Aug 19, 2022 - Sports

NHL Draft, award ceremony heading to Nashville

An exterior photo of Bridgestone Arena.
Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

Nashville nabbed a pair of high-profile events yesterday when the National Hockey League announced the 2023 NHL Awards and draft would both come to Music City next June.

Why it matters: The announcement was further confirmation of Nashville's staying power as a big draw for large events with a national profile.

  • The city previously hosted the NHL All-Star Weekend in 2016 and the NFL Draft in 2019.

Zoom in: The NHL Awards will take place June 26. It's the first time the ceremony has come to Nashville.

  • The 2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft will be hosted by the Predators at Bridgestone Arena June 28-29. The NHL draft hasn't taken place here since 2003.

What they're saying: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman called Nashville "a special city that certainly knows how to throw a great party."

  • "The city, the Predators organization and the Country Music community have overwhelmed the NHL with their welcome and support every time Nashville has hosted a League event," Bettman said in a statement.
  • "We cannot wait to return next June to celebrate the stars of our game and introduce the next generation of NHL Players."

The big picture: Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp CEO Butch Spyridon pointed out that the NHL events would fit in between the annual CMA Fest and Fourth of July celebration to make for a particularly robust summer travel season.

Between the lines: "It's been more than 15 years since these two events were hosted in the same city in the same year," Predators president and CEO Sean Henry said in a statement.

  • "Next June, we are penciling that week with SMASHVILLE as the center of the hockey world."
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