Bridgestone Arena. Photo: Courtesy of Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp
Sabertooth Sports & Entertainment LLC (SS&E) has a agreed to a multi-year naming rights agreement with F&M Bank in Clarksville, Tennessee.
SS&E, owned by the Nashville Predators, announced that they will operate and manage a new 250,000-square-foot facility in Clarksville. The soon-to-be-named venue will hold roughly 6,000 fans for concerts, 5,500 for basketball games, and 5,000 for hockey games.
“Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durrett had a very specific vision for the region, with the driving force for that being a dynamic event center right in the heart of Clarksville,” says Nashville Predators President and CEO Sean Henry. “City of Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts and Austin Peay State University Athletic Director Gerald Harrison jumped on board with their own visions for what the event center could do for their city and school, respectively. These three individuals and their passion put us on the right track to create something special.
“The one thing we were missing was a dynamic, community-minded business leader to fully bring that project to life, and you can’t ask for a more community-centric individual than F&M Bank President and CEO Sammy Stuard,” Henry conitnues. “The core values at F&M Bank align so well with what we will achieve with this event center. No matter what the last name of the center will be called – forum, stadium, coliseum, hippodrome or arena – it won’t matter, because the first portion being F&M Bank all but guarantees our success.”
The venue’s primary tenant will be Austin Peay State University, whose men’s and women’s basketball teams will call the facility home. In addition to the facility’s main, flexible event space – which will be able to host sporting events, concerts, banquets, conventions, trade shows and other events – the multi-level venue will feature a separate sheet of ice that will be used for youth and adult hockey leagues as well as figure skating. The main arena bowl will also be able to add an ice surface, giving it the ability to host hockey tournaments and attract larger on-ice events or competitions much like the existing Ford Ice Centers in Antioch and Bellevue. Using these ice sheets, the Predators will offer a variety of learn-to-skate programs at the facility, continuing their mission to expose and grow hockey to more Middle Tennessee residents.
“Over 30 years ago, F&M Bank leaders envisioned the potential growth of Clarksville, moving its corporate headquarters here, and in 2007, we built a 48,000-square-foot main office facility in the heart of Public Square. The Montgomery County Event Center will not only be a center for entertainment, but also a stimulus for continued economic growth and small business expansion,” says Stuard.
Ground broke on the facility in November 2020 and construction work continues at its downtown location of First Street and College Street, with the venue scheduled to open during the 2022-23 season under SS&E management. SS&E will be responsible for its overall day-to-day operations and will be charged with booking the facility.