It looks like our long
national municipal nightmare frustration is over.
UPDATE: It isn't. I'm leaving the rest of this post up, but though the city has put forth it's "final" offer, the local ownership group hasn't signed off on it. So, no press conference...return to your holding pattern.The Preds and the City are announcing a deal this afternoon. Thanks to the Nashville Post, we have the agreement in hand already.
This is really getting old.
I still have huge reservations about this deal as it is laid out in this document. The Preds can leave after just 3 years if they lose $20mil during that time ($6.6mil a year) and attendance is under 14,000 per game (the statement doesn't specify if that is 14,000 average over all three years, or if they average under 14,000 for any time during those 3 years...or just during the last year). There is also a stipulation that the city will be paid back all of the many concessions and incentives they are paying the team if the team does leave.
So if you want to keep the Preds here past 3 years, it still comes down to attendance. Normally i would say that with this new, energized ownership group (and hopefully firing Steve Violetta) hitting attendance marks will be easy. But my faith that this ownership group is really going to be a knight in shining armor and be much better than Leipold are starting to waiver. It really won't take much to get attendance up. I just overheard more co-workers talking and one mentioned the Preds game tomorrow night - the other responded with "they're playing again, didn't their season just end. I'll have to go to a game". Much work to do, but so much of it is so easy. We'll see if the ownership group chooses to invest in those simple efforts, or let the team languish...
The most troubling element of this to me is that it takes a 30 year lease (with 20 years left on it) that would keep the team here as long as they hit 14,000 attendance at least once every 3 years and turns it into a lease that allows them to leave after 5 years - regardless of attendance - and allows them to leave after (theoretically) only one year of under 14,000 attendance.
Had any owner stepped up and supported the team with any marketing campaign, the team would have to stay. They could lose money and be on the salary floor every year, but they would have to stay as long as tickets were bough. Under the new agreement, they can leave after only 5 more years, potentially after 3.
(Conspiracy theories in 3...2...1...) I'm begining to wonder if the new "ownership" group didn't get in over their heads, get taken over by outside interest, who then worked a deal with politicians on the inside to make it look like they were saving the team, and in reality are moving it after 5 years (roughly the amount of time it will take to get an NHL caliber arena built in any city that doesn't have one...like...Hamilton, Ontario). Man i hope i'm wrong. I really really do.
I'm just glad the team on the ice has things turned around. This could turn out to be a very good year.