Predators break ground on practice facility near Hickory Hollow - WSMV Channel 4

Predators break ground on practice facility near Hickory Hollow

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The Nashville Predators will soon have a new place to practice, and it could bring new life to an area that's trying to bounce back.

There weren't golden shovels at this groundbreaking. Instead, Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and other community leaders used hockey sticks with shovel heads on them to turn the dirt on a project that could make a major impact in Antioch.

The $14 million development will cover 86,000 square feet and include two ice hockey rinks - one for the Predators to practice on and the other open to the community.

Team leaders hope to not only make new fans in the area but also help drive the economy in the area.

"Our challenge and goal is to be to this area what Vanderbilt was to 100 Oaks, and we're committed to it," said Predators CEO Jeff Cogen. "We have an obligation to have this venue serve as an economic engine for southeast Davidson County."

Cogen said they will do so by putting on tournaments at the facility that will fill nearby restaurants and hotel rooms.

The city also plans to build a new library branch and state-of-the-art fitness center next to the hockey facility.

The entire project is slated to be open in the fall of 2014.

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