As an update to this morning's story about the Nashville Predators possibly underpaying the ticket tax that they provide to the Nashville Metro government, the Tennessean reports this afternoon that the discrepancy is due to a mistake made in the approved version of the Sommet Center lease. This admission comes from Larry Thrailkill, the lawyer who represented the city in the negotiations.
Under the terms of the old lease the team could pay 5 percent of the ticket price or a $1.75 – whichever was less. In an e-mail this afternoon to The Tennessean, Thrailkill said the lawyers had meant for the language in the new lease to include the 5 percent but it was omitted. It was the document that the Metro Council approved last year. Thrailkill said the language needed to be corrected.
"Due to a mutual misunderstanding by the lawyers, the Amended and Restated documents omitted the 5% language," Thrailkill said. "You have identified this mistake in the drafting and it should be addressed and corrected; however, the parties have charged, collected and paid the seat use charge consistent with the intentions of the parties to the negotiation and the term sheet."
In other words... "oops!" It appears that the team is indeed paying what it is supposed to. Is Tennessean reporter Brad Schrade still pushing the "pro sports team screwing the city" angle, however?
In a remarkable admission, Metro’s chief negotiator in the Nashville Predators deal said today that he and the team’s lawyers with Waller Landsen Dortch and Davis, who all drafted and reviewed the team’s renegotiated lease with Metro for use of the Sommet Center, messed up.
And the taxpayers of Davidson County may be poorer for it.
The statement from Thrailkill says that everything is working as intended, just that the document needs to be fixed. it turns out that the $400,000 that Schrade thought he had found the city was never out there, but it seems like he's trying to beat that drum anyway.