The Nashville Predators will soon have a new owner. Bill Haslam, who served as the Tennessee governor from 2011 to 2019, is taking steps to purchase the majority stake in the organization’s ownership group, purchasing his stake from current chairman Herb Fritch.
According to the Nashville Predators’ website, Haslam will soon become a minority owner, as part of a multi-phased transaction, which will end with Haslam ultimately becoming the club’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,” Sean Henry, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Predators and Bridgestone Arena, says. “The pending addition of Governor Haslam to the ownership group solidifies that local stewardship for years to come, with the shared philosophy for making SMASHVILLE the most unique sports market in our league and country as our players and coaches compete for the Stanley Cup each season. We are excited and appreciative that he has agreed to join the ownership team.”
Sportico first reported the pending deal between Haslam and the Predators, saying the deal would be finalized “within the next few years, through a multi-phased purchase transaction.”
“Discussions have proceeded smoothly, and definitive documents are being drafted,” the team told the outlet.
.According to The Tennessean, Forbes recently reported that Haslam has a net worth of more than $2 billion. Haslam’s father, Jim, founded Pilot Corporation, which Haslam ran with his brother Jim in the 1990. Jim is currently the owner of the Cleveland Browns
The Predators have made the playoffs in 15 of the last 18 seasons. They had an unsuccessful bid for the Stanley Cup in 2017, when they were defeated by the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Sportico listed the Predators’ value at $680 million, significantly less than the average NHL team, which is worth $934 million.