 5th Ave "Predators Way" earlier this week
Truly, the world is watching Nashville. How many sporting events can you remember when there are articles speculating on who might sing the FREAKING NATIONAL ANTHEM??
Not until now. Not until Nashville started rolling out superstar after superstar throughout the Stanley Cup playoffs.
We are the center of the sporting universe right now.
And now, it's time for the NFL to take note.
NASHVILLE NEEDS A SUPER BOWL.
Even for a casual sports fan or someone that doesn't watch hockey, the Preds' run has shown that Nashville is more than just country music. We can throw a sports championship party that is unrivaled by any city in America.
We have the infrastructure and hotel rooms to make it work. We have the entertainment scene that will draw people from all around the world. We have the star power to make a Nashville Super Bowl a true "OH MY GOD LOOK WHO IS THERE" spectacle that hasn't been seen in years. Could you imagine the musical elements of a Nashville Super Bowl? The halftime show would be ABSURD. You could trot out 20 superstars from all genres and blow away any halftime show in recent memory.
Now, that's not to say there aren't some things that need to happen. Nissan Stadium needs some upgrades. They're working on it, but there is still more to be done. The gameday experience right now leaves a little to be desired, and maybe we could even get a new stadium with an all-weather retractable roof, but that feels like a little more of a pipe dream at this point. The parking situation around the stadium needs some help as well.
But it could...and should happen. And there are others who agree.
The question would be this: Can the city can get behind a Super Bowl if the Titans aren't in it? While our team is getting better, they haven't been to the Big Game since the 1999-00 season and the infamous Kevin Dyson "one yard short" play against the Rams.
The Titans could certainly be competing at a championship level in a few short years, but I believe that even if our local team ISN'T in the game, Nashville's desire to throw a great party would still be enough to make a Nashville Super Bowl memorable...especially being in such a football-crazed part of the country.
You gotta think that, even without the sea of gold, watch parties on Broadway and all throughout downtown would be a huge draw, and there's no reason to think that there couldn't be some amazing free concerts like what we've gotten from Brett Young and Alan Jackson before Games 3 & 4.
This year's Super Bowl will be in Houston. The next four are slated for Minneapolis, Atlanta, Miami, and L.A. So we've got 5 years before Nashville could be in the running. 2022? We can get it done by then, right?
So, Tennessee Titans. NFL. Mayor Barry. Here's looking at you. You have your proof now. Nashville NEEDS a Super Bowl, so what do we gotta do to make it happen?