As Nashville Predators fans head to the first game of Round 2 on Friday night at Bridgestone Arena, they are often greeted with a smash car. The tradition which started in 2010 is continuing but it looks different for this playoff game.
This time, instead of a car, it will be a smash airplane. The Beech 77 Skipper was placed in front of Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday.
— p-Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) April 25, 2018
“We’ve been doing a Smash Car for 10 years and it’s always been a car,” Predators senior director of community relations Rebecca King told NHL. “But with our new opponent, in a marketing brainstorming session, we tried to think of how we can we up the ante to do the tradition of the Smash Car, and someone said, ‘Well, what about a plane?’
“So for the past two days, we’ve had some folks reaching out to local airports, and we found a plane that had been sitting on a runway for about 10 years.
“It hasn’t been flown in over five years, I think, and they were willing to donate it for us. We’ve lined up our artists to paint it in the opposition’s colors like we do with the cars, and our fans are going to have the opportunity to get a little pregame anxiety out and a little bit of their jitters and take a whack at an airplane.”
Donations from past participants who have walloped the Smash Car have gone to the Predators Foundation, which has distributed the money to charitable causes.
“They are excited to see what the graffiti artists are going to put on the vehicle. It’s just been something that’s now known to us are these Smash Cars, and the nice part of it is that it does raise money for charity. So fans donate money, and in the playoffs last year, I think we raised over $20,000 for our pediatric cancer fund.”
*Of note, if you want tickets and you registered to become a verified fan for round 1 of the playoffs, you must register again for round 2. Visit the Predators Verified Fan site to register for the chance to purchase tickets here.