Axios Nashville

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It is Friday. You know what that means

  • Today's weather: Cloudy with a chance of showers and a high of 74.

Today's newsletter is 792 words — a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: Best sports bars in town for March Madness

Beer and basketball at Double Dogs. Photo: Nate Rau/Axios

There's a special moment that happens at every great sports bar: You're sipping your beer and watching the game in front of you when a group of fans at the other end of the bar suddenly erupts in cheers.

  • You quickly scan the multitude of television screens to figure out what you missed.

State of play: Nothing brings out the energy in a sports bar like March Madness. But we've gotten the impression there are far too few of these bars in Nashville despite the fact we've grown into a world-class sports city.

  • So we asked our loyal Axios Nashville readers to weigh in with their recommendations so we can pass along the inside scoop.

The intrigue: Double Dogs, the regional sports bar chain with locations on Charlotte Avenue and in Hillsboro Village, got the most love. Peter L. singled out the Double Dogs in Hillsboro, calling the 2019 Final Four game between Auburn and Virginia "one of the best sports bar experiences I've ever had."

  • "Plenty of TVs including a massive TV at the front (multiple TVs used to project a bigger picture). In terms of food, they have in my opinion the best chicken tenders and wings in town."
  • Nations food enthusiast Ben P. gave props to his neighborhood location. A fun tip for parents: He pointed out the kids' meals are served in dog bowls.

💭 Nate's thought bubble: I visited Double Dogs yesterday during the early games. Michigan State-Mississippi State was the main game on, and fans repping both teams sat at the bar.

  • I agree with Peter: The wings are good, and there are a ton of TVs.

Annette S. said Noble's Kitchen and Beer Hall is worth checking out in East Nashville. "They have really good food and a large selection of draft beers, local and not, as well as cocktails and of course drink specials. They also have great staff!!"

Kristin N. gave two recs for good spots specifically for March Madness: Jasper's on West End is offering two-for-one on all beers whenever a game is on. "They recently relaunched their menu, but the relaunch includes their uber-popular Caulipoppers."

If you go: The Tennessee men's team walloped St. Peter's 83-49 yesterday. The Volunteers play Texas tomorrow.

  • There are plenty of in-state women's teams to watch this week. Vanderbilt plays today against favored Baylor at 5pm.
  • If you want to sneak away over your lunch break, upset-minded Middle Tennessee faces Louisville today at 12:30pm.
  • The Tennessee Lady Vols face Green Bay tomorrow at 11am.

Keep reading for 3 more sports bar picks

2. Nashville's sports bar standing

Sports bars per 100k people by metro area
Data: Yelp; Note: Among 112 metro areas with at least 500,000 residents; Chart: Axios Visuals

Nashville is holding its own in terms of the volume of sports bar options.

By the numbers: According to data from Yelp, Nashville has 8.5 sports bars per 100,000 people. That's ahead of the national average of 7.3.

  • We have a ways to go to catch up to national leaders Myrtle Beach (18.8) and Las Vegas (15.1).

Share the rankings

3. Chart du jour: TSA complaints at BNA

Data: TSA via Data Liberation Project; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Air passengers are reporting complaints at a higher rate than before the pandemic, per data from the Transportation Security Administration.

By the numbers: Travelers filed 13.5 complaints per 100,000 passengers at National International Airport in January compared to a rate of 3.4 during the same month in 2019, according to an Axios analysis of the complaints, which were gathered by the Data Liberation Project.

Zoom in: The analysis found that travelers grumbled the most about BNA's expedited passenger screening program (or Precheck), registering 1,008 complaints from January 2023 through January 2024.

  • Other top complaints were over customer service (99), screening (65) and property handling (32).

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4. The Setlist: Massive tax cut for businesses advances

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

✈️ As airport traffic continues to vex travelers, state and BNA officials have negotiated a $6 million incentive if contractors finish construction at the Interstate 40/Donelson Pike interchange by May 2025. (Tennessean)

🗣️ Mayor Freddie O'Connell met with top business leaders this week to promote his proposal to expand transportation through a November referendum. (Nashville Business Journal, subscription)

💰 A plan to give Tennessee businesses a tax break of nearly $2 billion has cleared the state Senate. State officials say eliminating the state franchise tax and refunding past payments is necessary to avoid costly lawsuits, while critics say the proposal hasn't been transparent or properly vetted. (The Associated Press)

5. The Friday News Quiz

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Now is your chance for newsletter glory. Reply to this email with the correct answers to the following questions, and you'll get a shoutout on Monday.

  1. Name someone in the latest class of Country Music Hall of Fame inductees.
  2. What year was Nashville in the path of totality for the solar eclipse?
  3. Which Metro Council member is mulling a Republican primary challenge against U.S. Rep. Andy Ogles?

Our picks:

Nate's song of the day is "Air Drumming Fix You" by Wild Pink.

ğŸŽŸï¸ Adam is planning to buy tickets to Amy Grant and Vince Gill's Christmas residency at the Ryman, which go on sale today.

This newsletter was edited by Jen Ashley and copy edited by Katie Lewis.