Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Predators Get Predatory

It's amazing to me that the [Nashville Predators Hockey Franchise] would talk about Metro's lack of support for the [GEC] when, in fact, taxpayers have spent large sums of money on that facility, and the mayor has just recommended $7.8 million [in his proposed 2006-07 Metro budget] to address virtually every issue that they have requested be addressed.

- - Metro Finance Director David Manning to the Nashville City Paper

As a big "thank you" to Nashvillians for their support of the team, the Nashville Predators are demanding $1 million from the city in what seems to have become a petty bicker. What makes it so petty is that, as Manning points out, Mayor Bill Purcell has budgeted (pending Council approval) the money for their precious new scoreboard and other upgrades that seemed to be in question for awhile; and I thought that they should still be in question. The Preds' panties are in a wad it seems because Council member and Vice Mayor candidate David Briley asked an honest question: should the city support the upgrades if the Predators are not fulfilling their end of the contract to provide the city with a baseline figure of "tangible assets"? The local hockey syndicate needs to unhitch those garters. The mayor is with them, and stirring the pot by demanding more money because their pride was hurt by Briley will only turn popular sentiment against them. They now seem like ingrates, intent on merkin' the city. If they keep acting like this, we're going to have to stop permitting Buck Dozier to shirk his council duties in order "to support them a bit."

In the final analysis, it is not clear to me why the Preds are so ungrateful. Professional sport is not the most lucrative business. This hockey team has a deal in which they assume little risk, because Nashville is footing so much. Nashvillians are the ones assuming most of the risk for the financial success or failure of the Preds off the ice. You would think that might cause the Preds to pause and stick-check their own pride before demanding so much more.

1 comment:

  1. i'll defend the preds. they could sell for $150 million, have $48 million in player salary, and continue to minimize the operational losses every year (putting them closer and closer to parentheses free numbers on the financials).

    all of that and metro's gonna say they're not holding up to their end of the deal with tangible net worth?