Fans descend on Lower Broad for ‘Broadway Smash’ party

Photo: WKRN

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Despite the rainy weather conditions in Nashville Monday, crowds rolled into downtown for the “Broadway Smash” hours before the Predators take on the Penguins in Game 4.

Ahead of the all-day celebrations in downtown, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry declared Monday as “Preds Pride Day” and also announced Fifth Avenue South would be known as Predators Way for the month of June.

The “Broadway Smash” officially kicks off in downtown Nashville at 1 p.m. and will include a free concert featuring Rodney Atkins, Kipp Moore, Granger Smith, and Brett Young.

“Because we’ve now had the experience of one of these games, we had some discussions this morning that we think we can do to make some adjustments to make sure the fan experience is a little better and make this even more successful,” Mayor Barry said.

Photo: WKRN

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City officials encourage attendees to arrive in downtown early and some fans were already lined up as early as 6 a.m.

“We had seen the crowds that were out here this weekend and we knew we wanted to be close and we were ready. We’re just going to have chill and have fun talking and catching up. Two of are from Nashville and two of us are from Cleveland,” said  Eddie Schaechterle.

If you’re worried about driving and parking, worry no more. Several drivers are partnering with the Nashville Downtown Partnership and Metro Sports Authority for $3 roundtrip rides.

All you have to do is park in Lot R at Nissan Stadium, and when that’s full, you can park in Lot T. The buses will run back and forth until 1 a.m.

“People are start to understanding that they don’t have to pay $40 or $50 $30 to park, and we’re going to get a block within the stadium for $3,” said one of the drivers, Johnny Chumley.

Chumley said he’ll be making around 15 rounds Monday night, about 45 people per round.

“Tonight, we will be packed. We’ll have standing room only,” he told News 2.

More than 150 Metro-Nashville police officers will be working in the immediate downtown area as fans flock to cheer on the Predators.

A viewing party on the Bridgestone Arena plaza will be limited to 200 people. Wristbands will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis beginning at noon.

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry also announced Ascend Amphitheater will open at 6 p.m. for a viewing party Monday.

MORE: City officials making more accommodations for downtown party on Monday

A third viewing screen will also be in place at Third Avenue and Broadway.

“As players, we come on the ice and we’re so proud to wear this jersey and play in front of you guys,” said Ryan Johansen. “I’m so proud to be a Nashville Predator and to be here going through this, and being able to watch these guys in the Stanley Cup Final. As hard as it is not playing, I’m so proud of those guys and watching them every day and being around them every day. They throw it all on the ice, and I think that’s what you guys are so proud of, too.”

Officials also said the Preds’ merchandise trailer will be located toward First Avenue and Broadway Monday.

Metro police encourage fans to say something if they see something suspicious or concerning.

The puck drops for Game 4 between the Preds and the Penguins a little after 7 p.m.

An estimated 50,000 people turned downtown Nashville gold on Saturday for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final and a free Alan Jackson concert.