April 18, 2015

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Should the Preds stay in Nashville?
Tue, August 14, 2007

A local group trying to keep the Predators in Nashville is on the verge of signing a letter of intent.

Owner Craig Leipold has been working with a group of local investors to finalize a bid for the team since flying to New York on July 18 for a meeting with NHL officials.

Leipold has been trying to sell his franchise because he said he has lost $70 million since being awarded the team in June 1997.

This might mean that the team is not moving anywhere for now. Is this good news for the NHL?

Preds staying, for now


This comment is FULLY MODERATED.


I am a Nashville fan, season ticket holder since year one of the Predators, am a University of Michigan (a hockey school) alumnus, and was a kid who went to Nashville Dixie Flyers games. I and my 14-year old daughter love hockey and if you were in Nashville and came to games and had conversations with locals you might hear another side of the story. Nashville is definitely an odd hockey market.

We have 35% or our ticket sales to company acounts and 65% of our sales to normal fans like my daughter and me. There are 5 sheets of ice in Nashville and youth hockey is so large that new teams are turned away, there are NO PRACTICE TIMES AVAILABLE.

Many of you are absolutely correct, if you just look at the number of tickets sold, and say Nashville is a weak hockey town, but the hockey model in most markets is box sales and the majority of lower bowl ticket sales to company accounts, and upper arena and some lower bowl to individual fans. In Nashville the normal "Joe" fans predominate, its the corporate sales that are weak.

Nashville, when you speak of hockey ticket purchasing fans, absolutely supports the Predators (about 9,000 individual ticket purchase fans a game), but Nashville corporate does not.

So bear with me for a moment more. Starting 10 years ago, we have had thousands of kids in youth and high school hockey leagues. In just a few more years those kids will be a mass of 30+ year olds, the rising leaders of the community. So, I believe, as do many other Nashvillians, that Nashville will transition from a town in which average nightly hockey attendance is 13,600 (split roughly ~ 4,000 corporate and 9,000 individual)to 16,000 (split roughly ~ 6,000 corporate and 10,000 individual). Now that is good for hockey and good for Nashville and good for the Preds.
Alex J, 2007-08-04 08:23:29


THE 50 MILE RADIUS IS A STAIGHT LINE. THEY ACTUALLY USE A COMPASS ON A MAP. I didn't think you would understand what that is. Cars travel on roads that don't go straight. Jim Kelly is as dumb as you. Buffalo and Toronto Vetoed the Hamilton bid a long time ago when they built cops collesium. But now they don't have that right, what ever.

Coffee time can do what ever they like, but you can't build a tims next to another by another owner. See the, if the OHL wants to put a team in the building next to the leafs they can. The NHL can't sell another franchise there, its in their rules.

Ted, you are right, it is a league franchise rule made up in a legal document called a contract between owners and the league. If you break that rule, you are in violation of contract law and will end up in court with a large lawsuit.

If the NHL allowed a team in Hamilton. Buffalo and Toronto would sue the NHL for huge bucks. The NHL gets all its money from the franchises. They would then collect it all from every team to pay thise two teams. There fore every team votes not to have a team in Hamilton.

wayne, 2007-08-04 07:29:32

Those of you arguing territorial rights are misguided. There is no legality to that whatsoever, as far as I know. It's just a league rule. Population is not the bottom line, fan numbers are. Like someone said, you could have 4 teams in the TO area and fill the rinks every night. On the other hand, China is extremely populated, but I wouldn't move my team there. Now, I say that to make a point, but realistically, it's only a few years before Atlanta, Nashville, and Raliegh all lose their teams, and I say good riddance. That I live in Canada but have to drive 10 hours to get to an NHL game when people in NASHVILLE can go any night but choose not to...absolutely causes me physical pain.
Ted Richards, 2007-08-03 17:08:06

Yes southern Ontario is a saturated Market, 4 teams, Ottawa(look on a map if you divide ontario into a north/south component Ottawa is in the south, for those that say it is in the east, you divide ontario into an east/west component Toronto falls into the east, point is they are is the same close geographical area) Toronto, Buffalo, Detroit. Dont go saying that Buffalo and Detroit do not count becuase they are in the states, they are right on the boarder and the people living in the area or southern ontario have 4 teams that they can go see, the boarder does not matter, cause amazingly enough people can go across it to see games. 4 teams is saturated and adding a 5th will only alienate fans in the areas outside of the southern ontario region, the toronto area is not the center of the universe, there are people all over who want to enjoy NHL hockey just as much as you do and dont have 1 team let alone 4 to enjoy. If someone wants the bussiness to grow you spread ot your loctaions so other people can go and enjoy what your bussiness has to offer, you do not put 5 of your stores in a one block area and basicly give the middle finger to everyone outside of that area.

Sure there may be a handfull of teams in the states that are really hurting, but not so long ago that was just about every canadian team, so what about back then did you want thouse teams to be picked up and moved into southern ontario. They stayed they got stronger, and if the NHL pulls out of some of the markets they are in now, they are admitting defeat giving up on the team, the city and the fans hurting the league by not giving it a chance. Not to mention you move the team out of the area you lose exposure. As for some of the other american markets that have been interested in teams, why not it makes the league more accessible to fans that would have to travel more then 2 hours to see a game.

Bettman is trying to grow the league, and you do not do that by putting all your eggs in one basket. Not to mention the owners of the team, sure he could have sold to basillie for more money, but would have made finacial sence, but he didn't becuase no one outside of basillie and people in southern ontario want another team in the southern ontario region. Now had basillie wanted to move a team into Winnipeg things would have been different. No one in their right mind can say that Hamilton/southern Ontario deserves another team over Winnipeg.

Think what is best for the overall health of the league and what is best for the majority of its fans, not what is best for you in your area. Once you realize thouse things you will realize that moving a team into Hamilton/southern ontario is a poor move, and a poor choice, and that keeping a team out of the area just makes sound logical sence.

Mike, 2007-08-03 16:15:23

wayne I didnt use map quest. Jim Kelly a sports reporter that lives outside Buffalo measured the distance with his vehicle. LMAO @ map quest good one LOL. You must be 7 or 8 to say such a stupid thing like use map quest LOL.
Jimmy, 2007-08-03 14:35:39

wayne have you ever heard of business competition ? How many Tim Hortons are there in Hamilton ? Where I live there are 2 both are 2 blocks from me 1 is to the west of me the other is to the east of me. So I guess Country Style Doughnuts couldnt open up a coffee shop anywhere with Tim Hortons stores because only Tim Hortons can have stores in Southern Ontario ? LOL The Leafs dont own the Southern Ontario market even though they want to. Its just a matter of time before Mr.Basillie buys and moves a US based team to Hamilton and challenges the By-Laws like Al Davis did with the NFL. Ohh yea Mr. Davis won his case. He moved HIS team where HE wanted to not where the NFL told him he had to go to.

Jimmy, 2007-08-03 14:17:35

wayne you are wrong yet again. Have you ever heard of a sports writer named Jim Kelly ? He lives in the Buffalo area, works in Toronto for a sports network. He is the one that said the distance from Buffalo to Hamilton isnt within the 50 mile radius. He measured the distance one day from his home in Buffalo to Hamilton by his vehicle not a map and a piece of string LOL. So I guess wayne you know more and can prove Mr.Kely wrong ? Prove him wrong wayne, you measure it out by car LOL. Why would Mr.Kelly a very highly sports writer say it isnt in the 50 mile radius if it actually is ? Wouldnt that hurt his credibility if he is wrong ? The bottom line is he is right, you are wrong yet again.

You know nothing and as usual are proven wrong yet again.

You dont measure the distance with a map and a piece of string LMAO.
Jimmy, 2007-08-03 14:08:52

Mike think of NHL teams as franchises (which they are) like Tim hortons. How would you feel if Tims sold you a franchise that you paid good money for to service a guaranteed area, then they sold it to another guy in the same area. balsilie wants toronto's and Buffalo's area.

New York city has a population of 50 million plus within 1 hour drive. Canada has 32 million spread over 3000 miles.
wayne, 2007-08-03 11:38:25


Are you nuts? Southern Ontario is far from a saturated market. Toronto alone could house 4 NHL teams and fill the rinks every day, it's just that the Leafs have vetoed every move to limit competition. Right now I'd guess that 90% of the Leaf fans that want to go to the occasional game don't even try because they can't get tickets. Heck, if you go to a Habs game in Montreal probably 20% of the crowd are Leaf fans, a lot of who bus it from TO because they can't get tickets there.

It's ridiculous that New York has 2 teams and a third nearby when probably 1% of the population even cares about hockey at all. Toronto is a smaller city but I'd guess 60% of the people there would like to take in an NHL game.

The system should be modified so that a) if someone wants to move in they pay a $20 million or so penalty to the nearby teams and they are in or b) the existing team has to demonstrate loss of business to get any remuneration. I don't think the Leafs could show they were hurt, but I'm sure Buffalo could.

Anyway, I think that Hamilton and Winnipeg should both have teams and they should stop forcing the issue by pushing teams where they hope one day to have a fan base. I say entertain the fans you have now.
Rick W., 2007-08-03 10:30:00

Yes jimmy Hilarious, but thats how they do it. You don't use map quest. The road winds. Its a strait line 50 mile circle and it goes directly through hamilton. Its funny how the sports writers say Buffalo has the veto but genius jimmy says they don't and that makes him right.
wayne, 2007-08-03 08:04:17

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