First, just wanted to point out this article from the Tennessean about the Predators gearing up for off-season moves and signings. I'll talk much more about this in my upcoming post about player/personnel, and we've already talked about it some on previous post (check the comments)
Important thing to note in this article is the following quote from team Chairman David Freeman:
“I will be shocked if the Nashville Predators don’t have the biggest increase in payroll — both percentage-wise and in sheer dollars — of any team in the NHL,’’ said David Freeman, who heads the team’s ownership group.Second, good news that the Preds aren't planning on raising ticket prices very much this year at all. 1% - 8% max (depending on the seat), which is nothing compared to the 7.25% - 41.7% increases we saw last year. Yay!
“There’s always been that chicken-and-egg question about who should go first: Should the team increase its payroll and then hope fans and sponsors follow suit? Or should the fans and sponsors put up the money, and then the team will spend the money? We are very clearly saying we’re taking the lead. We’re spending the money first.’’
Last, but not least, I wanted to post the email that was sent out from Ed Lang ( Predators President of Business Operations) to all season ticketholders. In addition to the text messages and other thank you's that we've received, this not in particular was really nice to get. Not overly dramatic or "rah-rah team", but what (to me anyway) comes across as a sincere thanks to the fans for supporting the team - and asking them to do what is needed most - spread the word. He doesn't ask for us to buy a bigger ticket package, sponsor the team, buy merchandise, or spend more money - just get the word out to your friends.
I think the team and management was genuinely surprised at just how the fans reacted at the end of the season. When i heard Trotz interviewed on the radio a few days ago (after the end of the season), he said that he and the coaches and players really felt like next year would be exciting and that "Now we feel like we really have something to play for. We aren't just playing for ourselves, but for all the fans and the city of Nashville". Let's just hope that small group of insanely passionate fans can continue to grow (again...that's another post to come soon).
Here's the letter:
Dear Season Ticketholder,
The 2007-08 Predators season was filled with many memories. You likely have the Sommet Center memories of last-minute game saving stops by Dan Ellis and Chris Mason or overtime goals by Martin Erat, Alexander Radulov or Shea Weber as well as the thrilling playoff wins over Detroit.
But the memories for those of us within the Predators' organization, from ownership and staff to players and coaches were those unbelievably loud and lengthy ovations of support and encouragement to the team that began in the regular season finale and continued in the playoffs.
Those are memories we treasure and illustrate exactly why local ownership stepped up to purchase the franchise, why the players and coaches have pledged their commitment to Nashville and why we have the best fans in professional sports. We offer a heartfelt thank you for your continued support and overwhelming passion. None of what has transpired over the last 10 months would have been possible without your commitment!
As we begin building towards the 2008-09 season, we hope you will share some of your memories with family, friends and business colleagues with the hope that even more of middle Tennessee residents will join Nashville's Team!
Thank you for a great season of support and memories!
President, Business Operations