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SBD/July 26, 2012/Franchises
Predators Take "Big Financial Gamble" In Matching Weber's $110M Offer Sheet
Published July 26, 2012
MESSAGE SENT: YAHOO SPORTS’ Nicholas Cotsonika wrote the Predators “had no choice, and they knew it.” The team “had to match the massive offer sheet.” This was about the “credibility and identity of the franchise.” Predators GM David Poile had previously said that the team would “match any offer sheet Weber received." The team has been "fighting to prove Nashville, under new ownership, is no longer a small-market team just trying to survive.” The Predators “wanted to send a strong message to their fans, sponsors and marketing partners” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 7/25). SI.com’s Allan Muir asked, "What choice did the Preds have?” After losing Suter, the franchise "was at the crossroads of credibility and irrelevance” (SI.com, 7/24). ESPN.com’s Scott Burnside wrote the Predators’ decision to “ante up ... speaks volumes, not just about the team they are but also about the team they want to be” (ESPN.com, 7/24).
THINK OF THE CHILDREN! In Nashville, Josh Cooper noted the city has “just four sheets of ice for growing youth and adult ice hockey programs, the fewest among NHL Sun Belt markets.” However, the Predators have “started the process of increasing the number of ice sheets.” The first step was “their new lease, which was finalized earlier this summer.” The deal includes a “promise from the city for a new youth hockey rink, which also could become a practice facility for the Predators” (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 7/23).