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Less than a month after being lauded for saving the Nashville Predators for local hockey fans, a group of local businessmen has told the City of Nashville that unless there are dramatic changes to the team's arena lease, the deal will fall through.



The comments, which appeared in Monday's edition of The Tennessean, follow previous reports from the newspaper that indicate the ownership group was trying to sneak through changes to the lease without the issue becoming a matter for public debate in a municipal election scheduled for Sept. 11.



City officials told ESPN.com the changes to the lease would cost taxpayers up to $5 million annually, while a consultant hired by the ownership group insisted that number is lower, closer to $3 million.




Joe Hall, the consultant hired by the ownership group, insisted to ESPN.com there was no attempt to keep lease changes secret from the public, but rather the group didn't want the lease issue to become "a political football."

FULL STORY
 

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When do we start with the I told you so's. Save everyone the pain and agony, MOVE TO HAMILTON.

Great clause the team wants, HEY if our team sucks and we don't sell tickets, the city has to buy them. They can give them away.
 

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It is obvious that economic changes need to be made for the team to stay in Nashville. Craig L. was bleeding money even with the new CBA. Is the team worth $5 million a year to Nashville or do they move to KC or Hamilton?
 

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Adsfan said:
It is obvious that economic changes need to be made for the team to stay in Nashville. Craig L. was bleeding money even with the new CBA. Is the team worth $5 million a year to Nashville or do they move to KC or Hamilton?
From the support, or lack there of, last year then no, the team isn't worth $5M a year to Nashville. They want to be a BIG city with a national sports team, but hockey is not the answer. I mean really, hockey in Tennessee????
 

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I've said it before and I'll say it again. The Preds will go to Kansas City because that's where Bettman wants them to go. Right now the only way Bettman would allow a move to Canada is if the destination city was Winnipeg, which it's not, it's Hamilton. He has made that obvious although in a round-about way. But he has made it blatantly obvious that he desires to have a team in KC and there is a prospect buyer who wishes to relocate to the city. If the deal with the Nashville locals falls through Bettman will push for KC until it happens. I picked up for Bettman during the lock-out but right now I am completely baffled by his motives. I do not understand his obsession with force feeding hockey on non-traditional American markets rather than putting hockey back where it would be embraced with open arms. Rather than KC, he should be pushing for Winnipeg, Portland, Seattle, Hartford or Québec City.
 

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I think that ALOT of people are baffled by what bettman does. In any business model, he is doing exactly the opposite of what normally would be called for. The problem seems to be that he isn't focused on the long term viability of the league as a whole but on expanding the league into the United States. He seems convinced that it should be his legacy that he was able to make the NHL work in the States, even though it isn't working, and probably never will, in the southern states. Maybe we should just calling his attempted expansion to the southern states Bettman's Folly now, and be done with it.
 

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Tampa has actually done well post lock out, considering they didn't have a playoff team the one year a barely snuck in the second year. Their atendance is up and the franchise has been quite successful. Another market that seems to be blossuming, at least at the grass roots level, is California, which to me is surprising. They have been developing a strong youth league program over the last five years and it is becoming more common to find California teams in big tourniments in Toronto and NYC.

Though I will agree that Carolina is not an ideal place for a franchise, I think that Miami might be. They recently had a celebration of their stanley cup finalist team, and it attracted 11 thousand fans. I mean this is a franchsie that has been on the outside for almost a decade now and they still can manage to bring out 11 thousand fans to remember the one time this team was clos eot success. You have to also remember that large portions of the Florida population is retired Canadians.

On HFs we had a kid form a Florida University tll us that a major reason for the failures of the Panther's selling to the populace is mostly focused on over priced tickets and an alienating ownership. I think if the franchised reached out to the community, and started some grass roots hockey development in Florida, and maybe start pricing their tickets to equate with the quaility of the product they are selling, Miami, like thier T-Bay neighbours, can develop into a promising avenue of business.

I am not clear on the situations in Phoenix and Atlanta, but we should keep in mind that neither of these franchises has ever really feilded a quaility product. I say give it a while. Not every market can be expected to accept medicority, like Columbus. Markets I think need to change are ones that have had success and failed to develop a loyal base, franchises like St. Louis, or Nashville. But I definatly think relocating to failed former markets like QC or Winnipeg or Hartford or KC are bad plans, making the same mistakes twice is a fools duty. If you think Winnipeg is a viable hockey market you should ask Rusty Babcock about buying nose bleed tickets to the Jets for 8 dollars and getting to sit rink side due to the fact that nobody went to the games.
 

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I know someone who lives an hour drive from Phoenix. She says they never show Coyotes games on TV. That should give some impression of just how popular hockey is in Arizona. The Coyotes started out with a good team, Tkachuk, Tocchet, Khabibulin, Gartner, Roenick, Numminen, Tverdovsky, etc. They're gotten progressively worse ever since. I strongly believe the team is being severely mis-managed, but the funds to right the sinking ship is running out fast. If they are going to turn it around they need to do it in the next 2 years or they could be on the move.

To see how popular hockey is in California one needs only to remember that the day after Game 5, Paris Hilton's jail time got more publicity than California's 1st ever Stanley Cup championship. The accomplishment was forgotten almost immediately. Hockey will survive in Anaheim as long as they win. Keep in mind that the Kings are next door. If the Kings start icing a good team then a lot of the Ducks bandwagon hoppers won't take too long to switch to south-Cal's other team. If the Kings are strong then the Ducks will have a lot of trouble competing. Off topic, but I remember now an article saying one of the reasons Bettman didn't like the idea of hockey in Hamilton was because of it's close proximity to Buffalo and Toronto. Funny how that didn't stop him from landing a 2nd team in Hollywood, eh?

Florida is a unique situation. Tampa had financial difficulty in the late 90's when the team stunk up the league and there is no reason to believe that if Tampa starts missing the playoffs again that the popularity of hockey in Tampa won't plummet again. I have to be honest though. The small group of fans that Tampa had in the "Dark Ages" were loyal and there is a possibility that that group of fans has grown considerably since. It may be a bit early to group them with the likes of Dallas and Colorado but they are starting to remind me of that kind of team. A team that win or lose, brilliant success or bitter failure, the fans will see it through. As for Miami, fans will say ticket prices all over the league are high and they have a point. I do believe that Florida is one of the highest priced though, so he was 100% right. The other major factor being the low quality of the team's on-ice product in the past 10 years.

Hockey has failed in Atlanta once already. The Flames had a decent team which made the playoffs a couple times but the city just didn't seem interested in the sport. Last year was the first time the modern Atlanta team has made the post season and somehow I don't think they left a good impression with the fans with how their season ended. I don't think they can repeat last year's success this season either. That division has gotten tighter and I expect the Canes to come out gunning after last year's disappointment. Right now Atlanta is a "wait and see" case. In my opinion their fate lies with their success on the ice.

As for hockey in Winnipeg or Québec, fan base wasn't the biggest problem, ownership was. The Nordiques didn't have to move. I was a Nords fan and news of the teams sale and relocation hit me like a brick wall. I didn't expect it at all. The fans helped raise money to keep the team in Québec, but the owner decided to sell the rising franchise. I believe he actually MADE money by selling the Nords. I believe there was also a similar situation in Winnipeg. Owner got greedy and sold the team to fatten his bank account. I may be wrong on that though, but I'm about 75% certain about Québec. If you think relocating to former hockey markets is a bad idea, then just take a look at the Wild's success. Hockey should have never left Minnesota. Neither should it have in Québec or Winnipeg.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Personally, I'm not to thrilled on ANY team going to Las Vegas. My biggest gripe? There are no true hockey fans in Vegas. Everyone at the games will simply be vacationers comp'd tickets by their hotels. At least that is my opinion. Put a team where there are true fans. So the direct answer to your question, NO.
 

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Adsfan said:
Nossagog: Do you think that Phoenix will move to another city in the next 5 years?
I'VE said so on many occasions. The well is running dry in Arizona. There are hardly any fans, no TV contract and the team is being badly mismanaged. They haven't iced a good team since JR left the first time. It's no longer a question of "if", but "when" the team is going to move.

Ads: No. I think they will move north. Possible destinations include Portland, Hartford or maybe even Winnipeg (Wouldn't THAT be something?!). That's assuming that Bettman gets what he wants in having the Preds move to KC. An NHL team in the entertainment and gambling capital of the world? The league would be seen as more of a joke than it already is. The other 3 major sports have already balked at the idea. If Bettman wants to move into Vegas he should at least wait for another league to move in first or he will cause serious damage to the NHL's claim of being one of the "big 4".
 
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