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Sunday, 05/27/07
Dent in image from loss of team would last years
By CHAS SISK
Staff Writer


Losing the Predators would not mean the end of Nashville's big-league image. But it would deal a substantial blow to the city's ability to attract sports teams, corporations and other events, say civic leaders, businesspeople and other observers.

The Predators helped Nashville establish itself as a major player, a place as likely to boast a corporate headquarters as St. Louis, Indianapolis or Cincinnati, boosters say.

Nashville would not lose that status if the Predators leave, as many fear could happen if the NHL approves Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie's offer to buy the team for $220 million.

Music City would still have the NFL's Tennessee Titans, which offers many of the same benefits that Nashville sought when it courted the Predators a decade ago.

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I believe that the Preds were there first. Nashville will have only the Titans as a top level pro team if the Preds move. The large companies in Nashville will have only themselves to blame if people no longer think of Nashville as a Major League city. It is a shame.

Nashville won't stack up against other similar sized regional cities like Cincinnati with the Reds and Bengals; Indy has the Colts and Pacers; St. Louis has the Cards, the Rams and the Blues; Milwaukee has the Brewers, Bucks and is legally a home city of the Packers, and even the Twin Cities with the Wild, Timberwolves, Twins and Vikings.
 
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