Monday, October 01, 2007

Are the Predators Worth it?

That's what Metro officials and taxpayers will be deciding as they weigh a new proposal expected this week from a group of mostly local businessmen to kick in $3 million to $5 million extra each year to keep the Predators hockey team in Nashville.

The buyer's group failed in its first attempt to get more money from the city.

Whatever is proposed, the revised agreement still will likely require the Metropolitan Sports Authority and Metro council to agree to several million dollars in lease concessions, adding to the city's annual $13 million cost to operate and maintain the Sommet Center arena, where the hockey team plays.

The prospective buyers want the sports authority and council to approve the measure by Oct. 31, when they will lose their exclusive negotiating rights with Leopold.

Without the city's help, the businessmen say, they won't be able to finance the purchase of the money-losing team, and owner Craig Leipold will likely sell it to someone who would move the Predators to another city.

Is the extra money worth it to keep the team here?

Michael Craddock

Read more in the Tennessean newspaper.

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