You simply cannot miss 68,000-seat LP Field, home of the Tennessee Titans (460 Great Circle Rd., 615/565-4000, www.titansonline.com). The stadium, which was finished in 1999, towers on the east bank of the Cumberland River, directly opposite downtown. Since their move to the stadium in 1999, the Titans have sold out each and every home game. They play from September to December.
Tickets sell out early—often months in advance. If you want to see a game on short notice, your best bet is a program where season ticket–holders can sell their seats to games they don’t want to attend.
For an altogether different football experience, catch a home game of the Nashville Dream (615/907-6617) at Glencliff High School. The Nashville Dream is a women’s football team and a member of the National Women’s Football Association. The season runs from April to July.
Finally, the most unique brand of football played in Nashville is Australian rules. The Nashville Kangaroos (www.nashvillekangaroos.org) were founded in 1997 and were one of the first Australian football teams in the United States. The “Roos” play at Elmington Park (3500 West End Ave.), and sometimes practice with Vanderbilt’s own Aussie rules squad. One of the missions of the club is to promote cultural understanding and exchange, so the social calendar can be just as grueling as the sports one. The Roos also sponsor a women’s netball team.
The Nashville Superspeedway (4847-F McGreary Rd., Lebanon, 615/547-7223, www.nashvillesuperspeedway.com) is a 1.33-mile course that hosts Indy Racing League, NASCAR Craftsman Trucks, and two NASCAR Busch Series races. Seating up to 150,000 fans, Nashville Superspeedway has been drawing capacity crowds since it opened in 2001. The Superspeedway is located in Lebanon, Tennessee, about 30 minutes’ drive east of town.
What a fine name for a minor-league baseball team! The Nashville Sounds (534 Chestnut St., 615/242-4371, www.nashvillesounds.com) are a AAA affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers, and they play about 30 home games a year from June to October. Before the 2008 season opener, the team invested $1 million in stop-gap improvements to the aging Greer Stadium, their home in south Nashville. In 2008, the team sold to new owners, who promised to do more to improve the Sounds’ home in the coming years, part of a plan to draw larger crowds to the games.
Tickets are $10 for reserved seats or $6 general admission.
Nashville’s professional soccer team, the Metros (Ezell Park, 5135 Harding Pl., 615/832-5678, www.nashvillemetrossoccer.com), play just south of Nashville International Airport. Founded in 1989, the Metros have endured a half-dozen name, field, and league changes. They have survived thanks to the dogged support of soccer fans in the city.
The Metros are a member of the United Soccer League’s Premier Development League, and the season runs from May to July. They play other teams from the southeastern United States. Single-game tickets are $7 for adults and $4 for youths.
Nashville celebrated the 10th anniversary of its National Hockey League franchise, the Predators (501 Broadway, http://predators.nhl.com), in 2008. It was a sweet victory for fans, who fought to keep the team in the city in the face of lackluster support from the community. The Predators play in the 20,000-seat Sommet Center, also called the Nashville Arena, located on Broadway in the heart of downtown. The regular season begins in October and ends in early April. Single-game tickets start at $17 and can cost as much as $150.
In addition to Nashville’s smorgasbord of professional and semi-professional sports teams, the city’s colleges provide lots of good spectator sports. Vanderbilt plays football, men’s and women’s basketball, and baseball in the Southeastern Conference. Tennessee State University and Belmont University play Division 1-A basketball, and Lipscomb University is a member of the Atlantic Sun Division.
© Susanna Henighan Potter from Moon Tennessee, 5th Edition