Preds CEO says Garth Brooks critical to franchise growth

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Preds pride is everywhere in Bridgestone Arena, especially if you look up to the rafters.

In addition to their Western Conference Champion banner, the Nashville Predators hung a banner this season to honor country superstar Garth Brooks.

The team hung the banner to honor Brooks’ nine shows he played for charity in the wake of the historic 2010 Nashville flood.

Preds president and CEO Sean Henry told News 2 most fans don’t realize the lasting impact those concerts had on the franchise, the arena and the city.

“What Garth Brooks did for our building and for our team seven years ago, we always look at that time frame in our organization as the changing point,” said Henry.

“Nobody thought we could do the biggest acts, most definitely if we got one, we could never do two nights. What he did is come in and say Nashville is special.  One, he put Nashville on his shoulders and picked us up, raised a lot of money and showed Nashville people are still thinking about you after the floods months later,” added Henry.

“He showed the touring world that we can at least do what every other city does, if not outpace them.  We sold out nine shows here seven years ago.”

Brooks begins his seven show stint wrapping up his world tour Saturday night at Bridgestone Arena.

“For him to end his tour here, this 2 and a  half year tour in Nashville, his town, doing seven shows, it’s really remarkable.  We’re so grateful to him, he probably changed our franchise outside of any other individual, outside of people inside our walls,” said Henry.