It seems to me that Nashville Predators fans are more passionate about the Preds this year than they've ever been before. New blogs are popping up, attendance is high, and people have a genuine excitement around town that I haven't seen since the Preds have been here.
Attendance wise, the Preds are in really good condition. According to ESPN.com, the Predators have an average of 15,956 people per game through 24 home games so far this season. That means, on average, the building is filled to a 93.2% capacity level. The fans have been doing their part this year, and it doesn't hurt that the team has been playing good hockey.
It's well known that the Predators don't get adequate coverage from local media outlets. It's very rare for the mainstream media to put forth a respectable amount of effort into covering our hockey team, but luckily we have some of the best hockey bloggers in the nation. As a blogger, I'm lucky to have several dedicated bloggers in PredNation to learn from.
There is a vibe around this team and this season that is different from any other year that I can recall. Sure, in the past we've been excited to go to games and excited about the team, but something just feels different about this year. It's definitely a good thing.
PredNation has been an extremely passionate fan base this year. So is Nashville turning into a hockey town? I think we're defintely on the path to becoming one. Hockey is appreciated and followed in Nashville more than it has ever been before. The problem continues to be with the mainstream local media in Nashville. The lack of coverage is something that I don't understand. I get that every single media outlet in Nashville is completely and totally obsessed with the Titans. The thing is, we have another professional sports team in Nashville that is actually winning! The people of Nashville seem to be making note of this, and it's reflecting in the attendance numbers. Personally, I've taken 4 people to their first hockey game this year, and now they love it! That seems to be a common theme with people. It is the responsibility of the media in Nashville to adequately report on a professional hockey franchise in Nashville, and it is the responsibility of the bloggers to continue to keep up the work that we are doing.
It's also the responsibility of the fans to continue their dedication towards the team. Fans are more passionate, knowledgable, and excited about hockey than they've ever been before in Nashville. Let's keep this train moving right on into the playoffs!