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Predators and USA Hockey Team Up for Honky Tonk Showdown

By Dave Pond, 03/27/24, 8:15AM MDT


The Nashville Predators organization and USA Hockey have joined forces to create a supercharged adult hockey tournament in Nashville:

The 2024 Honky Tonk Showdown, presented by USA Hockey, set for June 21-23, 2024 at the Bellevue Ford Ice Center in Nashville.

This exciting development wasn't just about creating a bigger event; it stemmed from a desire to collaborate and support each other, ultimately benefiting everyone involved.

Honky Tonk is an annual celebration centered around the Preds Brew Fest and has become a beloved tradition throughout Music City. This fun-filled weekend showcases local hockey talent and fosters a sense of community.

Previously, Nashville hosted two adult hockey events – the Preds' Honky Tonk and USA Hockey's Nashville Adult Classic. With the spring calendar already packed with events, ice time was becoming increasingly rare, said USA Hockey adult hockey coordinator Logan Spellman. 

“We realized that lets us focus all of our efforts toward one event and leverage our reach to attract more teams, creating a single, stronger tournament.”

Initially, USA Hockey reached out to the Predators with the possibility of merging for the event, said Kristen Bowness, director of Youth Hockey Fan Development for the Predators.

“The Nashville Adult Classic was great because it brought in teams from around the country, and who doesn’t want to come to Nashville for a weekend with your hockey buddies?” she asked. “Partnering with USA Hockey will not only provide great exposure for the weekend but will also bring a lot of credibility to the tournament and a positive impact on all competing divisions. 

“I’m excited for the opportunity to put a spotlight on the Summer tournament to attract more adult teams from around the country.”

The unified tournament signifies a new chapter for Nashville's adult hockey scene and demonstrates the power of collaboration. 

“More teams, more divisions, and more competition – it will be a fresh feel for each side,” Spellman said. “We’re excited to bring some rejuvenation to our Nashville Adult Classic.”

Having USA Hockey’s support, Bowness said, allows the Predators to reach more audiences as they try to expand the tournament and offer more divisions.

“We are thrilled to partner with USA Hockey as it is an opportunity to bring this tournament to a new level,” she said. “Women, warfighters, and heroes (teachers, first responders, medical staff, etc.) are all divisions we have tried to offer in the past but ultimately had to cancel as we did not have enough teams register.”

The Nashville event is just one of six Adult Classics that USA Hockey puts on across the country, with others held in Las Vegas, Columbus, Lake Placid, Denver, and Anchorage. Three of those cities also boast NHL teams, something Spellman says isn’t unnoticed.

“What’s so exciting about this Nashville event is that we’re now getting to directly support an NHL club in its adult hockey efforts,” he said. “We think it would be amazing if all 25 United States NHL clubs were able to have a direct relationship with USA Hockey when it comes to adult hockey, and we could generate even more excitement across this audience.”

For the Predators, the relationship is just as meaningful. Partnering with USA Hockey signifies their dedication to elevating the sport and solidifying Nashville's position as a thriving hockey hub. 

“Having worked with USA Hockey in the past, I’m very grateful for the many positive relationships that have developed,” Bowness said. “The hockey community is small, but it’s the best one to be a part of.”

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