Could Bridgestone Arena become the latest site of a major downtown redevelopment? Arena executives broached the topic in a meeting with the Metro Sports Authority yesterday.
Over the next few days, officials will meet with Adam Stover, a visiting consultant with design firm Popolous. Stover helped design the new Yankee Stadium. He says it's early in the process, but he's already thinking big.
"Nothing is off the table right now," Stover told the Sports Authority Board.
He gave a laundry list of possibilities: building a permanent outdoor bandstage on the plaza, creating storefronts along Broadway, and building a towering multi-use structure atop the current parking garage.
20 years ago, Mayor Phil Bredesen saw the arena as the key element of a plan to revitalize Lower Broadway. Today, the neighborhood has come full circle: development on Lower Broad is driving interest in arena renovations.
Nearby properties have already seen massive changes, and officials are keeping an eye on a $400 million project across the street. That's the redevelopment of Nashville's old convention center, which will include space for retail and residential buildings.
Sean Henry is the chief executive for Bridgestone Arena and the Nashville Predators. He hopes his organization can maintain its prime location for 30 or 40 years, but says redevelopment could be essential to his long-term plans.
This isn't the first time Henry has raised the idea of redevelopment: He and Stover began discussions several years back. But they believe now is a perfect time for a plan to "extend the Broadway experience through Bridgestone Arena."