Leipold's losses (and potential gain)
The Tennessean has a detailed look into the financial figures involved in Craig Leipold's ownership of the Nashville Predators, including year-by-year accounts of his losses and the eventual windfall he stands to receive once the team is sold:
Despite millions coming in from naming rights, the team began losing money — half a million during the 2000-2001 season and $5.8 million the next, court records show. All told, Leipold has estimated his operating losses at $70 million.Leipold apparently walked into the deal with only a $9.6-million initial investment (he's obviously put quite a bit more into the team since then), and the newspaper claims he will walk away with somewhere in the neighbourhood of $30-million if the $193-million sale price stands up.
Gaylord got new top managers and announced in 2002 that it would exercise its option to sell its share of the franchise back to the team. Gaylord asked for $5.4 million as the first installment of that deal.
Ed Lang, the team's chief financial officer, said in a deposition that the team could not pay Gaylord the money without going into default on the $40 million in loans.
"Operation of the team is — doesn't look very good financially," Lang testified.