Philip Bredesen

Tennessean of the Year
Year Honored:


The Honorable Philip Bredesen has served as Mayor of Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County since 1991. In August 1995, he was reelected for a second term with the largest winning margin in recent Nashville history. Bredesen held a pivotal role in recruiting Tennessee’s first NFL team to Nashville. In the summer of 1995, the Houston Oilers approached the city about becoming the team’s next home. By November, the team had signed a project agreement. In 1997 the Oilers played their first season in Tennessee. In 1998 it was announced that the team would officially change its name to the Tennessee Titans, showing the nation that NFL football in Tennessee was here to stay. Work to recruit an NHL team to Nashville was also successful when, in 1998, the expansion Nashville Predators began what will hopefully be many long and competitive years. In addition to his successful efforts to bring professional sports to Nashville, Bredesen has been widely praised for his leadership skills and for bringing a businessman’s approach to government. His leadership has helped bring about downtown revitalization led by the construction of a state-of-the-art arena, the largest school facility improvement program in the history of the city, and numerous business relocations. Before being elected to the office of mayor, Bredesen was a successful businessman, but Tennesseans will always remember him as Phil Bredesen, the mayor who brought big-league sports to the state capital.

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