Music City Sports
From the gridiron to the power play, Nashville’s professional, college, and club sports teams keep fans on the edge of their seats with excitement. Want to get in the action yourself? There are plenty of races, events, golf courses, trails, and more to put you right in the middle of the action.
Professional sports bring year-round big league action to Music City, from the first pitch to the last dropped puck.
National Football League: Tennessee Titans – Tennessee’s franchise team is one of 32 teams participating in the prestigious National Football League (NFL). In 1999, the team moved into the 68,800-seat coliseum located on the east bank of the Cumberland River downtown, known as Nissan Stadium after sponsor Louisiana Pacific.
National Hockey League: Nashville Predators – Music City has taken to the “Preds” following the team’s debut in the Bridgestone Arena in 1998. Nashville has matured into a solid franchise, known for its hard-hitting, never-give-up style of hockey, as well as its supportive and boisterous fans.
Pacific Coast League Baseball: Nashville Sounds – The 2005 PCL Champion Nashville Sounds will be moving to a new ballpark at First Tennessee Park for the 2015 season. Located in Downtown Nashville, near the Bicentennial Capitol Mall, First Tennessee Park will be set between Third and Fifth Avenues between Jackson and Harrison Streets. A portion of the ballpark will be located on the land on which Sulphur Dell Ballpark sat from 1870 to 1969. The professional baseball team has operated since 1978. The Nashville Sounds is a AAA-affiliate of the Oakland A's and member of the 16-team Pacific Coast League.
Big ticket events turn the national and international sporting spotlight on Nashville throughout the year. Professional, amateur, and college athletics all bolster Nashville’s profile as a sports town to be reckoned with.
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl – Pitting a Southeastern Conference team against an Atlantic Coast Conference rival, the nationally-televised post-season matchup occurs annually.
NCAA Basketball – Men’s and Women’s NCAA First and Second rounds have been hosted here. The NCAA Women’s Final Four was held in Nashville in 2014.
St. Jude Country Music Marathon & 1/2 Marathon – A full 26-mile and half 13-mile course let pros and thousands of weekend runners alike run Music City every spring. Sporting a uniquely Nashville touch, the Country Music Marathon features over 50 live bands, 28 high school cheer squads along the race course, and welcomes the field home with a post-race concert by a country music superstar.
Iroquois Steeplechase – This is the nation’s oldest, continuously-run, weight-for-age steeplechase. A seven-race card with the featured Iroquois Memorial benefits the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and features some of the most elaborate tailgating in the city. The race is typically held on the second Saturday in May at Percy Warner Park.
John Merritt Classic Weekend – Tennessee State University (TSU) hosts the annual John Merritt Classic, which pits the football teams (and marching bands) of two historically black colleges against each other in this game honoring the legendary TSU coach. The action takes place downtown at Nissan Stadium over Labor Day Weekend.
World-class facilities make great venues for fans and players alike. In addition to pro and college fields, ice rinks and baseball diamonds, Nashville is in the heart of NASCAR country.
Allen Arena at Lipscomb University – This is a state-of-the-art arena with 5,500 permanent seats and up to 13,000 square feet of floor space. A glass-enclosed hospitality suite and seven luxury suites are on-site.
Bridgestone Arena – The 20,000-seat multipurpose arena opened in the winter of 1996. The Arena is home to the NHL Nashville Predators and has hosted a variety of significant sporting and musical events, including the World Figure Skating Championships, NCAA and SEC basketball tournaments, and an NHL Entry Draft.
First Tennessee Park – First Tennessee Park, currently under construction, will be home to the AAA Nashville Sounds by the start of their 2015 season. Located in Downtown Nashville, near the Bicentennial Capitol Mall, it will be set between Third and Fifth Avenues, between Jackson and Harrison Streets. A portion of the ballpark will be located on the land on which Sulphur Dell Ballpark sat from 1870 to 1969.
Centennial Sportsplex – The sports complex houses an indoor aquatic center with an Olympic-size 50-meter pool and a recreational pool, a tennis tournament complex with 16 lighted outdoor courts plus a 2,600-seat stadium. Housing what was originally the city’s only ice rink, Centennial is now one of four ice rinks in the city and is the practice site for the NHL Nashville Predators.
Curb Event Center at Belmont University – This 5,000-seat facility features permanently mounted Triax video installation, digital sound, and lighting, 1,800 threephase amps on the floor, 40’x 60’ staging, and in-house catering. In 2008, the Curb Event Center hosted the town hall debate between presidential nominees Barack Obama and John McCain.
Fairgrounds Speedway – Rated the NASCAR “Number One Short Track in America,” the Tennessee Fairgrounds is home to many different racing events. The Fairgrounds served as training grounds for such NASCAR standouts as Darrell Waltrip and Sterling Marlin.
Gentry Center at Tennessee State University – The Howard C. Gentry Complex includes an arena with 10,500 permanent seats and 24,090 square feet of exhibit space. A portable stage is available.
Nissan Stadium – One of the premier sports and entertainment facilities in the country, Nissan Stadium is home to the NFL Tennessee Titans in addition to the Tennessee State University football team, Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, and the annual CMA Music Festival. The stadium has 69,143 seats, 177 luxury suites, two 25,000-square-foot club lounges, plus large expanses of parking area that can be tented. New multi-million dollar renovations at Nissan Stadium were completed in time for the 2012-2013 Titans season that included new speakers, new high-definition videoboards (second largest in the NFL), elevators to provide service for upper deck seat holders, and general improvements to Nissan Stadium infrastructure.
Memorial Gym at Vanderbilt University – The gymnasium was built in 1952 as a memorial to Vanderbilt men and women who served in the armed forces during World War II. The gym has three courts and office space for men’s and women’s basketball. The gym seats 14,316.
Music City Raceway – Serving Nashville’s speed lovers for more than 50 years with NHRA championship drag racing, Music City Raceway is Nashville’s playground of power.
Before the pros came to play in Nashville, Music City was a college sports town, with cross-town traditions and interconference rivalries running deep through the area’s 21 accredited colleges and universities. Nashville still loves its college sports. Vanderbilt University takes pride in its Southeastern Conference (SEC) teams. Tennessee State University, Belmont University, and Lipscomb University play Division 1-A basketball.
PLAYING IN MUSIC CITY’S GREAT OUTDOORS
For those who’d rather get into the game than just watch it, Nashville’s resort golf courses feature over 100 holes of championship play; Golf Digest even listed Nashville in their “Readers’ Top 36 Buddies Destinations.” The city also offers golfers more than 14 public courses. Travelers looking for more wild in their greens will find an extensive network of public parks within the metro city limits perfect for walking, running, horseback riding, and exploring. Fishing, hunting, boating, hiking, water sports, and camping also lie nearby, with boat and water recreation equipment rentals available on Percy Priest and Old Hickory lakes.