After failing to buy the Pittsburgh Penguins from Mario Lemieux earlier in the NHL season, Blackberry mogul Jim Balsille has reportedly put an agreement in place to buy Music City's Predators.
Balsille went after Pittsburgh and a deal like this was almost done, until Balsille backed away the last minute, he eventually came crawling back but Mario coldly said "no", and his franchise then faced relocation.
Luckily for the Pens, the city was able to make a deal in time with Lemieux and co. for a new building, that would move them out of the oldie that is Mellon Arena.
Balsille, according to a Nashville news publication, has indeed bought the Predators, and he very well may have bought a failing franchise.
The Preds have had a tough time attracting fans consistently, and many have toyed with the idea of relocation; their fan problem is also mainly due to the fact that Gaylord Entertainment Centre, isn't exactly your natural hockey arena, and has a surplus of seats for other events like soccer, arena hockey, lacrosse.
Balsille pulled a whopping $220 million out of his pocket to buy his first NHL franchise.
There is a way out, however.
Because average game attendance for the season recently ended was below 14,000, the team has 60 days from its final hockey game to exercise an exit clause.
That move, which would have to happen by mid-June, would trigger a one-year cure period in which the city must bring ticket sales up to 14,000 per game. Otherwise, after the year, the team could leave.
That is very, very interesting.
And what make this even all more intriguing, is the fact Balsille is rumoured to be buying land and it speculated he will build an arena for his Predators there.
One of the guys from the sports desk who is from the area says where the land was purchased is "a stones throw from the 401 ... probably about 1 hour and 10 minutes from downtown Toronto." -Mirtle