Council looks to sift through Preds’ deal unintended consequences

Thursday, April 10, 2008 at 3:02am

As Metro Council members consider the new Sommet Center lease agreement between the Nashville Predators and Mayor Karl Dean, the notion of unintended consequences has been raised more than once.

Metro Council likely will vote on a resolution to approve the lease amendments at its April 15 meeting.

In advance of that vote, one possible unintended consequence of the deal has already been discovered — the use of Metro’s Hotel Motel Tax (HMT) to fund the Sommet Center subsidy.

Already, Dean has offered an increase in the Sommet Center subsidy drawn from the HMT to $7.4 million. It comes in a year when a handful of other groups drawing on the HMT — including the Adventure Science Center, the Arts Commission, the Nashville Sports Council and the Country Music Hall of Fame — have seen reduction in their funds.

And it comes in advance of a proposed new $635 million Convention Center that will use the HMT as a critical funding tool. For this fiscal year, the Convention Center subsidy is just $800,000 because the bonds for the current facility are already paid in full.

If and when a new Convention Center is approved by Council, city officials say a decision will have to be made as to how to fund both the Sommet Center and the Convention Center.

“It’s not an either/or,” Metro Director of Finance Richard Riebeling said. “We will continue to fund tourist-related activities like the Sommet Center and the Convention Center from tourist-related taxes.”

Riebeling was asked by Councilman Rip Ryman at a special meeting to discuss the amendments about whether the current tourism taxes in place will be able to fund both the Sommet Center subsidy at its new increased level and the new Convention Center.

Besides the HMT, the proposed new Convention Center will take advantage of new tourist accommodation taxes approved by Council last year.

“Obviously we don’t have the plan of financing for the Convention Center done yet,” Riebeling said. “We also have new taxes proposed last year that we’re starting to collect now to fund the Convention Center budget.

“So I can honestly tell you when we come up with a plan to fund the Convention Center, we’re going to have to answer that question and show you exactly how it’s going to be laid out.”

Riebeling did not say the HMT would be able to continue funding the other groups at their current level. Council members have conceded the other groups currently taking advantage of the HMT will likely see their funding trimmed down once the Convention Center is on the table.

“There is going to be a pressure on the Hotel Motel Tax when we embark on the Convention Center project that’s going to be the largest capital project we’ve ever taken,” Councilman Jason Holleman said. “In a perfect world is this the ideal way to go about securing professional sports? I’m not sure that it is.

“But I think this mayor and this Council have to deal with the facts in front of us. Where we find ourselves today, it’s a lesser evil to work out a deal to retain the Predators than to let them go and have a multi-million dollar arena to fill,” he said.

Besides dealing with the HMT in the future, there’s the issue of the cap for the new Predators’ ownership group’s operating losses. The new ownership group said it needed more favorable lease terms and an operating loss cap in order to help make the team viable in Nashville.

The new agreement has an operating loss cap of $3.8 million. The Predators’ operating loss for this season is on pace to be about $1.8 million, but the team would still be able to come up with ways to draw the difference under the new agreement, according to attorney Larry Thrailkill, who represented Metro in the new agreement.

Because the team already has a lease agreement in place through 2028, some Council members are pondering issues like the operating loss cap as they consider whether to approve the resolution.

“I am still worried about unintended consequences,” Councilwoman Megan Barry said.

What: A resolution to approve the new Sommet Center lease terms for the Nashville Predators at the Metro Council meeting

When: Tuesday, April 15 at 6:30 p.m.

Where: Council chambers at the Historic Downtown Metro Courthouse

Filed under: City News
Tagged:
By: idgaf on 12/31/69 at 6:00

They bought it as is let them live with the deal or like the Sounds try to find another sucker.How are they doing?

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Well, I knew we would disagree on this. Council quit stalling and approve the deal, you are looking more stupid every day.

By: idgaf on 12/31/69 at 6:00

If they approve it they look corrupt like they always do with these giveaways Titian.The shoplifter comes cheap too, a few hot dogs and a beer.

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Titan, the council always looks stupid. They're just posturing in order to extend their 15 minutes.

By: courier37027 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

TITAN1 is the typical liberal. Crying, "Give me what I want, my pet projects,and everyone else pay for it. If it is a bad sports deal count me in." TITAN, one day you will come around on this like you did with Pac. See you there soon.

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Now that's funny Courier! Especially when it's all the Conservatives crying "It's my money!" day in and day out.Someone give him a tissue please?

By: Dragon on 12/31/69 at 6:00

The council is responsible for this deal and its consequences. It is not a backroom deal between Dean and the Preds. Let them do the job they were elected to do.And, in case you didn't pick up on one of the provisions, the "operating loss cap of $3.8 million" means that Metro will pay $3.8 million each year regardless of the amount of loss since the owners will have a "ways to draw the difference under the new agreement". Yesterday, the article said the Preds generated $3 million in sales tax revenues. What a deal!

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Here's a tissue Dragon. It'll be ok.

By: frogmild on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Just give them the buckets of money and be done with it. Whatever they try to use as justification is going to be absurd because it is an absurd proposal except for the "Preds". We the people just get it in the end all over again.

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

gdiafante, we should go into cheese manufacturing, we could make a fortune selling it to these whiners.

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 6:00

And the funny thing is if it wasn't the Preds it would be something else. I'd just move it life is so bad.

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I wish they would.

By: slzy on 12/31/69 at 6:00

how did you corporate welfare well wishers live before the titans and preds?

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I see, it's only corporate welfare if it's the Titans and Preds. So what is Dell again?

By: slzy on 12/31/69 at 6:00

dell too. all bredesons bright ideas.

By: nashbeck on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Sorry for the wait gdiafante and titan1, I'm here with reinforcements. I hope this deal gets passed and asap. The Predators are great for Nashville, as is the Convention Center, as are the Titans. Thank you Bredesen for bringing them here, thank you Karl Dean for keeping them here.

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Ah nashbeck, it's about even.

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Two positives always comes out on top, no matter how many negative people there are.

By: courier37027 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

TITAN1, you are listening too much to that noted Vanderbilt alumnus, radio personality and economics graduate Plaz. Wait, ol' Plaz was a GEOLOGY major at Vanderbilt. Rocks for Jocks 101 I suppose qualifies him to know everything about this Preds lease deal.The Predators are great for the 12,000 Nashvillians attending games and 4,000 who watch on CSS or FOX. I hardly call that "great for Nashville".

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 6:00

And the surrounding restaurants, hotels, central parking etc, Courier?Don't let your apparent jealousy of ole "Plaz" get in the way. lol

By: idgaf on 12/31/69 at 6:00

It is not taxpayers concern whether the resturants or central parking survive nor their duty to make sure they do. That is where you go haywire giveing government/taxpayers responsibilities they do not have.

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I am a taxpayer and it does concern me if the restaurants and Central Parking or any other business survives. Pretty selfish there, idgaf.

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Id, I was referring to Courier stating that the Preds are great for only those that attend games or watch it on television.I know you're not that bright, but please read the context of the posts being made.It concerns everyone Titan, remember downtown in the 1980's? I guess Id would rather we return to that.

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

It was a ghost town.

By: slzy on 12/31/69 at 6:00

people will eat whether the arena is there or not. same with drinking. if we had no problems such as homelessness,or more correctly the uninstituted mentally ill,or funding general hospital,to even taking away Christmas bonuses to patrop ladies,i would not care.how many people are in debt or foreclosure trying to stay close to their boss by buying psls and season tickets they can't afford?spending hundreds of millions of dollars on childrems games are not the ear mark of a mature civilization,rather,one of a decadent society.

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Provide a link showing that people have had their home foreclosed because of PSL's or season tickets.I didn't realize that the Predators were the reason state employees may not get raises. Again, a link?A predators game brings at least 13K people downtown that would normally not be there. So you're saying it has no impact? That's funny.Who said this was a mature civilization?

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I don't know anyone that has a PSL and they are losing their house. If you can't afford a PSL, then by all means don't get one. Same with a car, if you can't afford a Corvette, get what you can afford.

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I don't either. Most people losing thier home couldn't afford it in the first place. That's just another excuse to blame the Preds.I heard that the Preds caused the drought last year too...lol

By: slzy on 12/31/69 at 6:00

no mature civilization here,for sure.

By: courier37027 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

gdia, I find it hilarious on your part to criticize political talk by radio personalities, but somehow the Zone is exempt from criticism. You and TITAN are nose deep in the Zone's posteriorAs far as the 1980's downtown revitalization goes, when did the Predators come to town? When was the arena built? And if downtown parking, business, etc. are so good, why the pressure from your beloved radio honks on these business to buy more tickets.You and TITAN want it both ways, at others' expense. Sommet Kool-Aid indeed.

By: courier37027 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

TITAN1, can you or anyone explain to me the benefit of a PSL? Or is the PSL something "we gotta have, man, to be a major player city"?

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Courier, it's not exempt from my criticism, but seem the contempt of yours. If I see fit to condemn the radio station, I will. If I read your post correctly, you're the one with a chip on your shoulder about Plaz. That's YOUR problem.If you knew anything about this subject, other than that you hate 104.5, our season tickets are the exact opposite of most other NHL cities, meaning individual tickets make up 60% of the total season tickets sold here, the rest are corporate. It's the exact opposite around the league. So if the radio station is asking those businesses who benefit from the Predators to step up, what's the problem? Speaking of kool-aid, sip it, don't drink it too fast, you may get cramps.

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Uh, courier, I hardly ever listen to 104, I prefer The Tom Abraham Show on 106.7 in the afternoons and Mike and Mike in the mornings on 106.7. Our PSLs, which we only pay for only one time, helped with the cost to build the stadium, so the whiners would have less to whine about.

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Well they did vote yes to football too Titan. So he really has nothing to complain about.I'm not a fan of 104. Any station that bumps a professional sport for college athletics has no business calling themselves the "flagship" station for the Preds. There, that's my rant about the station, happy courier? Oh sorry, just finish your kool-aid, didn't mean to bother you.

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

LOL!

By: slzy on 12/31/69 at 6:00

probably no one is going to post that they have gone into foreclosure because they lived on credit and their flimsy house of credit cards has fallen. they just seem to fit the type of all hat and no cattle.i read the cut off of christmas bonuses in the paper,look it up your self.speaking of all hat and no cattle,titan 1,don't you think a better question that cuts closer to the bone is "If you can't afford a hockey team,don't buy it?"
"19430

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

If you want professional sports, you have to pony up some money to get it and I don't have a problem with that. I'm sure my taxes go for a lot of tings I never use, but I am not whining abut it.

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

things

By: frank brown on 12/31/69 at 6:00

They are laying off workers at the Public Works Department. These fine men could have been saved had we not agreed to subsidize a cult sport for a minority of citizens in Davidson County.

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

frank, you are an idiot.

By: producer2 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

oh Frank give it a rest..... Done Deal see you on the 15th...

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

frank is too busy getting it on with idgaf!