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"Trust me on this one."
Los Angeles, CA • 26 Years Old • Male
Let me preface this by saying I don't mean any ill will towards people in Canada who actually love and research the league and its "goings-on", I'm speaking to "Generic Canada Fan":

We understand that you don't like the Predators in Nashville. We understand you think you know the situation we have brewing down here. We understand you think no one else deserves your sport, and God forbid, we understand you don't think a non-traditional market should actually have a good team. We know this is why you'd love nothing more than to see us fail miserably and love seeing our front office hang in limbo. We also know that you only know half of the story. Truth be told, unless you're a real hockey insider, live within a very tight milage radius of Nashville, or get your information FROM Nashville, you really have no idea what's going on. I feel the need to clear up a few things, beginning with the most important fact.

If the paid attendance in Nashville averages 14,000, we aren't going anywhere. Plain and simple. It doesn't matter what everyone outside of Nashville wants, that is the bottom line and don't think people in Nashville don't know this.

Myth #1 - The Preds are moving to Canada

False. It is possible that the team will somehow move to Canada, but it's very unlikely. Jim Balsillie has made billions and billions of dollars. How he's managed to do this with his seemingly hollow, brainless skull is beyond me. He's clearly smart in the business world, but when it comes to being a prospective NHL owner, he shows about as much mental capacity as our same-city "friend" Pacman Jones when he decides to go to another strip club. He blew is shot in Pittsburgh and he's in the process (if he hasn't finished it already) of blowing it in Nashville. Leipold was willing to sell this financially-struggling team for around $230 million, an amazing offer, but declined. I doubt that has anything to do with Balsillie's "I don't intend to move the team but I'm going to take deposits for a hypothetical team in Hamilton for the next year" plan, but what do I know? We won't even take into account he probably used the trademarked Predators name without any legal permission for the "deposits". Oh, and pissing off Bettman and the owners around the league probably wasn't too bright when trying to get the support of those same people.

Myth #2 - The Preds are moving to Kansas City

I guess you can't really have this situation without del Biaggio as the new owner, which obviously hasn't happened quite yet. He has stated in the past that he would be interested in getting an expansion team in Kansas City, but the same rules for Hamilton apply here. The move would have to be approved by Bettman and the owners, and although KC has a very attractive arena offer, it just doesn't seem likely that the league would expand to another unproven (other than the miserable stay in the 70s) market right as Nashville is failing.

Myth #3 - Nashville fans don't support hockey

False. Fan/individual season ticket sales (as opposed to corporate) are higher in Nashville than any city in the league. The normal percentage for a city is about 40/60 percent fan/business in ticket sales, where as in Nashville the ratio is about 70/30. If Nashville is a fan-less hockey purgatory, why is there be uproar about a potential move out of town? Why do Preds fans quickly come to the defense of their team anytime the lack of "fan interest" is brought into question? Why are ticket sales for next season up roughly 30 percent? (at last check) If you want to knock Nashville as a hockey town, use your words wisely (as if anyone cares). Even though people just glance at the attendance every night and choose to act as if they know what they're talking about,our fans are in the arena every night in large numbers. An area can't build a generation of hockey tradition in nine years. Tampa Bay was a virtual ghost town many nights several years ago in the mid to late 90s, now things are fine there. Oh and Florida is still a ghost town right now. (Maybe not always, but, reference: early February game against Washington) Give us, or more importantly, give our corporations in the area time to get on board. Then this won't even be an issue and you can turn your anti-Southern hatred towards Atlanta, Florida, or Phoenix. Take a look around this website and notice how many Preds bloggers there are compared to our coounterparts from, say, Phoenix, Florida, Carolina, and so on. Not to slam each's fans, I'm just saying if you really take a look around, you'll see we have a lot of fans just like a normal team, and our rep is suffering tremendously.

As a local columnist in Nashville recently stated: "Say what you want about Nashvillians, but once our backs are against the wall, we come out swinging." Swing we will, starting with a huge ticket-selling rally next week at the Sommet Center. Underground fan movements to boycott businesses who don't support the Preds are under way. We control our own destiny right now, which is a beautiful thing. The city is coming together. Even some people who don't like hockey are buying tickets just so a Nashville team won't be taken over and moved against our will. Our backs are against the wall, and this is us coming out swinging.
Filed Under:   predators   balsillie   leipold   hamilton   nashville  
July 10, 2007 11:01 AM ET | Delete
When did Nashville get a team?
July 10, 2007 11:09 AM ET | Delete
It's not that we don't want a team in Nashville. It's the perception that we are not going to be allowed another team in Canada, even if it can be supported. If Nashville stays where it is, Florida will probably move, though they would go to Vegas or KC. Bettman does not want more than six Canadian teams. It baffles me. I can't see baseball or football ever saying, "We don't want another team in the US."
July 10, 2007 11:27 AM ET | Delete
Well said! While Nashville will NEVER be looked at as a 'hockey-town' I hope that one day we will earn the respect of our neighbors to the north as a group of fans who know and love the game. If we never earn the respect...thats okay too because we know the kind of fans we have here.
July 10, 2007 12:12 PM ET | Delete
July 10, 2007 1:58 PM ET | Delete
Hi PredNation,What is this blog BARKING about? What is your definition of "Generic Canada Fan"; that doesnt make sense. I'm a Canadian and I've been watching hockey ever since I could see. A) I dont care where the Predators play. B) I know the "situation" that is brewing down there (remember Winnipeg or Quebec). C) You don't understand "us" at all. D) The Predators have already failed miserably (with the season they just had - and the low attendance) E) The average attendance was BELOW 14,000 in Nashville. F) The Predators are definately going to move. G) Balsillie invented the Blackberry (do you know what that is?) Face the music PredNation - pack your bags.
July 10, 2007 2:38 PM ET | Delete
Hey PredNation,From Winnipeg, now living in Calgary, so I understand where you're coming from... I remember the rallies in Wpg to keep the Jets, etc. etc. I love living in a strong hockey market (not that Winnipeg wasn't - it was just a bit small, and the old barn couldn't handle rising salaries).Like Jeff09 said above - and Gawd help me for agreeing with a Leafs fan - but we could care less where you are. And we don't think hockey only belongs to us (although we DO like to think we're the best at it). If you're hockey fans, prove it. Buy the tickets. If you're given a ticket gratis, then take the time, drive to the arena, and sit in the damned seats. Want me to think you're a hockey market? Fill the barn, and stop giving me the '14,000' mantra.Best of luck. In the end, I hope you keep your team. In my opinion, you've got an uphill battle.
July 10, 2007 3:26 PM ET | Delete
The differences between those cities with low attendance in non-hockey markets is that they win. Toronto is such a great example, and so is Philadelphia. It doesn't matter how bad they play, or how many years it's been since they've won -- we can fill an arena to the capacity. If you don't react (in Toronto anyway) within hours of tickets going on sale, you aint getting them. You either buy on eBay or pay through the roof at the door from some guy in a trench coat. Nashville can't GIVE tickets away. And if they do, the people don't come to the arena anyway. Boycotting your local Wal Mart and Home Depot because they refuse to support a sports franchise should be proof that the city never cared about the team until the possibility of them moving out slapped them in the face. Nashville produced one of the best teams in the NHL last season, hell for a while they WERE the best. Forsberg even agreed to be traded there. Players wanted to be a part of it. Then you get someone who KNOWS hockey, wants to buy the team because the current owner is loosing money in tens of millions and publicly stated it. Why would Balsillie want to keep a team in a city that a) majority of it couldn't care less about it b) can't even give tickets away, never mind local businesses buying tickets? The owner cleaned house of major important players because of the money lost. The GM looks and probably feels like a complete ass, because he can't sign players he wants to, never mind even find players who WANT to be there. Balsillie proved an NHL team could live in Hamilton. Hamilton IS a city for hockey -- it was just proven by winning the Calder Cup. Why would you NOT consider moving a team to Canada, in a city like Hamilton where it is already proven to sell. The Canadian dollar is a mere 5 cents off the American dollar. There is NO excuse for more Canadian teams. And I'm just curious, when teams LIKE Toronto, Pittsburgh or even Washinton come into town can you get over 15,000? Even the Toronto Blue Jays can get 50,000 when the Yanks or Sox come into town -- in a non MLB market.
July 10, 2007 4:32 PM ET | Delete
detn8r, I have some questions. But first I would like to make one thing clear. I HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH MORE TEAMS IN CANADA! I think most Nashville fans feel the same. (Or at least they used to) On to the questions:1. How can you compare an expansion franchise with 9 seasons under their belt to the likes of Toronto and Philly? This makes no sense.2. Have you ever been to a game in Nashville? Clearly not. You act like there are crickets chirping and tumbleweeds blowing across the ice. Its actually generally a great crowd and an exciting atmosphere.3. Why would you use the Calder Cup as a reason why Hamilton is a hockey town? Once again, I'm all for more Canadian teams, but that seems like a strange point to make given that the Bulldogs had attendance problems.4. Did you bother to do any research on the attendance? If so, you would have seen that we do indeed draw well for big games. It was the early season and the mid week (6th game against Columbus) games that dragged the average down. There were several sellouts. Though I don't know why you would think that Toronto would draw well here. They are a mid level team with no natural rivalry(until recently) with Nashville.5. Lastly, why would Poile feel like an ass? He has built a very good hockey team while staying near the cap floor. If any GM should feel like an ass, it would be the Leafs' GM. He doesn't have those restrictions, but can't ice a very competetive team.I look forward to your responses.
July 10, 2007 4:32 PM ET | Delete
Jeff: "generic Canada fan" is something you clearly are not. I meant as somebody who just reads headlines and jumps on the "Oh, Nashville needs to leave because uh....well because Nashville sucks" bandwagon. And Lav, while I appreciate you knowing where I'm coming from, go yell at the businesses, not the fans. I clearly stated that the fans aren't the problem here. Fans in Nashville sit in the seats, buy the tickets, and make our arena the most entertaining 13,800 you'll ever see. Of course, fans only buy cheap seats, and with no corporate support, we get to where we are today.
July 10, 2007 4:39 PM ET | Delete
hasta la vista - Nashville
July 10, 2007 4:55 PM ET | Delete
By the way Jeff, when you say you do know the situation here because you remember Winnipeg and Quebec, that doesn't really support your theory because our situation is really nothing like theirs.
July 10, 2007 5:48 PM ET | Delete
Hey Pred, hang tough man - yer takin' a lot of heat from Leaf nation... Great blog from a younger fella... Anyway, my point isn't that Preditor fans are any less rabid than other fans around the league... but are there enough of them? I'm all happy to bash business for not supporting the team, but businesses are run by people too... people who AREN'T jumping over themselves to support the team and buy tickets, at least, not without a gun (losing the team) to their collective heads. By the sounds of it, there's now a local business group interested in buying the team. Best of luck with that, and like I implied, I'm all prepared to say hockey can work in Nashville... but I gotta 'see it, to believe it'.
July 10, 2007 5:50 PM ET | Delete
I think I made the best point... What do I win?
July 10, 2007 6:00 PM ET | Delete
Well Lav I'll thank you for the support and relative understanding, but as for me, I'm now off to a Save the Preds benefit auction/concert, organized 100% by the fans. Good to see these things happening.
July 10, 2007 6:17 PM ET | Delete
Hey Pred...Don't worry, I'm not gonna bash this blog entry, but I think you have mis-conception of what the "general canadian fans" think about the whole issue in Nashville. It's not so much about the fact that it's a small market, or that we don't want them to succeed. Hell, most of us are tired to see franchises moving because it's bad for the league in general. However, we do question Mr.Bettman's "strategy" for lack of better words.We just don't understand why he's interferring in these transactions (Nashville, Pittsburgh) because the new owner could possibly move them to Canada, yet he would have no problem moving them to Kansas City, Las Vegas or Seattle. It's also pretty hard to swallow for us, canadian fans, to see how Bettman gets involved inthere, when he did nothing to save the franchises in Winnipeg and Quebec...not even trying to keep them somewhere in Canada.
July 10, 2007 6:34 PM ET | Delete
I'll trade you the Blue Jays for the Preds. Win win.
July 10, 2007 6:34 PM ET | Delete
I'll trade you the Blue Jays for the Preds. Win win.
July 10, 2007 6:45 PM ET | Delete
Again, when the heck did Nashville get a team? Are the California Seals still around as well?
July 10, 2007 11:29 PM ET | Delete
I've been in both arenas and Nashville's arena is much louder and much more exciting then Toronto's arenaNashville can support a team without a questionPrednation6 is right btw, about 25% of Canadian fans really dont know whats going on down there and until they do, STFU
July 10, 2007 11:31 PM ET | Delete
actually more like 75%
July 10, 2007 11:31 PM ET | Delete
actually more like 75%, maybe more
July 11, 2007 5:08 AM ET | Delete
Nashville's arena is "much louder" and "more exciting" then Toronto's, because a very large portion of the crowd in the Air-Canada Centre are not passionate season-ticket holding fans, it's people from corporate enterprises who acquire tickets and hand them down through the company. I think it's hilarious if you're implying that Nashville is more passionate about hockey then Toronto is, because the Maple-Leafs out-draw and out-rate the local NBA and MLB team by a large margin. Something Nashville couldn't do. To be perfectly honest, the NHL is in better shape as a whole if Nashville is moved, and seeing as how I'm very apathetic to a city that hasn't supported it's team enough to keep them, I'm for them moving to a city that will increase the team, and the NHL's, value.
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