Preds fan flies to Nashville to attend game during team’s road trip

NASHVILLE — Ever had a whim to take a quick trip and see one of your favorite sports teams play, especially if that team is out-of-state? Take a short flight to catch a game? Enjoy a weekend in a different city? It’s a common enough occurrence.

Have you, however, ever booked the trip without making 100 percent sure the team was going to be there first?

Unfortunately for Sydney Sanders, a Predators and Flyers fan from Pennsylvania, that became a reality this past week.

“I planned this about a week in advance,” said Sydney. “All I did is look up the Predators schedule and see what teams they were playing. I saw the day before my birthday they were playing the Devils. I thought, ‘Oh cool, I’ll go to Nashville and catch a game’. I’m trying to go to every NHL arena, so I figured I’m finally going to get Bridgestone [Arena] off the list.

“I then found out the game was in Newark, which is like two hours away from where I live, driving. Instead, I flew two hours away from home to watch an away game.”

She laughs about it now. However, most fans wouldn’t be too happy with purchasing a flight and then finding out the game they were wanting to attend was actually an away game.

“I bought my flight first because that’s what I was most concerned about,” Sydney said, laughing. “I figured I would get the tickets closer to the day of the game because they might get cheaper. And, no. I looked again shortly after getting my flight and I saw that it was in New Jersey. I didn’t even acknowledge where they were playing. I was just like, ‘Cool, Nashville’s playing! I want to see the Preds. I want to go to a Preds game.’”

Luckily, eight minutes after her tweet, the Predators saw and acknowledged it.

Not wanting to let a dedicated fan such as Sydney go empty-handed on her trip to Nashville, the team made sure that she’d leave with some Predators swag and memorabilia.

“I got a signed puck, a rally towel, a schedule so this wouldn’t happen again, a scarf and a tag for my luggage,” said Sydney.

Even though she wasn’t able to see a game inside Bridgestone Arena this trip, it’s definitely at the top of her list for NHL arenas that she’s wanting to attend a game at.

“I’m trying to get Bridgestone (Arena) off the list,” Sydney said. “I want to go to a Nashville Predators game more than I want to go to any other hockey game. I’m trying real hard, but apparently I’m not being too careful about it.

“I’ll figure it out. I kind of booked my flight, saw I was going to be here and it was going to be an away game and I thought I would just figure it out as I go. Maybe that’s what I’ll do next time, except make sure the game is in Nashville.”

Ultimately, the trip still turned out to be a success.

Sydney had plenty of time to explore the Music City as well as take in some of the local cuisine — even taking a break from her normal vegetarian diet to do so.

“Everybody here is so nice,” she said. “There’s always something to do here and I’ve had a lot of fun. I’m a vegetarian, but since I took a vacation from home I took a vacation from being a vegetarian because I heard all about the hot chicken. I had to do it. So I did, I went to Hattie B’s and it was really good. I also went to Puckett’s and that was really good, too.”

And isn’t that what’s important? Great food, southern hospitality and hockey teams looking out for their fans. Just another notch in Nashville’s belt, and one for Sydney as well.

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