No More Hockey in Nashville?

Discussion in 'Other Sports' started by BigRed3, May 23, 2007.

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  1. dg1979us

    dg1979us Starter

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    I dont know where they would move to in Ontario though. The only other city without a team, large enough to support a NHL team would be Hamilton. But Hamilton is only about 40 miles from Toronto and like 70 miles from Buffalo. I cant see either of those franchises being supportive of another team that would just steal from their fanbase. My feeling is they will probably move at some point, but, when this guy was trying to buy the Penguins he more or less wanted a new arena, or to be able to move the team. We already have a nice arena, so maybe he will at least give it a shot here for a few seasons before the moves them.
    #11
  2. titanbuoy

    titanbuoy medium rare ®

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    When the Penguins were thought to be available there was a rumor they would move to Kitchener Ontario. Kitchener is a small city of around 300,000 people, but it's just far enough away from Toronto that the team wouldn't be forced to compensate the Leafs (unlike Hamilton which would have to negotiate some terms with the Toronto club). The thought was that even though Kitchener is a small city, it's right in the center of densely populated SW Ontario. With millions of hockey mad Ontarians within an hours drive of the arena they'd have no problem selling tickets.

    Personally I'd prefer the Preds stay in Nashville. It takes time to build a fan base. I'm sure if the team continued to show improvement the seats would start to fill.
    #12
  3. TitanJeff

    TitanJeff Kahuna Grande Staff

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    From what I understand, 14,000 per game is what the Preds need the average attendance to be or they can move the team.

    As for why he'd sell the team, I think it's all about a lack of corporate dollars.
    #13
  4. Ewker

    Ewker Starter

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    I use to watch hockey all the time, had season tickets to every minor league team that was here before the Predators came to town. Only went to 2-3 games the entire time the Predators were here. I was more of a Blackhawks fan and never got into cheering the Predators on.
    I hate to see them go for the fans that like them. I also hate to see them go due to what the arena is going to cost the taxpayers over the yrs.
    #14
  5. Laserjock

    Laserjock South Endzone Rocks! Staff

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    From what I have been told, the Predators have the highest percentage of private ticket support ["you and me fan-based"] of any team in the league. Most other teams count on significant corporate dollars to maintain butts in the seats.

    Just look at Detroit. Probably the premier hockey club and city in the country and they had empties during their second round playoff games.
    #15
  6. Sunshine

    Sunshine Camp Fodder

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    Leipold's letter:

    Craig Leipold
    Nashville Predators
    501 Broadway
    Nashville, TN 37203

    May 24, 2007​

    Dear Predators' Season Ticket Holders:

    June 25, 2007 will mark the 10-year anniversary of the awarding of the NHL franchise to Nashville that became your Nashville Predators. It's been an incredible 10-year journey for me. I can't tell you enough how much I appreciate your strong emotional and financial support of the Nashville Predators. You are a big part of the team's on-ice success. On behalf of the entire franchise, I thank you.

    Ten years ago, I couldn't call myself a hockey expert. Today, my family and I are as passionate and competitive about the game as the most hardcore fans.

    When the franchise began, I said we would run it as a business in order to be successful. We developed a game plan both on and off the ice. We became an integral part of the community, especially downtown Nashville. We made sure we had some fun. And, we indicated that making a huge profit was not a top priority - but we certainly didn't make plans to lose a significant amount either.

    As part of those plans we developed a loyal fan base - every team should be fortunate enough to have a Cell Block 303 and the loudest arena in the league. We built a team that the community could be proud of on and off the ice. We grew our hockey skills exactly as general manager David Poile outlined, using the draft as a foundation and then supplementing at the appropriate times with trades and free agents. We gave back to the community - well over $2 million in grants and in-kind donations through the Nashville Predators Foundation. We created an entertaining in-arena atmosphere for every game night. And, we did it all while keeping our ticket prices near the bottom of the league.

    Unfortunately, the success on the ice has not translated to success for me as business owner.

    Here are just a few facts as to why:

    The Nashville Predators tallied up 216 points in the last two seasons, fifth most in the NHL, yet because of below-average attendance, the team will still have a real cash loss of $27 million during that time. Additionally, that loss is despite receiving the most money in the league from revenue sharing. Over the last five years, the team has lost over $60 million.

    We've invested heavily in sales and marketing efforts, spending over $50 million in 10 years, most of that with locally-based businesses.

    Our average regular season attendance this past season was 13,589, up from the year before, but still 2,000 below the NHL average. A low turnout, combined with a low ticket price results in a poor financial situation.

    The new NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement with revenue sharing is not a cure-all. Each local market must still support its local team. In addition, this attendance does not qualify us for our full revenue sharing allocation under the collective bargaining agreement.

    While individual fan support has always been strong, we've worked aggressively to increase our local business support since Season Four. We've tried a variety of approaches with minimal success. Our records show today that corporate support for the Nashville Predators makes up about 35% of our season ticket base. The average in other markets is around 60%. During our first two years, approximately 4,000 businesses owned season tickets. Today, only 1,800 businesses have season tickets.

    While my heart and my love of the game tell me we can still be successful, the facts outlined above suggest otherwise. I've reached the only possible conclusion and it's one of the most difficult decisions of my personal and professional life.

    Later today, I am announcing an agreement to sell the Nashville Predators franchise and Powers Management to Jim Balsillie. We plan for the sale to be final in early July after a short period of due diligence and approval from the NHL Board of Governors.

    I've carried the franchise as far as it can go from a business standpoint. It has been well-reported that we have attempted to attract local ownership since 2002. The truth is, we had only one serious inquiry in that time from someone who was interested in a small minority share of the team. Jim Balsillie is interested in full ownership.

    It's time to give someone else a chance to take the Nashville Predators to the next level in terms of local business support. Last week's announcement that the Sommet Group has signed on as a naming rights partner for the arena is a strong first step in the right direction. The new energy and leadership of Jim Balsillie will be another.

    Jim Balsillie is co-CEO of Research in Motion, the company which developed the Blackberry device. He is an avid hockey fan who still plays recreationally. I know he is dedicated to putting a great team on the ice.

    The past 10 years have laid a foundation, but there's still much to be done to both build corporate support and to win a Stanley Cup. I know Jim shares my passion for the game and my commitment to a strong franchise to pursue the greatest trophy in sports.

    Despite the financial challenges we faced, owning this franchise has been the thrill of a lifetime. I've made many friendships here in Nashville. It's been an exciting 10 years, and as I move on from the ranks of team ownership, I'll always remain a fan.

    Craig L. Leipold
    #16
  7. TitanJeff

    TitanJeff Kahuna Grande Staff

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    P.S. - The "For Sale" sign in my front yard is for real as are the rumors that all former season ticket holders will get a free appetizer at the restaurant I am opening in Ontario this summer.
    #17
  8. SupDawg

    SupDawg Guest

    What is garbage is that Leopold has said he has lost 60m$ in cash operations since the Preds came to Nashville... I wonder how much money he made by selling it?

    I would bet a million dollars, he sold the franchise for more than 60m dollars more than he paid.. So he can go jump off a bridge..

    If we are a lame duck team this year, I predict some monumental decreases at games.
    #18
  9. GoTitans3801

    GoTitans3801 Forward Progress!

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    Well, if they don't go ahead and declare that they're going to cut and run before June 20th, then they have to stay two more years, or so I understand.

    Stupid Nashville corporations... come on, buy some hockey tickets! They're a relatively cheap and fun sporting event for business entertainment... sheesh...

    Another reason to hold a grudge against Canada...
    #19
  10. Ewker

    Ewker Starter

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    cheap tickets...lmao

    The Predators were hoping that they would buy the expensive seats. When they saw the price per game for a 42 game season that is expensive esp. when they want you to buy a block of them.

    No way should the city have to buy the extra tickets to make 14,000 tickets sold each game. Leipold said it shouldn't be hard, well guess what it must be. They haven't done it in the 10 yrs they have been here.

    The more I heard him whine the more I said good riddance
    #20
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