Thursday, February 21, 2008

Taco time in Tennessee

When the Predators scored for the fourth time during Tuesday's victory over Edmonton, it prompted a familiar chant from Sommet Center fans anxious for one more goal: "We want ta-cos! We want ta-cos!"

The Taco Bell promotion, which gives fans a free taco if the Predators score at least five goals, has been a very popular and prominent part of Nashville's home games over the years.

But it was missing for the first half of this season.

Taco Bell management, dissatisfied with the way it had been treated under the franchise's previous ownership, cut ties last summer.
I'd been planning to head to Nashville for a game this season, but with my passport in transit, that's not going to happen until next year. I imagine NHL hockey in Tennessee is a blast.

This story focuses on some of the positive business developments with the franchise since new ownership took over, including the fact there have been a few sellouts and the Taco Bell nights are back.

It's certainly going to be an uphill climb for David Freeman and company, and this might be the Preds last chance in Nashville, but it's good to see someone putting in the hard work to try and make the team work.



At 3:14 p.m., February 21, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does that mean Leipold is going to bring his special "talents" to Minnesota and run them out of business too?

At 4:22 p.m., February 21, 2008, Anonymous mc keeper said...

Even in the "great state of hockey" as they call themselves in Minny, it wasn't that long ago that Norm Green ran the North Stars into the ground and ultimately to Texas. I'd watch Mr. Leipold closely.

At 5:28 p.m., February 21, 2008, Blogger Rob Robinson said...

Thanks for posting about this topic, James. It's not a traditional market and it has challenges to overcome, but Nashville does have a very strong core base of fans. I hope you do have a chance to make a game here one of these days. Go Preds!

My two cents worth on Leipold: Minneapolis and Nashville are apples and oranges as hockey markets. The Wild have had a breadth of support from day one that the Preds never have. I'd expect Leipold to sell again before ever relocating the Wild, and I don't see that happening because of the market's hunger for hockey. Green notwithstanding, the issues with the Stars were largely venue driven back in the day, were they not?

At 5:57 p.m., February 21, 2008, Blogger Paul Nicholson said...

Yeah, i am thankful to Mr Leipold for bringing hockey to Tennessee, but that's about where it stops.

The more i look back on how he ran the business side of the team, especially the way he tanked the team and (more importantly) the marketing and promotions at the beginning of the year ...let's just say that i don't share the "thank you Craig!" sentiment that many in Nashville seem to have.

At 7:16 p.m., February 21, 2008, Anonymous Cole said...

As long as you can stomach the "Fan Fingers" when ever they score and Tim McGraw singing about how much he "likes it" and "loves it", it's a good road trip from Calgary.

At 7:18 p.m., February 21, 2008, Blogger grease trap said...

Man, now I want tacos.

Best Promotion Ever.

At 11:29 p.m., February 21, 2008, Blogger Doogie said...

Yeah, Fang Fingers are pretty retarded, but I went about a year and a half ago, and it was a damned blast. Good game, fun atmosphere, even if there were about 3,000 fewer people than most would prefer, and I have to admit, I laughed myself sick over all the scoreboard malarkey.

At 11:11 a.m., February 22, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm very thankful that Craig brought the NHL to Nashville. And up until about nine months ago I thought the world of him. Now, some of the tales of how he conducted business are coming out and . . . well, I just don't feel the same about him now. He is a passionate hockey fan, but I don't think he's a great businessman. He married into his money. He didn't become what he is today on his own merit. Anyway, we are starting to get the good vibes back in town. The new ownership is going to make it work here. It can work.

At 11:24 a.m., February 22, 2008, Blogger The Forechecker said...

James, if you make it down, don't sit in the press area, you should really join the 303 to get the full experience.

And yes, "Fang Fingers" is pretty stupid, but the kids do love it (and they do it when the Preds go on the power play, not when they score). My three little ones sing "I Like It, I Love It" for days after they go to a game.

The funniest bit was when I took my oldest boy (5) to his first game, he fell asleep on the way back. As I lifted him out of the car to carry him up to bed, he started singing in his sleep, "the good old hockey game..."


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