Nashville’s future in doubt after sale

Associated Press

Leipold patiently worked to build an NHL franchise and turned the Nashville
Predators into one of the league’s best teams. If they win a Stanley Cup, it
won’t be with him.

confirmed Thursday he has signed a letter of intent to sell the franchise to
Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie for $220 million after losing $70 million in
10 years of ownership.

tired of losing money,” Leipold said.

is co-CEO of Blackberry makers Research in Motion Ltd.

The sale
must be approved by the NHL’s Board of Governors.

has owned the team since paying most of the $80 million for the franchise
awarded in June 1997, the first team of the NHL’s last expansion phase.

But he
decided to sell after losing $15 million this season on top of $12 million last
season. The Predators finished third in the league standings this season with a
franchise-record 110 points but averaged just 13,815 in paid attendance.

have come to the conclusion that I cannot make it work here,” Leipold

are one of the elite teams in this league, and we are by far the lowest-revenue
team in the league.”

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