Tuesday, February 22, 2005


Nashville: No Longer Gay

Apparently the Preds have a really good sponsor and a nice arena, but the name is a bit unfortunate.

Gaylord Entertainment Center?

Anyway, it seems that Gaylord is losing interest in the franchise and is jumping off of the S.S. NHL.

The Predators will redeem all of the outstanding limited partnership units in the Predators owned by Gaylord as partial payment for Gaylord’s Naming Rights Agreement, effectively ending Gaylord’s ownership in the Predators; and the Naming Rights Agreement with the Predators for the arena will be terminated; and

Gaylord also will make a one-time cash payment to the Predators of $4 million and has agreed to issue a five-year, $5 million promissory note with interest at 6 percent per annum to the Predators. The note will be payable at $1 million per year for five years, with the first payment due on the first anniversary of the resumption of hockey in Nashville.

The Preds had pretty poor attendance last season (approx 13,177 a game), so is Gaylord jumping from the S.S. NHL because it's a sinking ship?
The Gaylord Entertainment name will remain on the arena, though the Predators will begin the process of securing a new naming rights partner; but Gaylord will have no further contractual obligations with respect to the naming rights. Under terms of the agreement, Gaylord will continue to support the team through the retention of its suite at the arena, its purchase of tickets, and advertising at Predators home games.

Well, the fans will have to put up with the jokes about their arena for a little while longer. I wonder if there was any particular motive for this company to sell it's share of the Predators at this time. Given the connotations of the name 'Gaylord', I'm surprised that a particular company would keep that name and then stick it on an arena.

I've always called it The Litter Box, myself. :)

But anyway--Gaylord Entertainment is divesting itself of pretty much everything that isn't part of its hospitality business, so the termination of the naming rights deal and the selling-back of ownership shares that Gaylord has held since 1998 isn't anything to do with not wanting to be a part of hockey or not wanting to support the Predators. They just have too much and want to get rid of some of it so that they can focus on their core business (which is the Grand Ole Opry/Opryland/etc.)
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