Bad smell in possible new deal

CAM MAXWELL -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:53 AM ET

There's something smelly coming out of Kansas City. And it's not the slaughterhouse near the old Kemper Arena.

Why would Nashville Predators owner Craig Leipold want to sell his hockey club to California businessman William (Boots) DelBiaggio instead of Waterloo-based Blackberry magnate Jim Balsillie?

After all, Balsillie's US$238 million bid is reportedly $48 million more than the Californian's.

It begs the question: What's wrong with Balsillie and why bring NHL hockey to yet another dead-end, going-nowhere non-NHL U.S. city?

More than 14,000 season tickets sold in Hamilton in two days after Balsillie got a campaign going there.

Compare that to the Kansas City Scouts leaving for Colorado in 1976 after a season-ticket campaign spearheaded by business leaders netted only about 2,000 -- some 6,000 less than the goal they had set.

To be fair, the new Sprint Center, where the Kansas City Cash Cows would lace up, is a state-of-the-art arena, one which has blown away the NHL officials who have toured it so far. The rink is the jewel of a downtown redevelopment project and sales of private boxes have been brisk, suggesting the interest might be there.

But think of Carolina. Think of Nashville and Florida. Kansas City?

The only hockey thing going would be a rivalry with the St. Louis Blues and plastic cups of watered-down Budweiser beer.

It stinks.


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