Nashville Predators CEO Sean Henry announced May 4 that F&M Bank would be the naming rights partner to the multi-purpose event center set to open in fall 2022 in downtown Clarksville.
“I don’t know what it’s going to be called with the last name,” Henry said. “I don’t know if it’s going to be a forum or a coliseum. I keep saying the word hippodrome, because that’s what I think it should be.”
Sabertooth Sports & Entertainment, which is owned and operated by Predators Holdings, executed a multi-year agreement with the Clarksville-based F&M Bank. The details of the contract have yet to be released.
SS&E will manage the 250,000-square-foot facility.
Henry emphasized the importance of the center’s first name, F&M Bank.
“I look forward to developing an iconic brand together and building memories for decades to come,” Henry said.
F&M Bank president and CEO Sammy Stuard said the bank members are excited about their role with the project.
“It’s going to be a great thing for this community,” Stuard said. “This is great news for us. It’s the beginning of the next phase of the success of Clarksville, Tennessee and Montgomery County. We’re glad to be on the ground floor of this.”
Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durrett said he was pleased to see the project moving forward with a company he said has consistently supported the community.
“Their spirit is about serving and being involved in the community,” Durrett said. “I could not be happier to have F&M Bank’s name on top of our event center.”
Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts jokingly referred to the center as the new “F&M-PEC” facility after thanking F&M Bank for its support for the project.
Austin Peay State University athletics director Gerald Harrison was exuberant at the press conference.
“How awesome is this?” Harrison said. “This is an exciting day. Man, this is an exciting day. It’s exciting for Clarksville and Montgomery County, exciting for our community, for F&M Bank, but it’s especially exciting for Austin Peay athletics.”
The venue’s primary tenant will be Austin Peay State University. Its men’s and women’s basketball teams will call the facility home.
“This venue is a vision, not just of Austin Peay athletics, but of this town,” Harrison said. “This is the beginning or the dawn of a new day for Austin Peay athletics, for this area of Clarksville and Montgomery County.”
Ground broke on the facility in November, and work continues at its downtown location of First Street and College Street.
In addition to the facility’s main, flexible event space – which will be able to play host to sporting events, concerts, banquets, conventions, trade shows and other events – the multi-level venue will feature a separate sheet of ice that will be used for youth and adult hockey leagues, as well as figure skating.
The main arena bowl will also be able to add an ice surface, giving it the ability to host hockey tournaments and attract larger on-ice events or competitions much like the existing Ford Ice Centers in Antioch and Bellevue.
Using the ice sheets, the Predators will offer a variety of learn-to-skate programs at the facility.
The MPEC will have luxury suites, premium seating, private hospitality space, party rooms and common areas that will have full access to the arena bowl.
The Austin Peay men’s and women’s basketball teams will move their coaches’ offices and training facilities into the facility, which will also house their practice court.
It will be able to hold about 6,000 fans for concerts, 5,500 for basketball games and 5,000 for hockey games.