Predators deal crumbling
The leader of a local group trying to buy the Nashville Predators said Monday that he doesn't expect the deal to work out.
The group on Saturday asked for new tax money and several improvements to the Sommet Center, where the Predators play. According to leader David Freeman, the city has rejected the requests.
"No, I'm not hopeful, but also not bitter," Freeman said Monday, after his group's proposal to change the Predators' Sommet Center lease was made public. "We put a ton of work into it, and we did our best."
Freeman and company immediately went to the city after signing the binding agreement, and The Tennessean story details just what they were after:
- They wanted to keep all of the sales taxes and seat use fees related to hockey games and other events ($4.6-million in 2007)
- A cap on the amount of operating losses covered by the city at just under $4-million
- They wanted the team to be able to leave if attendance fell below 14,000 and the group lost $20-million
- An increase on the penalty for breaking the team lease
- Assistance with creating new revenue streams and eliminating excessive utility costs
- Free use of a new parking facility
Tom Benjamin has already said it, and so have I, but this team's as good as gone. The ownership situation is a complete mess — an embarrassment, really — and with a willing buyer already in the mix in Del Biaggio, it seems a matter of how soon he can get this team to Kansas City more than anything.