Bill Haslam, a former governor of Tennessee, will be the new owner for the NHL's.An NHL source told ESPN that the NHL has been in existence for “a number of years.”
Sporitco reports that Haslam's brother Jimmy is the owner of the NFL's Cleveland Browns and was close to signing a deal for the purchase of the Predators. Herbert Fritch is the current owner of the franchise, but there are 17 other owners.
Bill Daly, NHL deputy commissioner, said that the sale was being “discussed generally, but not specifically” at Thursday’s Board of Governors meeting.
According to an NHL source Haslam will not take over the team any time soon. He will instead gradually buy shares from Fritch over three years to become the group’s chief owner. Haslam shares are not planned for sale by minority owners.
Talks between Fritch and Haslam began many months ago. Haslam, a Republican was governor of Tennessee between 2011 and 2019.
Forbes reports that Haslam's net worth is $2.3 billion, while the Predators are valued as $600 million. One attractive aspect of the franchise? The team owns Bridgestone Arena and shares the revenue generated by other events. Sportico reports Bridgestone was America's sixth-highest-grossing arena in 2019.
As the Predators achieved greater success on the ice and gained more fans, their fan base has increased. Nashville was second in home attendance at 95.4% this season, behind only the Atlanta Hawks.. Their “Smashville”, marketing hook has brought in a new generation, while the team tried to position itself as a regional Southern franchise by marketing to Alabama and other places to gain new supporters.
Craig Leipold, the founder of Nashville, was the league's first owner. In 2007, he sold the team to a group of other owners.