Former Tennessee governor buying majority share of Predators

Jun 17, 2022, 1:51 AM | Updated: 1:52 pm
FILE - Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam speaks during a press conference in Nashville, Tenn., on Nov. 13,...

FILE - Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam speaks during a press conference in Nashville, Tenn., on Nov. 13, 2018. The former Tennessee governor is buying out the majority owner's shares in the Nashville Predators NHL hockey club, in what the team calls a "multi-phased purchase transaction" over the next few yearsm that will make him the team's majority owner. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The chairman of the Nashville Predators has agreed to sell the majority of his stake in the NHL team to former Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam.

The Predators announced the agreement Friday. No details of the purchase price were disclosed for a franchise valued recently at $680 million by Sportico.

Haslam, whose brother Jimmy owns the NFL’s Cleveland Browns and the MLS’ Columbus Crew, will buy majority of Nashville chairman Herb Fritch’s share in what the Predators described as a “multi-phased purchase transaction” that will make Haslam the team’s majority owner.

“From the time our ownership group, made up of day one season ticket holders, gathered together in 2007 to purchase and guarantee the franchise’s future in Nashville, the goal has been to ensure that stewardship of the team is in strong local hands,” said Sean Henry, president and chief executive officer of the Predators and Bridgestone Arena.

Henry said adding Haslam to the ownership group solidifies local stewardship of the team for years to come. Forbes estimated Haslam is worth approximately $2.3 billion.

“We are excited and appreciative that he has agreed to join the ownership team,” Henry said.

The final paperwork is being drawn up. The sale still must be approved by rest of the Predators’ organization, which includes 16 co-owners, and also the NHL. First elected as Tennessee’s governor in 2010, Haslam will become a minority owner within the next few months and gradually become the majority owner over “the next few years, according to the team’s statement.

Fritch took over as chairman of the Predators in January 2019. He has been a member of the Predators Holdings LLC that bought the team and the management group that runs the arena in December 2007 from original owner Craig Leipold, who bought the Minnesota Wild a year later.

The local ownership group kept the franchise in Nashville after Leipold tried to sell the team to Jim Balsillie in May 2007. That sale fell through when Balsillie, the co-CEO of Blackberry makers Research in Motion Ltd., started taking season-ticket deposits in Hamilton, Ontario, after telling NHL commissioner Gary Bettman he didn’t intend to move the team.


More AP NHL: and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]
25 days ago
Joe Jarzynka...
Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]
25 days ago
FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...
Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]
25 days ago
Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...
Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]
25 days ago
FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...
Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]
25 days ago
FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...
Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]
25 days ago
Former Tennessee governor buying majority share of Predators