Nashville Sports Authority Approves Predators' New Lease Agreement For Bridgestone Arena
The Nashville Sports Authority Friday "unanimously approved" the terms of a new Bridgestone Arena lease deal struck between the Predators and Mayor Karl Dean, according to Nate Rau of the Nashville TENNESSEAN. Dean's administration "trimmed the guaranteed dollars going to the team in favor of an incentive-laden deal that encourages the Predators to book as many concerts, basketball games and circuses at the arena as possible." The deal also includes "higher ticket surcharges for consumers at Bridgestone Arena to help pay for improvements, such as new seats." Under the previous arena deal, the city "paid $7.8 million this fiscal year." Under the new deal, the city's obligation "shrinks to $6.1 million, with an extra $2.3 million in state sales tax dollars from non-hockey events coming to the city to be directed to the Predators." In addition to the subsidies and incentives, the Sports Authority "approved a new seat user charge, which will add a fee of 5 percent of the ticket cost up to $2 onto every ticket." The charge will "generate an estimated $1.5 million annually, which will be used for upgrades such as new seats and a renovated south entrance to the building." There is already a $1.75 "ticket surcharge for hockey games and a $2 surcharge for other events." That means the ticket charge "will rise to $3.75 for hockey games and $4 for all other events." The Predators are able to "sever the agreement if they can demonstrate an aggregate net loss of $10 million over three consecutive years" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 6/30).