The infamous end-of-the-week news dump in the sports business world is here. ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski is reporting today that the Nashville Predators are expected to be sold to former Tennessee governor Bill Haslam “over a period of years,” from the current majority owners of Predators Holdings, LLC.
Nashville has been sold once before. Original owner Craig Leipold sold the team to Predators Holdings, a consortium of owners, in 2007.
Haslam will become the majority owner of Nashville after serving as the state’s governor from 2011 to 2019. Haslam’s brother, Jimmy Haslam, is the owner of the NFL’s Cleveland Browns.
The majority ownership of the Predators is expected to be converted to Haslam in the next three years, reports Wyshynski. He’ll be purchasing shares over time from Herbert Fritch, the current lead owner of Predators Holdings.
While ownership changes in non-traditional markets usually raise some eyebrows around the league, it’s safe to assume that Nashville is safe from relocation. With a strong track record of playoff success in recent years and a passionate fanbase, it seems to be business news only.