No ending in sight for Preds deal

Thursday, November 15, 2007 at 2:42am

The roller coaster ride continues for the Nashville Predators ownership saga, and when the ride ends is anyone’s guess.

Wednesday, the group seemed on the verge of inking a deal with Mayor Karl Dean for a new incentive-laced lease on the Sommet Center. An afternoon press conference was in the making but was called off when a term sheet was not signed by the ownership group, led by local businessman David Freeman.

According to sources close to the negotiations, one of the investors decided he had a problem with the financial disclosure requirements related to the personal guarantee provision in the deal. The investor didn’t like the potential for his net worth making it into the media. Current owner Craig Leipold has had to provide that information as has Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams.

Sources also said the hold up is that the city presented terms yesterday morning that were worse than what Dean presented last Friday. Those terms have to do with the $2 million cap on the sales-tax revenue, seat surcharges and other revenue the team would receive. Supposedly, that issue had been worked out but the local group went back in yesterday seeking changes.

Dean offered to equally split the revenue until the team reaches $2 million for its share. Metro’s bond counsel, however, has said the cap needs to be in place to protect Metro’s ability to issue bonds for work on the arena.

A spokesperson for the ownership group, Joe Hall, had no comment at press time when contacted for this story.

Dean’s spokesperson Janel Lacy said Wednesday afternoon the offer made by Dean late last week was still on the table.

“As far as I know we are still in the same place we were Friday, yesterday and this morning,” Lacy said.

Meanwhile, Predators fans are weary of the roller coaster ride and just want it settled.

“Either get the deal done, or let’s move to plan B,” said John Fesler, a season ticket holder who has worked to keep the team here. “These delays, and press conferences that never happen are not helping the cause of gaining new corporate clients, when the new ownership takes over.”

The Metro Council is just waiting to see what happens with the mayor.

“For the most part, they’ve been patient,” said Vice Mayor Diane Neighbors.

Neighbors said most of the Council wants to keep the Predators but want the best deal for the city.

Filed under: City Business
By: frank brown on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I certainly can understand why a certain investor would not want his personal finances plastered throughout the media. I would be adamantly against divulging this information. However when you are a beggar and trying to borrow money from a government agency such as Metro you better get ready. You are going to have a set of rules and an agreement that is the size of "WAR & PEACE. If the investor wants privacy then he should buy the Predators with private money.

By: idgaf on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Time to dump this deal. Either they can't afford what they bid or they are scamming us.10 millionairs and they have to beg like bums on the street? Have they no freaking pride?

By: idgaf on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Anyone know the rest of the names of these big spenders with the big mouths?My Grandmother had an expression that fits this situationChampaine Taste with a beer pocketbook.

By: EASTNASHVILLE on 12/31/69 at 6:00

There is only one explaination to this on going saga.This is a perfect example of CORPORATE GREED.If it weren't for the GREED this deal would have been made months ago.

By: WickedTribe on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I think I can honestly say at this point that I would rather have my Preds in another city than owned by these greedy jerk offs.

By: MJB on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I agree, Frank. If you want it private, then do it all privately. If you want the city involved, then we (the city) get to know with whom we're working.I wish this story explained the details better. Who gets the sales tax monies, the Predators, the Arena, or Nashville?

By: Jones36 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Look stage freight 101 going on..... Freeman needs to get with it or get out of the way. It's clear he's the hold up now.

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I hope it drags on until 2009...I just can't get enough of id's whine...

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

gdiafante, he will still whine after it gets done. You can always count on his whining.

By: BigPapa on 12/31/69 at 6:00

These guys ride in to "Save the preds" immediately stick out their hand for more money from Metro, but don't want to assure the city that a) they can afford the team b) they have enough cash on hand to pay the city back if they decided to move and break the lease. Maybe Metro should just offer to sell the arean to them and get out of the sports entertainment business altogether. Then it could sink or swim on it's own merits.

By: idgaf on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Bet Craig would stay if he would be offered the same deal (possible 5.8 million more a year) and will be looking for it if the deal falls through.He has more then the 10 big mouths put together the way it seems. They got in way over their collectives heads and they should be publically humiliated.

By: BigPapa on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I think the deal will be done, but I also think the Mayor exposed these guys real intentions. Which was to buy in, ram this through before 10/31, then sell the team for a big profit in a year or two.

By: MFO on 12/31/69 at 6:00

If this one investor screwed the whole thing up and both Leipold and Adams had to do what this man is objecting to than he just needs to grow up and live to the same terms as everyone else. That just doesn't seem worth blowing a deal over. Also, on another note I think whole sell the team in two years idea is absurd and a result of not seeing the whole picture or the obvious and continually re-itereated possible scenarios. The team will move to KC before it will be sold since one of the bigger investors(Boots) had originally intended to do that before he joined the local ownership group. The guy in Canada would also try Nashville and then move, not sell. You seem to lack information alot when you post.

By: idgaf on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Papa they can still do it and the new deal with us makes it even more attractive.

By: BigPapa on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Well at least the city should be paid a big hunk of cash. I wonder how these guys will operate when it comes time to sign a big FA? They appear to have a hard time getting their ducks in a row.

By: idgaf on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Yesterday someone mentioned we should get a piece of the action which is a fair good idea since their value is only 145 million (the lowest in the leauge) but with the management contract these guys think its worth 195 million. That 50 million of added value because of our cash.

By: Cowboy84 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

The Tennessean has a copy of the lease agreement the mayor sent to the Preds yesterday. It's about 4 pages long.

By: idgaf on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Read that fools we aren't makeing a dime from them.