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Discussion Starter #1
Canadian Press
5/24/2007 3:30:34 PM


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (CP) - Canadian entrepreneur Jim Balsillie has entered into a letter of agreement to buy the NHL's Nashville Predators for US$220 million, owner Craig Leipold confirmed Thursday.

The goal is to seek approval from the league's board of governors and close the sale by June 30, Leipold said, adding he'd lost US$70 million during the team's nine seasons.

Balsillie is co-CEO of Waterloo, Ont.-based Research In Motion (TSX:RIM), the company that makes BlackBerry handheld devices.

"This is a dream he's wanted and he's stepped up," said Leipold.

Attendance at Predators home games in 2006-2007 averaged 13,815 - 2,000 below the NHL average - even with some of the lowest ticket prices. There were fewer than 9,000 season ticket subscribers. The team amassed 110 points, which was third best in the league, but still lost US$15 million.

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I heard that this morning before I left the car (just barely, but I heard it).

Interesting. Is it possible that a team ould b mving to Canada in aw years, more so southern Canada?

That would be something, eh?
 

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According to Leipold, Balsillie is going to try and keep the team in Nashville, but the corporate sector really has to step it up.
 

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There have been lots of rumours about this team moving. In particular Hamilton, although I'm sure that Buffalo and Toronto would each have something to say about this. And also about moving this to Kitchener-Waterloo, where there would be millions in corporate support, the financial drive to a economic and efficient hockey franchise. Now I don't think Bettman wants this team moved, but the question is, would a third franchise be able to exist in Southern Ontario. Without question in my opinion, in Canada its one of the few places that would be able to support a Hockey Team still with roughly 7 million people to draw up between the GTA, London, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Barrie, Guelph there is easy enough hockey-crazed Canadians willing to support hockey franchises. As much as they talk about the Jets coming back, it just won't happen to Winnipeg, the City is dying, the Economy is dying and it just won't happen any time soon. Can it happen in Ontario again, yes. Will it happen again, who knows but Balsillie has talked about moving the Penguins, that didn't go through. Now it looks as though he will purchase the Predators, will he move them, he says he wants to keep the franchise in Nashville, but can that city support the team, it doesn't look like it, so the question is, in 5 years will there be a team in Nashville, I say no, it's hard to say where this team goes next.
 

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Nashville could make Preds stay

Doubt it, Preds are probably going to be gone. In the news article below from the nashville paper, there are escape clauses for the preds to get out of nashville.

STORY

I don't think that Basille would be involved if he didn't have a way to move them. Sounds as if all the anlysts are pretty pessimistic also.
 

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nossagog said:
Doubt it, Preds are probably going to be gone. In the news article below from the nashville paper, there are escape clauses for the preds to get out of nashville.

STORY

I don't think that Basille would be involved if he didn't have a way to move them. Sounds as if all the anlysts are pretty pessimistic also.
Ditto. I suspect Balsille will play along for the 2007-2008 Season, but it wouldn't be a surprise if he's already making arrangements for wherever it is he want to move the team once the deal is done.

Afterall, it wouldn't make sese to buy the team just to lose money, which seems to be the case in a city where the professional team is highly competitive, yet still unpopular.
 

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nossagog said:
Doubt it, Preds are probably going to be gone. In the news article below from the nashville paper, there are escape clauses for the preds to get out of nashville.

STORY

I don't think that Basille would be involved if he didn't have a way to move them. Sounds as if all the anlysts are pretty pessimistic also.
Yeah, absolutely. He has said all along he wants to bring a team to Canada. He will find a way to bring them up here and who blames him? Nashville had 110 points (somewhere in there) with the 3rd or 4th best record in the league, brought in a superstar like Forsbreg to play with alot of other talented players already on the team, and they still couldn't make a dollar. If I were buying that team I would be finding a way to get them out of there as well.
 

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I cant believe they would even consider putting a team in tennessee back when they did put a team there. haha this sounds wrong but I hope next season Nashville gets even worse attendance, I hope the team has a losing record and I hope there merchandise sales drop even more than they already have. Then the team will most likely be forced to move without question
 
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