These lists by Forbes are always fun to dissect. The loyal fans of the Nashville Predators rightfully get ranked No.9 on Forbes’ best NHL fans.
Despite coming up short of preseason expectations for two consecutive years, the Nashville Predators’ loyal fans aren’t shying away from attending games. Now they’ve been recognized by Forbes as some of the best fans in the NHL.
The Nashville Predators fanbase has a league-wide reputations for being some of the most passionate, animated and energetic fans of the league. They bring a competitive attitude, chants and all, that rub many opposing fans the wrong way. But it’s a big reason why they get so much national attention and respect.
This list from Forbes uses metrics like fan attendance, television ratings, ticket demand on the secondary market, social media presence and merchandise sales to come up with the rankings. So a lot of variables in play to compile this list. In other words, it wasn’t just thrown together by someone based on personal bias or the eye test.
Why Predators fans are deserving
I’m keeping all personal bias out of this. If the fans of the Predators were no-shows and sat on their hands all game, I’d be the first as a fellow fan to call them out on that. That’s simply never the case. Even if the team is performing badly.
What I love about Predators fans is they can be equally critical of their own team as they can be on the opposing team. They’re not afraid to show their disdain for the team if they’re not playing up to the standards they believe they should be playing at.
Tickets prices have steadily increased over the past few years, as you’d expect after a trip to the Stanley Cup Final. That doesn’t keep Bridgestone Arena from regularly being packed at the seams and driving the ticket prices up on the secondary market.
Then there’s the chants. Even if you’re an opposing fan, you can’t deny that the fans keep the energy up and make things entertaining. You can hate the team all you want, but going to Predators games are a lot of fun thanks to how much energy and how vocal the fans are.
This season the Predators’ attendance is at 101.3 percent full, which is 5th in the NHL, per ESPN.com. Don’t ask me how you can be more than 100 percent full, but that’s the number. Feel free to comment below to explain how it can be more than 100 percent. I guess it means more fans are showing up than what the actual capacity is, which is pretty impressive.
Then, of course, you have other very memorable fan traditions that Forbes cites on their list like smashing an opposing team’s car before home playoff games. Very creative and is a lot of fun for fans. Nothing like boozing it up on Broadway all day and then smashing a car with a sledge hammer before a hockey game.
Other notable teams that came ahead of the Predators’ fanbase was Winnipeg, St.Louis, Vegas and Chicago. Those are all very passionate fans so no argument from me. However, the Pittsburgh Penguins fans getting No.1 is baffling over some of these other teams.
Something tells me that whenever the Penguins lose their historically great veterans like Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin that their attendance will dip. They’ve been fortunate enough to have a very great run with these guys and won some Stanley Cups. Let’s see if they stick around when and if the Penguins go through a playoff drought.
I’d actually give the top spot to Maple Leafs fans. A classic franchise that hasn’t won a Stanley Cup in over 50 years, but they remain some of the most loyal fans in all of sports. I’d give it to them over anyone else.
Back to the Predators fans, a very deserving honor. You could argue they should be a tad higher, but it’s splitting hairs at that point. Clearly they’re one of the better fanbases in all of hockey, and the atmosphere at Bridgestone Arena is thanks in large part to the rowdy Nashville fans.