The Sports Credential Essentials—December 2022

We’ve reached December and it’s hard to believe that we’re just weeks away from 2023. The final month of the year will see the Titans wind down their season as they prepare for, potentially, another NFL postseason.

We’re also in the heart of the FIFA World Cup. The USMNT have found a way out of their extremely difficult group and are headed to the knockout stage of the tournament. They will play European powerhouse, the Netherlands, on Saturday (Dec. 3). A win here would put them in the quarterfinals.

The Predators are finally finding their form after winning four of their last six matches, finding themselves just one point out of the Wild Card spot in the Western Conference. They have a stacked December, starting off with a game in Newark, New Jersey to face the four-loss New Jersey Devils before playing the New York Islanders in Long Island. Nashville only has five home games this month, but they will be must-watch matchups against the Avalanche, Stars and the Oilers twice.

December also brings the first full month of college basketball and Belmont, Vanderbilt, TSU and MTSU’s seasons are in full swing. There are a handful of games that college basketball fans to lookout for, including when the Belmont women’s basketball take on the Lipscomb Bisons.

For more events and games, head to The Sports Credential calendar.

DEC 3
USMNT vs. Morocco at 2022 FIFA World Cup Round of 16
Doha, Qatar

DEC 4
Tennessee Titans at the Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

DEC 6
Belmont Women’s Basketball at Lipscomb at Allen Arena
Nashville, Tennessee

DEC 10
Belmont Men’s Basketball at Middle Tennessee State at the Curb Event Center
Nashville, Tennessee

DEC 11
Tennessee Titans vs. the Jacksonville Jaguars at Nissan Stadium
Nashville, Tennessee

DEC 18
2022 FIFA World Cup Final
Doha, Qatar

DEC 19
Nashville Predators vs. Edmonton Oilers at Bridgestone Arena
Nashville, Tennessee

DEC 23
Nashville Predators vs. Colorado Avalanche at Bridgestone Arena
Nashville, Tennessee

DEC 24
Tennessee Titans vs. the Houston Texans at Nissan Stadium
Nashville, Tennessee

DEC 27
Nashville Predators vs. Dallas Stars at Bridgestone Arena
Nashville, Tennessee

DEC 29
Tennessee Titans vs. the Dallas Cowboys at Nissan Stadium
Nashville, Tennessee

DEC 31
2022 Transperfect Music City Bowl at Nissan Stadium
Nashville, Tennessee

Belmont Unveils Curb Event Center Arena Enhancements

The Curb Event Center. Photo: Courtesy of Belmont Athletics

As fans entered the Curb Event Center for Monday night’s (Nov. 7) game between the Belmont Bruins and Ohio Bobcats, they will have noticed some changes to the arena.

The university’s athletic department unveiled a number of significant enhancements to the Curb Event Center to benefit the overall fan experience as the Bruins enter a new era, joining the Missouri Valley Conference.

“We are thrilled with how phase one of our Curb Event Center enhancements have turned out,” says Belmont Vice President/Director of Athletics Scott Corley. “These investments honor our past and speak to the positive direction we are going as a university and athletic department.”

Upon entry, Bruin fans will see the updates, celebrating the tradition of Belmont’s men’s basketball, women’s basketball and volleyball programs. With assistance from university partners R.C. Mathews, Advent and Praters Flooring, among others, the Curb Event Center will be updated over several phases in the coming years to strengthen one of the great game day environments in college basketball.

Arena enhancements include:

  • New playing surface
  • New basketball goals
  • New Belmont branding throughout the arena, concourse and atrium
  • New rotunda banners
  • New graphic displays highlighting memorable moments in men’s basketball, women’s basketball and volleyball
  • New retired jersey banners
  • New acoustic panels

Suite enhancements include:

  • New state-of-the-art high-back leather chairs with Belmont branding
  • New furniture
  • New modern shelving
  • New quartz countertops
  • New quartz stool rail
  • New carpet
  • New electrical outlets and charging stations

The Sports Credential Essentials—November 2022

November is here and with it comes the final stretch of the college football season, the heart of the NFL season and the beginning of the college basketball season.

Belmont, Lipscomb, TSU, MTSU and Vanderbilt all begin their season in the second week of November.

Belmont’s men host Ohio, Vandy’s men host Memphis, and both TSU’s men and women will play Fisk all on Monday, Nov. 7. Belmont women’s basketball has a huge season ahead of them after nearly beating the Lady Vols in the 2022 NCAA Tournament. The Bruins start their season hosting Chattanooga, No. 7 Louisville, and MTSU Lady Blue Raiders before heading to Iowa City to face the University of Iowa.

The annual Battle of the Boulevard between Belmont and Lipscomb’s men’s teams will be early this season, taking place at Allen Arena on Monday, Nov. 14.

The first week of November starts with the Predators playing three games on the road against the Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks. The Preds lost to the Oilers 7-4 and are on a downward skid, losing seven of their last eight games.

After the Preds’ five-game road trip, they will play eight of their next nine games at Bridgestone Arena. In that stretch, the Preds will host the New York Rangers (Nov. 12), New York Islanders (Nov. 17), 2021 Eastern Conference Champions Tampa Bay Lighting (Nov. 19) and Stanley Cup champs the Colorado Avalanche (Nov. 25).

Vanderbilt football started off its season relatively solid but have lost four straight games since starting SEC play. Their last loss was to Missouri in a tight game where the Commodores fell 17-14. They spent this last week on a bye, but will be back in action this Saturday (Nov. 5) when they host South Carolina. After that, Vandy will play Kentucky and Florida, andwill finish their season against Tennessee on Nov. 26.

The Titans will have a very busy November as they play four games, kicking things off by visiting the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, Nov. 6. The Titans have won five straight, with their most recent win coming against the Houston Texans. The Titans continue to struggle with players being sidelined for injuries, but are finding ways to win behind their defense and great performances by Derrick Henry.

After playing the Chiefs, Tennessee will host the Broncos before heading to Green Bay to play the Packers on Nov. 17. They finish the month in a rematch of last years AFC Divisional matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals at Nissan Stadium on Nov. 27.

For more events and games, head to The Sports Credential calendar.

 

NOV 5
Vanderbilt Football vs. South Carolina at FirstBank Stadium
Nashville, Tennessee

NOV 6
Tennessee Titans at the Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City, Missouri

NOV 7
Vanderbilt Men’s Basketball vs. Memphis at Memorial Gym
Nashville, Tennessee

Belmont Men’s Basketball vs. Ohio at Curb Event Center
Nashville, Tennessee

TSU Men’s Basketball vs. Fisk University
Nashville, Tennessee

TSU Women’s Basketball vs. Fisk University
Nashville, Tennessee

NOV 10
Vanderbilt Women’s Basketball vs. Sanford at Memorial Gym
Nashville, Tennessee

NOV 12
Nashville Predators vs. New York Rangers at Bridgestone Arena
Nashville, Tennessee

NOV 13
Tennessee Titans vs Denver Broncos at Nissan Stadium
Nashville, Tennessee

Belmont Women’s Basketball vs. No. 7 Louisville at Curb Event Center
Nashville, Tennessee

NOV 14
Belmont Men’s Basketball vs. Lipscomb (Battle of the Boulevard) at Allen Arena
Nashville, Tennessee

NOV 16
Belmont Women’s Basketball vs. MTSU at Murphy Center
Murfreesboro, Tennessee

NOV 17
Tennessee Titans at Green Bay Packers
Green Bay, Wisconsin

NOV 18
Vanderbilt Men’s Basketball vs. Morehead State at Memorial Gym
Nashville, Tennessee

NOV 19
Vanderbilt Football vs. Florida at FirstBank Stadium
Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville Predators vs. Tampa Bay Lightning at Bridgestone Arena
Nashville, Tennessee

NOV 25
Nashville Predators vs. Colorado Avalanche at Bridgestone Arena
Nashville, Tennessee

NOV 26
Vanderbilt Football vs. Tennessee at FirstBank Stadium
Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville Predators vs. Columbus Blue Jackets at Bridgestone Arena
Nashville, Tennessee

NOV 27
Tennessee Titans vs Cincinnati Bengals at Nissan Stadium
Nashville, Tennessee

104.5 The Zone Adds Kayla Anderson, Will Boling To Morning Show Crew

Pictured (L-R): Kayla Anderson & Will Boling. Photo: Courtesy of 104.5 The Zone

Nashville’s oldest sports talk radio station, 104.5 The Zone is upgrading its morning show as it adds former WKRN sports reporter Kayla Anderson and longtime Zone contributor Will Boling. They will join current host and former NFL and Tennessee Volunteer lineman Ramon Foster starting Wednesday, Oct. 5 from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. CT.

“Ramon Foster has a tremendous natural ability to connect with sports fans in morning radio, and our listeners love him,” says Paul Mason, Operations Manager, Titans Radio/104-5 The Zone WGFX-FM. “Bringing Ramon together with experienced television sports anchor and reporter Kayla Anderson and hometown broadcaster Will Boling creates a truly special dynamic that will make for some great morning sports radio!”

“Really looking forward to starting Nashville and Middle Tennessee mornings off right with great energy and all of your sports and entertainment needs. I’m excited to work with Kayla and Will for years to come!” Foster notes.

Anderson has been familiar face in the Nashville sports world while at  News 2 TV, where she has been a sports anchor, reporter, and digital contributor for six years. She will aim to tell the stories behind the headlines and scores for Nashville’s favorite teams, matchups, and players. She will continue to do freelance reports for News 2.

Before landing in Music City, Anderson spent three years in Columbus, Ohio, where she covered everything from Ohio State’s 2014 National Championship to the Cleveland Indians’ run in the 2016 World Series. She started her broadcasting career as a news/sports reporter in Bend, Oregon, and has covered sports in markets including her native Spokane, Missoula, and Tucson.

“After spending the last 15 years in local TV covering sports, I’m thrilled to venture into sports talk radio, joining 104.5 The Zone in the mornings with Ramon, Will and producer Jonathan Shaffer,” Anderson shares. “I’m truly looking forward to hanging with this talented crew, talking sports, interacting with the listeners, and having lots of fun doing it!”

Boling, a lifelong Nashvillian and University of Tennessee alum, has been a mainstay at 104.5 The Zone for the past four years. He has been heard on the station as the high school football announcer, Titans post-game host, and fill-in host for the station. He joined the team as a part-time digital producer, working his way up to head digital producer, and then to part-time host before now making his debut as morning show co-host.

Boling discovered his love for play-by-play while still in high school as a commentator for Brentwood Academy football. He was also assistant broadcaster for the Tennessee Smokies (AA-Chicago Cubs).

“I’m thrilled to be a part of this new morning team,” Boling adds. “It’s a dream come true to host a daily show on a station I’ve listened to my whole life, and it’s a privilege to interact with my hometown sports community that I care deeply about.”

Ramon, Kayla and Will will debut on 104.5 The Zone on Wednesday, Oct. 5.

The Sports Credential Essentials—October 2022

October is the perfect month for major sports fans as college football, NFL, MLS and NHL hockey all play this month.

The first week of October brings back Predators hockey, and Smashville starts the season in Europe as part of the 2022 NHL Global Series. They will face the San Jose Sharks in back-to-back games in Prague, Czech Republic on Oct. 7 & 8. The Preds will play five home games this month, which include matchups against rivals the Dallas Stars and the St. Louis Blues.

Vanderbilt football is coming off their bye week and have a record of 3-2 after suffering a terrible 55-3 loss to Alabama. This weekend, the Commodores will celebrate its Homecoming with a game against No. 8 Ole Miss at FirstBank Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 3 p.m. CT. The Rebels have had a fantastic season thus far, so Vandy’s offense, led by AJ Swann, will need to make big plays early in the game. Vanderbilt’s other two October games will be away games against No. 2 Georgia and Missouri.

The Titans picked up their first win of October with a 24-17 victory over AFC South rival the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday (Oct. 2). Tennessee has just one home game this month and it will be against the Colts on Sunday, Oct. 23. This upcoming Sunday (Oct. 9), the Titans will face the struggling Washington Commanders. They finish the month against their equally struggling division rival, the Houston Texans. If the Titans can fix their second half inefficiencies, they could sweep their October opponents.

October also means the end of the MLS regular season and the beginning of the MLS Cup Playoffs. Nashville SC is back in the playoffs for its third straight season. Sadly, they lost on Sunday to Houston 2-1, but have one last regular season matchup against LAFC on Oct. 9. NSC needs to beat LAFC if they want any chance of hosting a playoff game at GEODIS Park. The MLS Cup Playoffs will begin on Oct. 15.

For more events and games, head to The Sports Credential calendar.

OCT 7
Nashville Predators vs. San Jose Sharks (NHL Global Series)
Prague, Czech Republic

OCT 8
Nashville Predators vs. San Jose Sharks (NHL Global Series)
Prague, Czech Republic

Vanderbilt Football vs. Ole Miss at FirstBank Stadium
Nashville, Tennessee

OCT 9
Nashville SC at LAFC at Banc of California Stadium
Los Angeles, California

OCT 13
Nashville Predators vs. Dallas Stars at Bridgestone Arena
Nashville, Tennessee

OCT 15
Middle Tennessee State Football vs. Western Kentucky at Floyd Stadium (MSTU Homecoming)
Murfreesboro, Tennessee

MLS Cup Playoffs Begin

OCT 20
Nashville Metro Sports Authority Board Meeting at First Horizon Park
Nashville, Tennessee

OCT 23
Tennessee Titans vs. Indianapolis Colts at Nissan Stadium
Nashville, Tennessee

OCT 27
Nashville Predators vs. St. Louis Blues at Bridgestone Arena
Nashville, Tennessee

OCT 30
Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans at NRG Stadium
Houston, Texas

NCVC Adds CAA Sports Co-Head Howard Nuchow To Board Of Directors

Howard Nuchow. Photo: Courtesy of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp.

The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. has announced a string of new members to its Board of Directors, which includes CAA Sports co-head Howard Nuchow.

Prior to joining CAA in 2007, Nuchow was the first employee of Mandalay Sports Entertainment (MSE), which owns and manages professional sports franchises throughout the country. Nuchow was recognized by Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal as one of the top 40 sports executives nationwide under the age of 40 in 2003 and 2007, and entered its hall of fame in 2008. He has appeared on the publication’s annual list of the Most Influential Executives in Sports every year since 2008.

Nuchow is on the board of CAA Eleven, a company he helped form in 2012, which manages the broadcasting, sponsorship and licensing rights to the UEFA EURO 2016 and 2020 qualifying competition, the European qualifying competition for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup, and the 24-team UEFA EURO 2016 and 2020 final tournament, as well as the Nations League on behalf of UEFA.

CAA Sports has topped Forbes’ Most Valuable Agencies list for seven-straight years, with more than $10.6 billion in contract value under management. The company further solidified its dominant position in the international representation of sports talent with the acquisition of Base Soccer Agency in 2019.

Along with Nuchow, Belmont Law School Dean and Music City Baseball LLC Board Directors Alberto R. Gonzales joins the NCVC board to the role of Legal Counsel. The NCVC also added Dr. Alex Jahangir, an orthopaedic trauma surgeon at Vanderbilt University Medical Center; Doug Kreulen, President and CEO, Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority; Marc Sternagel, Area General Manager of the Grand Hyatt Nashville; Claire Whitfield Tucker, recently retired President and CEO Emerita of CapStar Financial Holdings and CapStar Bank in Nashville; and Ben Weprin, CEO and founder of Adventurous Journeys (AJ) Capital Partners. Banking executive Kevin Lavender, head of Commercial Banking at Fifth Third Bank, will serve a second year as Chairman of the Board of Directors.

“This is an outstanding group of community and business leaders with expertise in the hospitality, finance, health, sports and legal fields, and their guidance will be instrumental as Nashville tourism continues to expand,” Lavender shares. “The hospitality industry is a crucial economic engine that provides vital tax revenue, jobs and economic activity, and its long-term success is important for Nashville and Tennessee.”

The 23-member volunteer board are community and business leaders who represent voices in the Nashville area. The board is charged with directing the organization’s work on behalf of the city, the members of the NCVC and the city’s vibrant hospitality industry.

The NCVC Board of Directors also includes:

  • Patrick Chaffin, Senior Vice President of Asset Management, Ryman Hospitality Properties
  • John Esposito, Chairman and CEO, Warner Music Group
  • Sherry Franklin, Director of Hotel Sales, Renaissance Nashville
  • Eddie George, Head Football Coach, Tennessee State University
  • Kevin Green, COO, Chartwell Hospitality
  • Ken Levitan, President, Vector Management
  • Kimberly Lewis, Owner, Emerson Grace
  • Pat Martin, Martin Investment Group
  • Burke Nihill, President and CEO, Tennessee Titans
  • Butch Spyridon, President and CEO, NCVC
  • Sarah Trahern, CEO, CMA

Titans & Defensive Back Lonnie Johnson Jr. Donate To Local Middle School Football Team

Lonnie Johnson Jr. #20 of the Tennessee Titans donating a check for new equipment at John Early Middle School. Photo: Cameron Faulkner/Tennessee Titans

The Tennessee Titans and Titans defensive back Lonnie Johnson Jr. have partnered to donate to John Early Middle School’s football team. Located in Nashville, the school is just over a mile away from the Titans’ practice facility, Ascension Saint Thomas Sports Park.

The donation will allow the school to purchase new shoulder pads for the team. The team currently has 40 players, but is operating with only 18 pairs of shoulder pads.

Lonnie Johnson Jr. and the John Early Middle School football team. Photo: Cameron Faulkner/Tennessee Titans

“I’m thankful to be in a position where I can help the team get the equipment they need in order to play football,” Johnson Jr. notes. “Playing sports as a kid helped shape me into who I am today, so I’m excited to help provide kids in our community with that same opportunity.”

“Our goal at John Early is to be the best middle school in MNPS because our students, families, staff, and community deserve it,” adds Executive Principal of John Early Middle School Jeremy Riggs. “We are grateful to Mr. Johnson for this generous donation which shows our students that they deserve the best.”

Johnson Jr. marks his first season with the Titans this year and his fourth in the NFL overall. Originally drafted by the Houston Texans in the second round (54th overall) of the 2019 NFL Draft, he’s notched 160 tackles, three interceptions and 13 passes defensed in 46 career games. Johnson Jr. played collegiately at the University of Kentucky.

The Sports Credential Essentials—September 2022

Tennessee Titans and Vanderbilt football is here, and fans can expect a busy month filled with football, as well as Nashville SC as their season begins to wind down.

Vanderbilt will welcome Elon for their first home game at the newly named FirstBank Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 3. A week later on Sept. 10, Vandy will host No. 22 Wake Forest and SEC Network will be on campus all weekend with on-scene coverage of their live programs.

After a long training camp with lots of questions around certain positions, Derrick Henry, Ryan Tannehill and the Titans are back at Nissan Stadium for its Week 1 matchup against the New York Giants on Sept. 11. The Titans will then head to Buffalo on Sept. 19 in a huge early season game against the Bills for Monday Night Football on ESPN. Tennessee heads back home to host the Las Vegas Raiders on Sept. 25.

The Titans finalized their 53-man roster on Tuesday, naming Malik Willis as their official backup, Hassan Haskins as Henry’s backup, and keeping wide receivers Nick Westbrook-Ikhine and 2022 fifth round draft pick Kyle Philips.

Nashville SC’s season is coming to a close and the standings are getting tighter as the playoffs loom. Hany Mukhtar has become a must-see as he now leads MLS in goals (19) and goals+assists ratio (30), and following his hat trick against Colorado on Aug. 31.

NSC have three games in the month of September with two games at GEODIS Park. The Boys in Gold are coming off three straight wins where they’ve outscored their opponents 11-1. This month, the Boys in Gold take on Austin FC and LA Galaxy at home on Sept. 3 and Sept. 10.

In late September, the Nashville Predators will be back on the ice for the NHL Preseason and will host a split-sqaud double header against the Florida Panther on Sept. 26. The Preds will then face 2022 Eastern Conference champions Tampa Bay Lightning to close out the month on Sept. 30.

For more events and games, head to The Sports Credential calendar.

SEPT 3
Nashville SC vs. Austin FC at GEODIS Park
Nashville, Tennessee

Vanderbilt vs. Elon at FirstBank Stadium
Nashville, Tennessee

Titans Foundation 5K
Nashville, Tennessee

SEPT 10
Nashville SC vs. LA Galaxy at GEODIS Park
Nashville, Tennessee

Vanderbilt vs. Wake Forest at FirstBank Stadium
Nashville, Tennessee

SEPT 11
Tennessee Titans vs. New York Giants at Nissan Stadium
Nashville, Tennessee

SEPT 15
Metro Sports Authority Board Meeting at Bridgestone Arena
Nashville, Tennessee

SEPT 17
Middle Tennessee State University vs. Tennessee State
Murfreesboro, Tennessee

SEPT 19
Tennessee Titans at the Buffalo Bills
Buffalo, New York

Smashville Showdown Charity Event with the Predators & Vanderbilt at Hawkins Field
Nashville, Tennessee

SEPT 25
Tennessee Titans vs. Las Vegas Raiders at Nissan Stadium
Nashville, Tennessee

SEPT 26
Nashville Predators vs. Florida Panthers at Bridgestone Arena
Nashville, Tennessee

SEPT 30
Nashville Predators vs. Tampa Bay Lightning at Bridgestone Arena
Nashville, Tennessee