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…
Back in November, around the quarter-mark of the NHL regular season, I wrote a piece looking at Expected Winning Percentages for each team, based on their Goals For/Goals Against ratio, using the PythagenPuck method as outlined in Alan Ryder's "Win Probabilities" article over at Hockey Analytics. Since we're approaching the end of the campaign, I thought it worth revisiting the two assertions I made back in November - that the Ottawa Senators were capable of getting back into the playoff race, and that the Boston Bruins were in danger of a freefall to the bottom of the standings.
Just to review, the basic idea behind win probability models like PythagenPuck is that over the course of a season, the Goals For and Goals Against numbers can be used to derive a team's winning percentage, within a a surprisingly narrow margin of error. For instance, if you only had GF/GA information, you could make a very good stab at projecting what the standings would look like. The w…