Wouldn't it be cool if Balsillie teamed up with Bergeron, and Del Biaggio and bought the Preds as a trifecta? Perhaps a better idea would be Boots and Bergeron, since they both have connections to the Silicon Valley.
I really like what that Pratt guy has to say. I mean, sure, it's sad for the people who supported the team for a long time, but who is naive enough to believe that this place could've supported a team long term?
Seriously. I try to be unbiased, defend any market I can, and don't like to trash other markets, but I can't be silent about Nashville. I don't know if their low attendance is due to this whole soap opera, I'm pretty sure it is, but I'm pretty sure most of the potential game-goers know that they can stop the team from leaving themselves by showing up because of that lease, so I have no pity for them, except for the people who have stuck with the team and did all they could.
I am really hoping this can start a trigger of events leading to the end of uncharted expansion, stupid decisions, and Gary Bettman. The NHL will learn it's lesson, and we've all been patient enough. It needs to happen, and there is no better time to start that by moving the Nashville Predators.
News Analysis: Preds deal gets more interesting Email | Print By Richard Lawson
10-31-2007 2:10 PM — The situation with the Nashville Predators has nearly reached "FUBAR" status in the final hours of exclusivity the local group of investors has with owner Craig Leipold.
Leipold likely will grant an extension, indicating that he sees progress with the local group's negotiations with the city on lease concessions with the Sommet Center.
The whole deal has become something of a three-way negotiation. Not only has the local group of investors been negotiating with the city, it apparently has been negotiating with yet another investor, Doug Bergeron, the chief executive officer of San Jose, Calif.-based VeriFone, and it is negotiating an extension with Leipold.
That extension may not be for the exclusivity period but to keep talking with the local group to get a deal done, meaning that the local group wouldn't lose its $10 million right away, which by agreement, Leipold could keep.
Canadian newspaper Globe and Mail dropped the extra investor bombshell this morning. Sources have confirmed that Bergeron is in the picture and that William "Boots" Del Biaggio brought him to the table.
Why Boots brought in Bergeron is question that has yet to be answered. Everyone involved is being coy or simply not talking at all. It's been radio silence for the past few days, leaving everyone to speculate today.
Perhaps, Boots brought Bergeron to the table to make the local group more financially stable and make work the five-year commitment Dean seeks.
The group now consists of David Freeman, CEO of 36 Venture Capital; Del Biaggio, the largest single investor; Herb Fritch, CEO of HealthSpring; Tom Cigarran, chairman of Healthways and AmSurg; Chris Cigarran, a Healthways top executive; De Thompson V, president of Thompson Machinery; John Thompson also with Thompson Machinery; and Joel Dobberpuhl, a head fund manager in Franklin, and his wife Holly.
Negotiations between the city and the local group seemed to be stuck in neutral, although a source close to the deal said "stuck" isn't the correct description but wouldn't elaborate.
That was two days ago and still no deal with the city, so "stuck" would seem to apply. Mayor Karl Dean wants a five-year commitment from the local group to keep the team here in return for agreeing to concessions on the Sommet Center lease that include diverting more public dollars to the team and arena. The local group wants to the option to leave if losses reach $20 million.
That figure didn't come out of nowhere. That's the credit line the team would have if it closes the deal. The local group could only get one bank to agree to loan the money – CIT out of New York. Apparently, none of the local banks would or could step up. Ron Samuels, who recently started Avenue Bank, has been a lead advocate in keeping the team here and has been on the forefront of helping OurTeamNashville sell season tickets to business.
There's been some question of why his bank hasn't agreed to loan money to the local group. Federal regulations have strict lending limits relative to the amount of capital banks have. Avenue Bank has $75 million in capital. "We can't lend that kind of money," Samuels said of what the local group needed. He added that most local banks couldn't because of federal regulations set the lending limit at 20 percent of capital.
the below artlicle is interesting in that it gives an idea of what the mayor is thinking...it's not the negotiation with the current group that keeps the preds in Nashville, but whether they can sell enough tickets...i.e., at least 14K to remain viable on many levels not just to keep the lease in place...
note also the bolded parts below, which indicate the preds sold less than 800 new season ticket equivalents for this season despite all the campaigning...even still there attendance is down this year, leading me to believe a lot of the buyers of those season tickets were part of the walk up crowd from last year...
No word on extending today’s deadline for Preds’ group By Jared Allen, firstname.lastname@example.org
Current Predators owner Craig Leipold, left, made no statement about whether or not he would extend the deadline for David Freeman, leader of the local group attempting to buy the team. File
Players on all sides of the current Predators negotiations spent Tuesday saying very little about what progress is being made in brokering a deal between the team’s prospective buyers and the city.
Even less was said about what will happen if no deal is struck before today — the deadline set by current Predators owner Craig Leipold to cut that deal.
Leipold has given a group of local investors led by David Freeman until a non-specific time today — Oct. 31 — to hammer out a new agreement with Metro over changes to the team’s lease with the Sommet Center.
According to Leipold’s agreement with the Freeman group, Leipold reserved the right to pocket their $10 million deposit and seek other buyers if the Freeman group was unable to secure the changes it wanted to see made to the team’s contract with the Sommet Center, which is overseen by Metro government.
Leipold, who is not involved in the negotiations with the city, would not say if he is considering extending Wednesday’s deadline.
“Everybody’s still focused on working to see this deal through,” Gerry Helper, spokesman for Leipold and the Predators organization, said Tuesday afternoon.
Helper said it was premature to comment on whether or not a deadline extension has been discussed with the local investors group.
“I think we have to let the negotiation process take its course,” he said.
Similarly, a spokeswoman for the investors group, would not say if the group has even discussed the deadline with Leipold.
“Any questions about deadline extension would need to go to Mr. Leipold,” said Hall Strategies’ Margie Newman. “Right now we’re still aiming for Oct. 31.”
Meanwhile, Mayor Dean’s office, which has been overseeing the city’s negotiations with Freeman and the local investors over changes to the Predators’ current contract to play hockey at the Sommet Center, turned its attention away from the negotiations altogether, saying again that the city is not operating under any deadline constraints.
Officials for the mayor said that regardless of whether or not an agreement is reached the Predators will remain in Nashville through the 2008-2009 hockey season, and that the long-term future of Predators hockey in Nashville is not dependent on a deal with the Freeman group but on selling at least 14,000 tickets a year.
“The only way the Predators stay in Nashville, legally financially and otherwise, is if we sell 14,000 tickets,” Dean’s spokeswoman, Janel Lacey, said Tuesday.
Dean himself has also tried to take the focus of the Predators’ future off of the city’s negotiations with the Freeman group and on to its ticket drive.
Speaking to reporters last week after addressing the Greater Nashville Hotel and Lodging Association, Dean said that the outcome of current negotiations would not determine if the Predators leave or stay in Nashville.
“We need to focus on keeping them here by selling tickets,” Dean said.
David Fox, of the public relations firm McNeely, Pigott and Fox, on Tuesday said that the “Our Team” ticket drive has to date sold 2,550 season tickets.
Before the drive started in June the number of “full season equivalent” Predators tickets was 7,000. That number is now at 9,550, Fox said, speaking for the “Our Team” consortium.
At the end of last season, the Predators’ 8,758 full season equivalent tickets resulted in a figure of 13,800 tickets per game, just shy of the 14,000 threshold needed to keep the team in Nashville beyond next season.
“It’s been successful,” Fox said of the ticket drive, “but we still have more work to do.”
Ken Dryden! He is a lawyer, he understands what needs to be done, he is a cerebral man who knows what works! Perfect for the job!
I actually got to talk to Dryden about the ROTJ and asked him about Bettman's "intriguing" comment when referring to Winnipeg. He seemed to think that Bettman wouldn't have eluded to the possibility of a return to Winnipeg unless he actually meant it. Essentially saying he's not blowing smoke up your arse.
Last Edit: Oct 31, 2007 20:09:32 GMT -5 by scottie65
Deadline for Predators purchase extended Leipold gives more time for exclusive negotiations with local group
By MICHAEL CASS Staff Writer
Nashville Predators owner Craig Leipold has extended today's deadline for a sale of the hockey team.
A mostly-local investors group had been trying to close the deal by today. Leipold met with Mayor Karl Dean today and later announced he would extend the deadline.
"Based on the progress being made, I am convinced all parties will benefit from extra time to complete this transaction so we will extend the purchase agreement," Leipold said in a statement, "with a goal of completing the sale as soon as possible."
If the deadline had been enforced, Leipold would have been free to negotiate with others, including out-of-town buyers who might be more likely to move the team out of Nashville.
Leipold said the city and the investors were making good progress toward renegotiating the team's lease of the city-owned Sommet Center arena.
"We've had conversations about a multitude of different topics, including the deadline," Leipold told reporters briefly on his way out of city hall. "Everybody's talking. We all feel good about what's happening."
The prepared statement was released later in the day, saying, "We thank our fans, partners, team and staff for their patience and understanding during the transaction."
Leipold has owned the team since its start in Nashville nine years ago. He says he's lost $70 million on it and wants to sell.
The local group headed by businessman David Freeman is seeking concessions from the city before closing the deal, including $4.2 million a year in sales taxes and seat fees, and $7 million in improvements to the arena.
Dean said after speaking at an event this afternoon that Leipold had asked to meet with him and get a progress report.
"I'm certainly thankful and respectful of him being so cooperative and patient with everybody," Dean said.
The mayor said the city and the investors had made progress, but he declined to say what had changed.
Preds bidders get more time Leipold extends deadline for deal; investors add second Californian
By MICHAEL CASS and JOHN GLENNON Staff Writers
A local investors group will get some more time to complete its purchase of the Nashville Predators, but it isn't as local as it used to be.
Predators owner Craig Leipold extended Wednesday's deadline to close a sale to the group headed by Nashville businessman David Freeman. At the same time, the group disclosed that it had added another investor from California, Doug Bergeron, chief executive of VeriFone, an electronic payment technology company.
The extension gives the investors more time to negotiate with Metro officials to rework the hockey team's lease of the city arena and to get approval from the National Hockey League. Leipold did not say how much more time he would give.
"Based on the progress being made, I am convinced all parties will benefit from extra time to complete this transaction, so we will extend the purchase agreement with David's group with a goal of completing the sale as soon as possible," Leipold said in a written statement.
Freeman's group says it needs to change the arena lease to have a chance to make the Predators financially viable. It has been negotiating with Mayor Karl Dean's administration for weeks for concessions such as $4.2 million a year in sales tax and seat fee revenue and $7 million in arena upgrades.
If Dean agrees to changes in the lease, the Metro Sports Authority and Metro Council would have to approve the changes as well, which would take at least a week.
Dean, who met with Leipold on Wednesday, said the parties had made progress, but he declined to say what had changed. "We're going to keep working," the mayor said.
Meanwhile, the Freeman group has added a new, out-of-town investor. Bergeron, chairman and CEO of VeriFone, based in San Jose, Calif., has joined the group at the request of its other San Jose-based in vestor, William "Boots" Del Biaggio III. Del Biaggio had made a solo offer to buy the Predators but later joined the Freeman group.
Metro Councilman Michael Craddock said he was pleased to see another billionaire join the potential buyers and that he hoped more would get involved until taxpayers didn't have to. But he said he ex pected the Predators, who have struggled to reach paid attendance totals that would force them to stay here, to leave town eventually regardless of the investors' involvement.
"Unfortunately, I feel it will happen sooner or later," Craddock said. "They still cannot pack the house."
Investors shuffle stakes
It's not clear how Bergeron's addition will alter the financial setup of the nine investors who had been named previously, but Bergeron said his presence would not increase the group's $193 million offer for the Predators.
"We're not really changing any of the capital structure,'' said Bergeron, a Windsor, Canada, native. "We're just rearranging the equity allocations for various investors.''
Freeman said the out-of-state investors would not be gaining a majority interest in the Predators. "Boots is simply diversifying or diluting his personal interest and bringing another very bright, high quality, hockey-loving investor into his group," Freeman said in an e-mail. "We are very happy that Mr. Bergeron will be part of our ownership group."
Bergeron, 46, has been the head of VeriFone since July 2001, when, according to the company's Web site, he spearheaded its acquisition from Hewlett-Packard in a transaction valued at $50 million.
Since then, VeriFone's sales have reportedly tripled and the value of the company has grown to exceed several billion dollars. Bergeron remains the single largest private shareholder in the company.
Del Biaggio said Bergeron is a billionaire, though he made a point to differentiate Bergeron from Jim Balsillie, the Canadian billionaire who made a previous attempt to buy the Predators and who remains interested in purchasing the team.
Balsillie angered Nashville and NHL officials by starting a season-ticket campaign in Ham ilton, Ontario, while still negotiating to buy the Predators.
"I thought it was important we get our own Canadian billionaire, at least one who respects the NHL, the tradition of the NHL and the process of the NHL,'' Del Biaggio said.
Bergeron said his lifelong love of hockey and the NHL was what interested him most in joining the group. "I'm a business guy, and like most business guys in the group, I've had to wage battle and negotiate professionally over a number of things all through my career,'' Bergeron said. "It's clearly going to be a situation where we need to increase ticket sales, increase corporate sponsorships and negotiate with the city. There's a lot of opportunity to add value from a businessman's perspective.''
Del Biaggio said Bergeron, like the other investors, had submitted an ownership application to the NHL. He is still subject to the league's approval process.
"We just think this is a great opportunity to bring in a really powerful guy,'' Del Biaggio said. "I think it's very important to the fans and to the NHL that they can see we have a really powerful group. It's a mix of having great Nashville investors and what I think are incredible businessmen and hockey fans that happen to be on the West Coast.''
Another new investor has been revealed in the mainly local group’s bid to buy the Nashville Predators.
The latest, and apparently last, is Warren Woo, a Los Angeles-based investment banker who was previously a high-ranking executive for UBS Investment Bank.
Woo was brought into the group by William "Boots" Del Biaggio III, the San Jose-based investor who bid for the team but later joined the local coalition led by Nashville businessman David Freeman.
Del Biaggio also added Californian Paul Bergeron, the CEO of VeriFone, an electronic payment technology company.
The presence of Woo and Bergeron will not increase the group's $193 million offer for the Predators, nor will it give the out-of-state investors a majority interest in the team.
"(Woo and Bergeron) are smaller investors and they’re part of my group,’’ Del Biaggio said today. "What David (Freeman) said yesterday was right on. It’s just me diluting my interests."
Woo assisted Del Biaggio when Del Biaggio was trying to purchase the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2005.
"Warren is a close personal friend of mine," Del Biaggio said. "He has been my partner for the past two years looking for a hockey team. He is a huge hockey fan and also has an incredible background in investment banking."
The mainly local group seeking to purchase the team from Craig Leipold now stands at 11 investors: There are the three from out of state, as well as Freeman, Herb Fritch, Chris and Tom Cigarran, Joel and Holly Dobberpuhl, De Thompson V and John Thompson.
Asked why the names of Bergeron and Woo hadn’t surfaced until the last couple of days, Del Biaggio said, "I don’t think there was any reason for (announcing the names). It just really wasn’t important." He said there are no other investors in the group.
Leipold on Wednesday extended negotiations with the locals after the two sides failed to reach an agreement by the owner’s Oct. 31 deadline.
The Predators are guaranteed to stay in Nashville untill the end of the 2010-2011 season. However, if the team is still struggling at that point, the team can move. There are no strings attached at that point.
Here's to hoping for three losing seasons!
The future of the Northwest Division:
Minnesota Wild Edmonton Oilers Calgary Flames Vancouver Canucks Lake Manitoba Mega-Moose
TheDeuce: HF crowd coming back for the memories???
Jun 16, 2017 9:26:26 GMT -5
DowntownBooster: Great site to visit again but I wish we could still post here!
Jun 16, 2017 15:56:42 GMT -5
TheDeuce: Does anyone know where the legendary Simpsons thread is?
Jun 16, 2017 16:35:13 GMT -5
Comrade Fox: stalin did nothing wrong, free the thrashers, cheveldayoff is a scrub
Jun 16, 2017 19:38:03 GMT -5
c: Darren did a great job
Jun 17, 2017 6:11:35 GMT -5
kenas10: Go Jets Go! Here we are 7 years later starting the Conference Finals against the Las Vegas Knights! I'm still a season ticket holder, have been since day 1. I was KennyS and was on the forum the whole time!! Blast reading all of this. Go Jets Go!
May 11, 2018 19:46:11 GMT -5