Report: Former Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam to Buy Predators over Several Years

Adam WellsJune 17, 2022

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 17:  A view of the jersey logo of the Nashville Predators during their game against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center on March 17, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)
Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images

Bill Haslam, who served as Tennessee's governor from 2011-19, will purchase the Nashville Predators in a gradual process.

Per ESPN's Greg Wyshynski, Haslam will become the Predators' new owner "over a period of years" as he purchases shares of the franchise from the ownership group led by Herbert Fritch.

Scott Soshnick, Kurt Badenhausen and Eben Novy-Williams of Sportico reported Thursday that Haslam was nearing a deal to purchase the franchise.

The report noted that the Predators are valued at $680 million, which ranks 26th out of 32 NHL teams.

Per Hockey Reference, Nashville ranked fourth in the NHL in home attendance (758,317) and average attendance (18,496) and third in capacity percentage (100.6) during the 2021-22 regular season.

According to Wyshynski, the process of Haslam purchasing a majority of shares to become the majority owner is expected to happen over three years. The are "no current plans" for minority owners to sell their shares to Haslam.

Per the Predators' official website, there are 17 people listed as owners of the Predators.

Fritch joined Nashville's ownership group in 2007 and assumed control of the franchise in January 2019. He succeeded Tom Cigarran, who remains a member of the ownership committee.

Forbes estimates Haslam's net worth at $2.3 billion. His father is the founder of the Pilot Flying J truck stops. The 63-year-old served as president of the family business from 1995-99.

Haslam is the younger brother of Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam.

The Predators have made it to the playoffs in each of the past eight seasons. They reached the Stanley Cup Final during the 2016-17 season, losing in six games to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Nashville finished fifth in the Central Division this season with 97 points. The No. 1 wild-card team was swept in the first round of the postseason by the Colorado Avalanche.