There has been a tidal wave of stories in the MSM and blogosphere proclaiming the end of the local ownership bid to purchase the Nashville Predators in the face of political opposition, but Richard Lawson of the Nashville Post puts forth a detailed report this afternoon that gets right to the point:
"Is the situation dire? No. Don't be surprised if a deal is announced today or tomorrow. New Mayor Karl Dean and the investors have been going full steam behind closed doors for the past few days."
What happened earlier this week was that the mayor's office rejected the proposal that landed on their desk over the weekend from the Freeman group. As a newly elected official who only took office on September 21st, there was no way he was going to simply read that proposal and respond with a "this looks great! Where do I sign?" Politically, he has to go through the back-and-forth process and extract some value for the city of Nashville before reaching an agreement. On the opposite end, Freeman felt obligated to make a public statement that said this really is a do-or-die deal, underlining the seriousness of their stance. But as Lawson details in his article, there are plenty of minor portions of the lease that leave room for negotiation.
It's been a frustrating week watching these stories make the rounds, and I would have liked to comment directly within many of the blog pieces out there (Mirtle, Jes Golbez, Tom Benjamin, Chuqui, et al) but my workplace has a pretty strict web filter that prevents commenting on most blogs.
I just hope we get a positive declaration on all this prior to tomorrow night's opener at the Sommet Center. That would truly be something worth cheering about...
UPDATE: The Tennessean gets into some of the capital improvments that the Freeman group is asking for.
To kick off this series of articles general sports-blogging articles here at OTF Classic, I think it's best to start with a comment that Brad left here last week, after I shared my goals for 2012, which include specific revenue targets: I considered diving into the world of internet marketing myself, but I felt that my friends would hate me for bugging them about stuff. I mean, it's pretty low-risk high-reward, so it's tempting. I wouldn't mind reading about tips on how to maximize impact of blogging in general to make it a legitimate income source.
Trying to make money at sports blogging can be a very touchy subject - for the vast majority of us, this is an activity we pursue to both exercise our creativity and share our love of the game, whether it's hockey, football, badminton, whatever, with fellow fans. Mixing that personal conversation with a commercial message can turn people off, especially if it becomes too intrusive for the reader.
A tireless refrain from the Canadian media is that Nashville is an absolute failure as a hockey market, and failing to move the team north of the border is an exercise in folly by the NHL.
Our latest exhibit comes from James Mirtle, usually one of the more thoughtful hockey bloggers extant: But Nashville, quite simply, has proven it cannot sustain an NHL hockey team. Even with the lowest ticket prices in the entire league (I know: I've looked into flying there for a game or two) and a ridiculously forgiving arena lease, the team has had attendance issues despite having one of the best records in the league.
It's not a matter of Canadians not wanting teams in the southern U.S.; I've argued time and again in favour of teams like Dallas and Tampa Bay that have supported their teams and really brought something to the table in terms of bringing news fans and new energy to the game. That's a good thing.
The Predators, however, are not that, not in the beginning and certainly no…
While working on a piece about the 10th anniversary of the great Colorado/Detroit game at Joe Louis Arena, I caught myself reflecting on some of the great games I've had the fortune of seeing in Detroit during the 1990's, through a variety of means. Then another thing came to mind - when I'm in attendance, the Red Wings win. I'm on a huge personal winning streak here, so perhaps the Red Wings front office would want to bolster their chances during the upcoming playoffs and make sure I'm in the house for those critical games? I can make myself available...
June 4, 1995: Detroit takes Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals from Chicago, 3-2 (although the Hawks put one of the goalpost as the final horn sounds). Wow, has it been that long since the Blackhawks achieved anything? Ticket courtesy of a college buddy who had a spare.
October 13, 1995: The Wings pummel the Edmonton Oilers in their home opener, 9-0. After the painful Finals sweep against New Jersey the…