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The Tennessean finally sees the other side

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Having posted a number of different stories on the same subject since last Thursday, the Tennessean finally produced a somewhat balanced look at David Freeman's proposed changes to the Sommet Center lease, which are critical to the group's chances of buying the Predators.

The meat of the piece is right here:

Freeman said his group is seeking three significant changes from the status quo:

• About $3 million from the city that would be used to help minimize past losses.

• Full responsibility for incentives to improve the financial performance of the arena.

• A guarantee from the city of an average 14,000 in paid attendance per game each season so the club does not lose its substantial NHL revenue-sharing rights, in exchange for eliminating any right for the team to ever leave Nashville.

For those who believe Freeman is trying to spring some kind of last-minute, moneymaking scheme on the city, it's worth noting that his group — and not the city — has insisted on including provisions in a new lease that would:

• Forbid new ownership to raise ticket prices above the league average.

• Require new ownership to maintain a team payroll at least $5 million above the league's salary floor if paid attendance averages 16,000 per game.

• Require new ownership to donate all excess positive cash flow up to its $3 million request back to organizations in the Middle Tennessee community.


It's too bad these details weren't included in Friday's article about this process, which got picked up off the wire and run across North America in an especially negative light.