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Media Comments on Predators Fans and Section 303
"Not only does Nashville have great football fans with a loud stadium: we had a chance to see the NHL Predators a few nights ago. Beautiful arena, great fans, and a good young team."
"I was so nervous all day trying to think of what to say to the greatest fans in the NHL, and as the game progressed tonight, I still wasn't sure. But then, with five minutes to go in the third period, the folks up in 303 started chanting 'Thank You Predators,' and the rest of you joined in. That just proves AGAIN what great fans you are. What can I say on behalf of the Predators' organization, but Thank You!"
"You hear how loud our fans are, how energetic they are. How can we NOT get up for our home games?"
"It is pretty cool playing here when they are noisy all the time. They are great and they are loud."
"You gotta love that rowdy bunch up in Section 303. You may not agree with everything they chant, but they sure get things cranked in the Gaylord Entertainment Center. That guy with the signs is a hoot."
"Nashville fans are definitely the loudest in the league. You guys get us pumped up."
"It seems the infamous Section 303 of the Gaylord Entertainment Center has their own web site now! The GEC gets loud, but Section 303 is always the loudest. It's the most rowdy section in the entire arena, and can almost always be counted on to start the chants, harass the refs, taunt the opposing goalie, and generally stir it up!
"Who let the dogs out up in Section 303?!"
"(L.A. Kings) Goalie Steve Passmore spent time outs watching the crowd, and listening to their serenade. "Of course I hear them," he said laughing. "How can you NOT hear them in here? It's a fun place to play. Great fans. Great building. There's lots of energy here."
"You guys up in 303 are great! We think the stuff you come up with is really funny."
"Our crowd has become our seventh player. We hear that from every team that comes in here. One night a ref stopped me after the game and commented on the atmosphere. He was absolutely amazed."
"Hockey in Nashville is working big time. It's only going to get better and better. The people are fantastic. The crowd is loud, they're alive. It's going right through the community. You walk into a bar after a game and they're all talking hockey. The city is doing it right. Everybody should go to Nashville and see how this city's doing it because it's going to be the blueprint."
"Nashville has fallen in love with hockey. The New Ice Age, as they call it there, is red hot. But as much as the city has fallen in love with the game, the players have fallen in love with Music City."
"You have to love the gang up in Section 303. They really get things going with the whole arena, and the players feed off of that."
"I thought the fans were unbelievable. Every time there was a stoppage inplay, they applauded, and I certainly think that has an effect on the players."
"What I am really in awe of are the people here and their reaction. It's pretty emotional."
"Honestly, how many teams get a standing ovation at the end of a three goal defeat, one that stretched its losing streak to 4 games? That's what happened to the Predators last night, as most of the sellout crowd of 17,298 stuck around to watch video tributes and presentations after the game. "Deep down, win or lose, we knew these fans were going to be on the edge of their seats cheering like they did all year," Predators' Captain Tom Fitzgerald said. "The support they brought us in this arena was overwhelming. It's something we won't forget."
"In football-mad Tennessee, the Predators easily rival the NFL Titans in fan interest. Their arena has become the place-to-be-seen atmosphere that rivals L.A Lakers or New York Yankees games. During their Feb. 15 sellout for the New York Rangers 17,298 shouted with every shot, every body check, and every scoring chance for the home team. You'd never know the Predators were trailing 6-0."
"I love the Nashville fans. I love the arena. You can feel the adrenaline in the building. I had a blast there."
"The Nashville Predators franchise is one of the most successful southern franchises in the NHL in terms of selling tickets and entertaining their fans. Their crowd's are alive."
"The Nashville fans are great. They're so into the game, and so pumped. The fans in Calgary are not as vocal and boisterous."
"Section 303 had it going on tonight with the "Square Wheels" taunt for the slow-footed Andrew Burnette and the mocking of the Braves War Chant. Fun stuff."
"When we get on our bench for the start of a game and hear our crowd roar, we know it's show time. We're fired up, and we know we have to perform. As we come out to the ice and hear that noise, I've said to Barry Trots many times, 'Well, if we can't get fired up for this, nothing will get us going'."
"The crowd was real exciting. The arena is beautiful, one of the best in the league. I couldn't believe how friendly the people were."
"Everybody thought that opening night was special. But as the year wore on, the rality that the Predators might just have the best fans in hockey started to sink in."
"It was still pretty early in the season, against Calgary, a Friday night, and it was nearly sold out. Calgary's coach, Brian Sutter, approached me after the game and said 'Barry, what gives? We beat you (4-3), but the fans are going crazy!' I said, 'Isn't it great? It's been like this since the opening game.' He said, 'You've got to be kidding. It's unbelievable! I've never seen anything like it. I'd heard it was loud here, but I had no idea. We don't have home games like this, even when we win!'
"The fans here are really into the game whether the team is winning or losing."
"Everybody wanted hockey in Nashville, and they were excited about it. I've never seen anything like it in any other city in all the years I've played. I've played in some great minor league places, and the big league cities, but I've never seen anything quite like the bond between the fans and the players here."
"They (Nashville fans) are the best in the league. I believe they're the loudest and most loyal. They show up and stay until the end of the game. In most cities these days there are empty seats by the end of the game. Not in Nashville, though, no matter what the score. When I read the papers in other cities, I find the media and the fans are so critical of their teams. We feel like our fans are behind us 100 percent."
"All the guys on the team love Nashville. The fans here are some of the loudest in the NHL and the city is great. The people have been so nice to us, and really supportive at home games."
"Sometimes the noise in our building is contagious, for both teams."
"Our fans are really loud. Right after we've scored, I can't hear a thing, it's that crazy and loud. From a player's standpoint, it's unbelievable to hear that noise. Around the league there are some traditional arenas that aren't anywhere near that loud, and probably never will be. I love the noise because it's the excitement of the fans. Hopefully, that will never change."
"A few years ago, the word around the league was that San Jose had the best fans in the league because they were the loudest. But not anymore. Nashville is. Because of the way the arena was built, with the acoustics in the building, the place just rocks. It's so wild."
"The fans are the best I've played in front of. They're exciting, they're loud, and they've meant a lot to the early success of our team. Our fans just stand behind the team win or lose and really have made us feel comfortable about living and playing hockey in Nashville."
"The players really key off the fans' reaction to the game. I've been involved with some emotional games, but nothing like that first game we played in Nashville. Even though we lost, afterward the people were standing on their feet and giving us an ovation as if we'd just won the Cup. Not one person left his seat. Then we won the second game, and the response was even better. It's been that way all season. It's an amazing feeling playing here."
"The fans are incredible. They are the loudest in the league."
"If you're looking for a party, the Preds provide it on a game to game basis. The crowd is always revved-up at the Gaylord Entertainment Center where they always cheer-on their beloved Preds. Boy has Nashville taken to this team and the NHL!"
"This place is hoppin'! I love the entertainment. It's a wonderful atmosphere for a home team to play in, and it's amazing how consistent the fans are with their attendance."
"SECTION 303: FANS MAY BE COOLEST IN G.E.C. There seems to be no shortage of enthusiasm in Section 303. The liveliest fans at Gaylord Entertainment Center create a steady volume of noise throughout every Predators' contest, whether they are supporting the home team, riding the opposition, or berating the referees.
“Those freaks up in Section 303 are brutal to the Preds’ opposition! That whole routine with the goalie’s name repeated 3 times and then “You SUCK” at the end is unbelievably funny! They have the whole arena cascading woe on the poor sap.”
“Richard, Richard, Richard…You SUCK!” “No, YOU suck! Darren, Darren, Darren, YOU REALLY SUCK!” “No, You Suck the MOST!”
“I’m a Canadian who happened to be in Nashville and went to see the Predators play Philadelphia on Dec. 12. I was amazed at the fact that the fans came to have a great time at the event and a hockey game broke out. The rest of the NHL would be wise to pay attention to what you’re doing in Nashville. You have put the real fun part back into attending a pro hockey game!”
“They’ve been astounding. Great fans. A great place to play.”
“Teams around the NHL look at this arena as one of the best to play in because the energy level is always great.”
“You guys in Section 303 make game night so much better for everybody (except the opponents!)…so keep up the good work! I’ve got your web site as one of my favorite places now.”
“Section 303 is the group that gets the GEC into the game right from the opening face off. I think what they do is really fun. It’s part of what makes Predator crowds really stand out in the NHL.”
“Literally and figuratively, the Predators have a funny farm in their arena. It’s possible you’ve heard of them. What’s impossible, if you’ve attended more than five minutes of a Preds game, is that you have not heard them. The Cleveland Browns have the Dawg Pound. The Oakland Raiders have the Black Hole. The Predators have Section 303, who function in equal parts as entertainment, a slightly whacked fan club, and especially as noisome irritants to the visitors.
“If you’ve ever been to a Predators hockey game, you can’t miss these guys in Section 303. They lead some unbelievable, to say the least, cheers and chants. People have really caught on…you can hear the whole arena joining in at times. Do yourself a favor and visit their website, Section303.com, because it is quite hilarious and creative. You can laugh your brains out for hours. The Preds games are much more fun because of the gang of thieves in 303.”
“I don’t know of any section of fans in the NHL that have their own web site. Section 303 is a breed apart. But they like to say, it’s not a location, it’s a way of life.”
“If you ever go to a Predators game, you’ll definitely know what Section 303 is all about. It has become known as the Loudest Section in the Loudest Arena in the NHL. That huge “Cell Block 303” sign behind them has given some great exposure to their web site, which is great.”
“The notorious Section 303 at Predators games have been rattling opponents and cheering for the Preds for years now. The wild ones in the upper echelons on the GEC have become known for their rowdiness, taunts, and mayhem. Be sure to check ‘em out.”
Some of the Nashville Predators wildest fans inhabit the upper regions of this arena in Section 303…they are certainly the loudest in all of the GEC. Their enthusiasm is more a state of mind than a particular location. These rabid fans have stirred up curiosity and interest in hockey in Nashville.”
“I just love their motto: If you can’t say anything nice, come sit with us!”
“You’ve heard the celebrities in Section 303 if you’ve ever been to a Predators game. We love hearing all the crazy stuff they come up with. They have made the GEC an extra-special place to be. Now they have a hysterical web site that has really taken off, too, with thousands of visitors including folks from Finland, Russia, China, as well as all over North America. These guys are doing a GREAT job!”
“The famous Section 303 is where many of the Preds’ loudest cheers and taunts get underway. I agree that Section 303 is the undisputed leader of the pack at the GEC, but we need to see a new rival section arise. Let’s be honest, Section 303 is getting all the much-deserved hype, but I’m sure they’d welcome the challenge.”
“Section 303 is, by far, the loudest section in the arena. Where on earth do these guys come up with some of this creative stuff? They keep pumping these crowds up. Without a doubt, they are the ringleaders of the entire Gaylord Entertainment Center. They are the best group in the building, and no one has approached the level of success of Cell Block 303.”
“Section 303 has become a big deal at Preds games. They always have something going on up there. I really appreciate anyone who can keep the enthusiasm up, and work way beyond the call of duty like those guys do. They have a lot to do with the spirit of the building at Preds games.”
“Cell Block 303 is like about 250 of the Randy Quaid character in the movie “Major League.” They’ve been compared to wild convicts, and have been getting terrific coverage in The Tennessean, The Scene, and on television. They really help build the energy level at the already rowdy Predators games. Their web site is great work. TheTicket Exchange is a wonderful feature.”
“The Nashville Predators have a secret weapon. In a city known more for hit records than hip checks, the Nashville Predators have developed a loyal and somewhat unusual group of fans. When opposing players take a look into the stands of the Gaylord Entertainment Center, they might want to pay special attention to Section 303. The group that inhabits that part of the arena is quickly developing a reputation as being one of the loudest and most creative in the NHL.”
“There’s something special about the loud hockey fans in Section 303!”
“If you’ve ever been to a Predators’ game, you’ve heard this zoo crew way up in the corner of the arena. 303 is for sure the place to be at the GEC. The Preds’ management tells me that people are lined up to get tickets to sit in Section 303. These guys come out at full strength at every game. I hear they have even effected the outcome of some games by getting on the opposing players’ nerves. I’ve visited their web site at Section303.com and it’s fantastic how they tie-in humor with their support of the Preds. This wild bunch has become a community of fans who watch after those that are down and out, sick, and visit folks in the hospital. 303 truly represents our city and the sport of hockey very well in Nashville.”
The GEC’s resident crazies are in Section 303. They make the Gaylord Center their own personal Music City on game nights with cheers, chants, and songs. They are loud and Predator proud, and have become the Predators’ version of the Rocky Horror Picture Show: audience participation is required. A seat in this section is the goal of many Preds fans. They even have their own web site at Section303.com, which has had over 75,000 hits in just two months, but they are quite the SITE in person on game nights.”
“Section 303 gets you primed and pumped-up to cheer for the Preds. We aspire to be like them…we bow down to them!” (bowing motion towards 303)
“At every Preds game I’ve been to, you can definitely hear the wildness in Section 303 that spills into the whole arena. They are very well organized, and have no shortage of enthusiasm. That’s what’s so cool about them—when there’s a down time in a game, they keep everybody up. They are the best cheer leading section in town.”
“We can’t say enough about our fans. They have been behind us thru the ups and downs this year. It’s just such a positive atmosphere around here. We’re lucky to have fans like this.”
“Downtown Nashville has the 328 Performance Hall for lots of concerts. Perhaps the Predators’ management should think about renaming the GEC the 303 Entertainment Center. Fans and visiting players should know what to expect when they come to play in our house. Those guys in the Cell Block are the best.”
The Predators certainly felt the support of the home crowd during Saturday's upset win over Detroit, when the second sellout of the season — a mixed bag of Nashville and Detroit fans — created an electric atmosphere.
"The fan support here is great. Anytime you play at home with the home fans behind you, it adds a little something. Any little thing you do can help spark the fans and that in turn sparks us."
“The place may not have been full tonight, but it was freakin’ loud!”
“The crowd was great” said Predators’ coach Barry Trotz. “It was nice being on the bench and barely being able to hear yourself. Guys were asking for me to call out the lines again because they couldn’t hear it.”
“Midway through the contest, with the Predators already leading 4-0, a large portion of the crowd began loudly and repeatedly chanting “We want tacos!” They got their wish late in the third period.
"There was a great atmosphere in the building. The fans that come to the game provide a spark for us."
“As always, our crowd was great tonight. Consistently they are the loudest in the league, and when they’re into it, our players really feed off that energy.”
“Section 303 is where the hardest of the hard-core Predators’ fans gather.”
“We really fed off the crowd tonight. The energy in the building was fantastic.”
“My goodness, these Predator fans are really organized in their taunting.” (after one of many huge “You Suck” chants aimed at Curtis Joseph)
"Many cheeky Nashville Predators fans in the upper deck kept taunting Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur. He has won the Stanley Cup three times, and the Predators have yet to make the playoffs. History did not matter Saturday. Brodeur was fair game because the Devils were dead-legged and susceptible."
Scott Hartnell insists playing in Nashville is fun because the fans are very vocal. "If there's a big hit, or a goal, or a fight or something exciting, you definitely hear it and you get the adrenaline rush," he said. "It's just awesome to play in front of a home crowd that loves you and supports you through thick and thin."
"Any extra motivation we can get via the crowd is needed," Hartnell said. "We're in a playoff race right now, and every point is so huge. To have a home crowd backing like you do here, it'd be awesome to have and awesome to see us in the playoffs."
“If the Predators make the playoffs no one will want to play them especially at home because they are so tough.”
"Their fans are going to be going nuts. The atmosphere is always berserk there. It's one of the great places to play as far as fan noise. That place is always pretty rocking. They have great fans and they play well at home”
“I’ve never seen fans as vocal, as high-energy, as rowdy. They fed our team with energy, particularly the last five minutes when the guys were getting tired and Detroit was stepping it up…I think the fans just won this game. That kind of uproar is the
best home ice advantage you could ask for ”
“We drew a lot of energy from the crowd. What an atmosphere for a playoff game! That’s what it’s all about.”
“The crowd was loud. We knew they were going to be loud. They were loud during the year. It doesn’t matter what time of the year.”
“Was the Predators crowd loud today? Oh my word, they were indeed.”
“The crowd pumped up this team. The 7th man truly made the hair stand upon the back of your neck.”
“What an unbelievable atmosphere. Hats off to the fans. I’ve never been part of anything like this. The end of the game was one of the best moments since I’ve been in Nashville.”
“The home crowd in Nashville does make a huge difference. The fans were very strong today. These are professionals that get paid a lot to play, but do they ever feed off the enthusiasm.”
“Boy, did the fans of Nashville come out with their “A game” today (clip of crowd roaring when Preds took the ice). Just outstanding. Hurricane-like from a few seasons ago. Fans going nuts…N-U-T-S (showing clip of response after Legwand’s goal). Listen at the end of the FIRST period (show clip of team leaving ice)!”
“Oooh, man, are those fans gonna be rowdy on Tuesday!”
“We really fed off the crowd this afternoon. The fans were unbelievable. By far the loudest this building has ever been, and that’s saying a lot.”
“The fans were just amazing today. I am absolutely sold on hockey now. People have been telling me for years what the NHL playoffs are like, and I didn’t get it. I’m completely hooked big time.”
“The crowd was as much a part of this victory as the guys on the ice. Absolutely amazing. If they are the same on Tuesday, this series will be tied.”
“The last minute was unbelievable. It was so loud I could hardly hear myself think…just awesome.”
“The crowd was a great factor today. These fans made a difference. Now with a game under their belt now, they are experienced and they now know what is required for the remainder of the playoffs.”
“The environment here is so electric. Joe Louis Arena is nothing like this. It’s a zoo here. This is awesome. The fans are fantastic. David kept saying ‘we can’t wait to get home—the fans are gonna be pumped.’ It’s just wonderful!”
"I gotta know one thing: was it as loud in the arena as it sounded on ESPN? It was incredible!"
"The rink rocked. The fans roared like never before at the Gaylord Entertainment Center. Someone even threw a fish onto the ice to answer Detroit's tradition of tossing octopi, and a blood streak had to be cleaned up before the puck could be dropped."
“That Predators/Red Wings game was like no other I have ever attended, incredible, the tops, the best. The volume and intensity of the crowd was stunning. I’ve been to 6 World Series, Super Bowls, Sugar Bowls, SEC basketball championships…I’ve NEVER heard anything like these Predator crowds lately. As electric an atmosphere as I’ve ever seen in sports. The fans have turned the GEC into a personal nightmare for the Detroit Red Wings.”
“NASCAR is a huge mechanical noise—hard to beat that kind of volume from dozens of high powered cars . But the GEC on Sunday was completely human and organic, and it was simply ridiculous…like nothing I’ve ever heard.”
“They were unbelievable. The Nashville crowd proved once again that they are the best crowd in the league by far. We fed off the crowd. It was an unbelievable crowd tonight and on Sunday.”
"I can’t say enough about these fans. The atmosphere they’ve created and the lift that they have given us. It’s been awesome. People were wondering what kind of atmosphere there would be in the playoffs. I think these fans have answered that pretty well.”
“This crowd is putting out some kind of deafening roar. What a buzz! These are some great fans in Nashville, and man do they have a lot to cheer about.”
“The Predators management must be spending all their time and money repairing the roof at the GEC today, because it certainly lifted off it’s foundations last night. Absolutely unreal volume from our rabid fans. Big recognition goes out to the die-hards of Section 303 who have been whipping these Preds crowds up for all 6 years. The traditions they have started are really making a huge difference now that the team is in the big dance. Those “Chelios is a sissy!” chants are hilarious and are starting to really get under his skin.”
“The reception that we’ve been getting from the moment we step on the ice during pre-skate has been awesome. It has given me goose bumps. To know they are behind us all the way really keeps us jazzed. They are the batteries that have been energizing us and compelling us to move forward no matter what.”
“The fans outdid themselves. People are calling in to my home from Detroit and Canada saying they can’t believe how loud and enthusiastic the fans were.” -Greg Johnson, 4-14-04
“The crowd support has been very special—the unreal electricity in the building from the moment we stepped onto the ice. Seeing the fans standing and screaming for the team is what we play for. We couldn’t ask for any better atmosphere.”
“Another ridiculously loud, rowdy, sellout crowd at the Gaylord Entertainment Center roared its approval.”
“For the second straight game, Predators coaches and players credited their fans for providing a boost. “The Nashville crowd proved once again that they are the best in the league by far, “ said Vladimir Orzagh. Added Greg Johnson: “I can’t say enough about these fans—the atmosphere they’ve created and the lift they’ve given. It’s been awesome. People questioned what kind of atmosphere there would be in the playoffs. I think these fans have answered that.”
“As the predators built the lead from one goal, to two, to three, and Detroit pulled its starting goalie and the capacity crowd took the frenzy higher and higher, Vokoun seemed to get stronger and stronger.”
“The Predators fed off the energy from their ecstatic fans once again. Detroit had a few supporters in the stands,
but when they tried to start up the ``Let's go Red Wings'' chant, it was quickly drowned out by ``Chelios is a sissy!''
“Nashville’s fans have made a big impression—if not on the Red Wings, then on ESPN commentators and the audience—with the kind of full-fame roar that opponents of the Titans have come to recognize and dread.”
“I know playing here, our fans really help us a lot. When you hear that roar from the crowd, you make sure you’re going as hard as you can because you don’t want to let those people down.”
“We’ve had some trouble in this building before, regular season and playoffs. It was electric again tonight.”
“It is rockin’ here in Nashville—it is one of the loudest buildings in the NHL—and you’re hearing the roar of the playoffs. It is wild here. This crowd is great. These people are VERY loyal and VERY loud. The Predators 7th man is evident on the ice as it has been all year.”
“I can hardly hear you for the noise in here! Hockey sure if fun here in Nashville!”
“You hockey fans saw the building and the fans there in Nashville—unbelievable.”
“What a terrific atmosphere there in Nashville at Predators games. I’m looking forward to going down there.”
“On the playoff experience...It was awesome. The way the fans responded was unbelievable. I’ll never forget those home playoff games.”
“The volume of the crowd at the GEC was off the scale. The fans were so loud, in fact, that they were credited with the first win in the very first home playoff game in Nashville. The game was televised nationally on ABC, so the whole country got to see that Nashville fans are serious about their Predators.
“I have been to a lot of Preds games at the GEC. I absolutely love the crowds in the place, as loud as the human ears can stand, even if there are only 12,000-13,000 fans at the games the best place to watch the game is in the upper level, especially anywhere near Section 303. If you've ever watched a Predators game on TV and hear chanting, 99% of the time it is from this section, and spreads throughout.”
“The crowd was amazing! They are one of the loudest and most boisterous crowds in the league. It is just awesome when they are like that. It gives us a huge advantage.”
“When the Gaylord Entertainment Center is filled to capacity, it is easily one of the loudest places to play in the entire NHL. Through my 8 years here, the fans have been tremendous. When the guys suit up for the first time they love it—they can’t believe how excited the fans are about hockey and how into the games our crowds gets. That excitement makes a huge difference—coming out for that third period, the spirit in the building gives you that little extra boost of energy.”
“Right when you step on the ice, it's the best feeling. The horn's going, they're saying "Let's play hockey," and everyone is going crazy. It's a pretty chilling feeling. You kind of have to take a moment when you're on the bench and just kind of like "Wow! These fans are unbelievable!" Very loud. Very excited. When there's a good play going on, a penalty shot, a good effort on the penalty kill, they're up on their feet cheering. We've got to thank them for coming back and just being the great fans that they are."
"I think fan support and team success parallel each other. Home ice advantage is tremendous for us in this building. We've got a loud and boisterous crowd. It is a one goal advantage, I think, every night for us, going into the game when we have the fans' support. "
"We've got the greatest fans in the league and they've got a big impact on our play"
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