We’re big about getting the most out of a football trip. You’re spending your hard earned money going to watch a sport you love. That’s why the place you choose to see the game is just as important as the match-up you go for, or the perfect seat in the stadium you pick out. There’s more to a football trip than the 3 ½ hours screaming on the team and the stuff you do and see the rest of the time can change an enjoyable sports trip to an unforgettable holiday. In a series of blog posts we’re going to look at must-visit NFL cities and this week it’s Nashville.
Tennessee isn’t the first place that comes to mind when you mention a US holiday. A lot of British and Irish visitors will elect Orlando or New York. NFL and College fans will be attracted by the glitz of Dallas’ AT&T Stadium or the living history of Green Bay’s Lambeau Field. And they’re all great places worth visiting. But the problem many fans encounter is higher costs (see NYC accommodation or Dallas ticket packages), finding things to do (Green Bay for all its Title Town credentials is a little bereft of attractions) or accessibility (with stadiums such as the Giants’ MetLife and Redskins’ FedEx Field being removed from the downtown areas of the cities they represent). But Tennessee? Tennessee has it all. How so? Well…
They have awesome fans
Nashville is home to perhaps the friendliest fans in football. As this author can testify from personal experience, as an opposing fan I’ve never felt more welcome in another team’s stadium. Yes, the Titans fans are competitive and they don’t like losing. But they are also respectful and gracious in defeat – provided you extend the same courtesy. Having enjoyed a few pre-game beverages before the game, a cheery Titans fan who we met – think his name was Shaun – agreed to meet us back at the bar afterwards and buy us all shots if they lost. He showed up and honoured his word. We tried not to rub it in too much.
Their stadium is in a perfect location
The prospect of a 30 or 60 minute shuttle ride in or out of a stadium negotiating traffic isn’t the most appealing. In Nashville, this isn’t a problem as Nissan Stadium is located just over the river from the main hive of downtown bar and restaurants. This means that a nice brunch, if that’s your thing, can be had before a leisurely stroll over the bridge to your tailgate lot or straight into the stadium if you’ve elected for a bar-to-seat strategy. Nissan’s location perched on the River Cumberland is also mighty picturesque and lends itself to some nice shots as you approach/leave the stadium.
Nashville does BBQ really, REALLY well
In Tennessee barbecue isn’t just a meal, it’s a way of life. In Nashville, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to serving up mouth-watering, fall-off-the-bone, meaty goodness such as smoked brisket and baby back ribs. And because you’re in Nashville, it doesn’t cost a whole lot either for an amazing plate of food.
Titans Country is really, er, country
As well as it’s BBQ food, Nashville is known for being the beating heart of country music. Home to the Grand Ole Opry, it’s hard not to walk into a bar and find a phenomenal musician or band doing their thing up on stage. It’s hard to find such abundant live music talent in many places without having to pay huge ticket prices for the privilege. As well as country, Nashville also plays host to pop, rock, gospel, blue grass, jazz, blues and soul. With over 150 live venues, there’s something for everyone. Guess that’s why they call it Music City.
It’s been touched on already, but the South is a great place to visit on a budget. Accommodations in Nashville are much cheaper than many of the major northerly or coastal US cities and your dollar will stretch a lot further when out eating and drinking. Titans ticket costs are generally among the more reasonable and Nashville Airport is easily accessible from the UK, normally with very competitive airfares from the likes of Delta and United.
So there you have it. Even if the Titans aren’t your team, how about trying a game in Nashville this season? As one of our favourite cities in the NFL, we guarantee you won’t regret it.
Fancy a Nashville trip? Check out our Tennessee page here