NHL Lockout Could Cost Metro Nashville Millions - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

NHL Lockout Could Cost Metro Nashville Millions

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The NHL has locked out its players in the second league stoppage in eight years, likely costing the league, individual teams and local businesses significant amounts of money.

If the league and the players association fail to come to an agreement before the start of the season, the lockout could also cost Metro Nashville millions of dollars.

According to an agreement between the Predators and the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, the city will still be liable for subsidies that go to the team, even if they never play a game this year.

The price tag could rise as high as $8.6 million. Metro Nashville owns Bridgestone Arena and has an agreement with the team to operate the facility.

"Now we are on the hook for about 8 million dollars - which we can recover a portion of that - it's not like we are on the hook for all of it - but it's still a grave concern with all the financial difficulties that we are going to be looking at," said Metro Councilman Robert Duvall.

The lockout also means millions lost from local businesses that depend on the downtown traffic for business and in state and local sales tax revenue generated by the games.

Related Story: NHL Lockout Could Put Big Freeze On Local Businesses

Councilman Duvall said he would like to see changes made to future agreements between the city and the team. He said he is not sure just how big of an economic boost the Preds are to the city.

"I don't know if we can quantify that we can recover all of our money - I have yet to see somebody show me the true, hard and fast numbers that really happens," he said.

League officials and players have been publicly hopeful that the lockout will end, and the season will start on time.

The last NHL lockout was in 2004 and it wiped out the entire hockey season.  The Predators' preseason games were scheduled to start on September 24, with the regular season beginning on October 12.

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