Dierks Bentley, More Stars Share Their Excitement for Predators’ Stanley Cup Run
Dierks Bentley is among the many country stars who have turned out to show their support for the Nashville Predators as they compete in the Stanley Cup Final, and he says he's never seen anything like it.
Talking to the Boot and other journalists, Bentley recalled the early days of the team, when some of the players were actually investing their own money in buying season tickets in an effort to keep the franchise going. To see the Predators go from such humble beginnings all the way to a run at the Stanley Cup has been astonishing.
"There will never be another year like this one. There’s just so much excitement; it’s so broad," Bentley says. "It’s one thing to watch the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but not until your team goes [do] you realize how much it takes to get there, how much heart."
Bentley is one of an exclusive lineup of stars who have performed the National Anthem during the Preds' Stanley Cup run, joining Carrie Underwood, Little Big Town, Lady Antebellum, Vince Gill, Kelly Clarkson, Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, Trisha Yearwood and Martina McBride. Thomas Rhett, Brett Eldredge, Lee Brice, Nashville star Charles Esten and more are among those who've shown support either at the games or online.
Country's Best Anthem Singer? You Decide!
The sheer enthusiasm of the fans in Nashville has been a prime reason for the Preds' success, Bentley believes.
"I’ve got some friends who work for the NHL. They said they’ve never seen an atmosphere like the one here in Nashville; the volume is the loudest they’ve ever heard in the country," the singer states. "So it’s not so much what the Stanley Cup means for Nashville … it’s more about what Nashville’s doing for the sport of hockey. We’re doing a lot more for the NHL than the NHL’s doing for us."
The Predators will face off against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Sunday (June 11) for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final. The Penguins lead the Preds three games to two in the series so far. If the Penguins win Game 6, they will also win the Stanley Cup. If the Predators win, they will travel to Pittsburgh on Wednesday (June 14) for Game 7 to decide the series.
Nashville has turned into Predators Central in recent months and weeks, with the eyes of the entire sports community trained on Music City.
"You feel like this is the coolest place in the U.S. right now," Brett Eldredge says. "We’ve got all this crazy stuff; people are really seeing how awesome Nashville is."
Cole Swindell grew up in Georgia, so he wasn't too familiar with hockey until he moved to Nashville. Now, he says he's "all into it. I’ll pull for this city no matter what the team is or who it is; I love this place and anything connected to it … The energy in that arena is the most energy I’ve ever seen in a sporting event."
Luke Bryan is set to perform a rooftop concert at Tootsie's World Famous Orchid Lounge in downtown Nashville prior to the Preds game on Sunday. Bryan’s four-song set will stream live on NHL.com, and also air live on video screens on Lower Broadway and outside and inside of Bridgestone Arena. One song will air during the Game 6 broadcast on NBC, Sportsnet, CBC and TVA Sports, and the NHL Network will broadcast snippets of Bryan’s gig during its pre-game coverage.
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