rumour about Jim Balsillie's intentions

I didn't realize you have to be a lawyer to have an opinion on this matter. Sounds similar to having to be a P.Eng specialist in metals to attend a game at IWS.

Kidding, kidding ...

I'm just predicting the Predators will be moving to Waterloo county if Balsillie buys them. Perhaps a stop in Hamilton while the new arena is constructed will happen too.

However, I find this concept of territorial rights to be against free enterprise and relieved someone is finally prepared to challenge it. Toronto is a big enough hockey market to have two NHL teams. The ML blocking competition is just not good cricket.

I couldn't care less if the city gets an NHL team, I like football better and I want a new football stadium or completely refurbished IWS. But I do admit an NHL team would be great for the downtown bringing in lots of out of towners to Hamilton some 40+ times a year. It would be good for the city and I'll watch the games on the TV.

First of all....Copps is in absolutely NO condition for an NHL team. They literally would have to rip off the top and strip everything bare. 10 luxury suites...which are not up to NHL standards. No premium seating and the worst press box ever. The concessions are completely awful for a 8000 crowd Bulldogs game.

The project of bringing an NHL team to Hamilton will cost at minimum $500 million. Plus, the tax on a property like Copps is through the roof.

Kansas City is more than willing to build a new arena and offer tax free land.

But you have to think that Balsillie is up Hamilton's city council you know what so far up on this one as they are determined to get an NHL team over anything else. That's what I think anyways, Balsillie will be king to them while even Bob won't be able to stand on the same pedestal as Balsillie on this one with city council. Anything is possible if Balsillie really does want to move the Preds here, even in the short term. The city has a lot of money invested in Copps.

Kansas City is a disaster waiting to happen.
If Nashville loses their team, the same thing will happen 5 years down the road in K.C. They HAVE to offer free rent cuz no one in their right mind would ever pay to put a team in a losing situation like K.C.
Winnipeg or anywhere in SW Ontario would be way better options...even if an arena has to be built.

Co, do you think K-W will build an arena if Balsillie eventually does own and move the Preds and then who pays? Maybe public, private partnership. Hamilton city council will do everything I think to make Mr. Balsillie keep the team here in this case.

well i do agree with whoknows that Copps cant handle an NHL team. I think anytime that many renovations are required to bring it up to par, its better to just build a new one. That being said, its hard to say what Balsillie would do. Maybe he just has his own company fund most of the arena cost. Its tough in Canada to ask the government for money. But anyone who doesnt think a team based in K-W would have enough support is crazy.

Where did you get that $500 million figure?

I've read about $100 to update Copps to current NHL standards by raising the roof and putting in boxes and such. That's far less than the cost of a new arena in the K-W area.

Question is, how much money would Toronto want? Everyone has their price. The lawyer indicated that he was of the opinion that Buffalo is outside the limit.

If you listen to the podcast, it becomes obvious that something is in the works and has been for a while.

It could end up as a war between K-W and Hamilton with the best man winning. Mr. Balsillie will get a nice refurbished Copps at a very low cost compared with a new building or a new building in K-W at a higher cost to him. I think it will be a war to be honest.

Another factor to consider is the actual worth of the Predators franchise.

The lawyer indicated that the purchase amount is between $220m and $240m.

That seems awfully high unless an indemnifiation fee is included.

It's about $50m more than the Pittsburgh offer. Hmmmmm......

When the deal with the City was revealed, the terms were that Mr. Balsillie would take over management of Copps, Hamilton Place & the Convention Centre.

IIRC, it was also mentioned he would be responsible for any upgrades to Copps so perhaps no tax money would be involved.

As others have said…

  • $100 million to “fix” Copps or 3, 4 or 5 times that for a new arena

  • Mr Balsillie isn’t stupid and he seems to have done his homework (NHL and anti-competition laws?)

Hamilton is just a pond for Balsillie. I easily came up with the $500 million figure. $220 - $240 for the purchase, $200 (at the minimum for the upgrades at Copps) and then you will have to add at least another $100 million to buy out Toronto (and you may have to include Buffalo in that).

If you believe $100 to fix Copps is all it will cost than clearly your tax money did not go to the purchase of the Sky Dome or any other stadium for that matter. Read below...

To study the viability of a refurbished Rexall Place, Northlands—the community organization that owns the building—recently engaged HOK Sport, an internationally recognized authority on arena construction, to assess what could be done to expand capacity and increase the comfortability of the facility. The cost to do so was estimated at between $225 and $250 million dollars; while estimates for a new arena have varied widely, most are well above the $350 million mark and stretch as high as $500 million. Nonetheless, said Watt, the Oilers are in favour of a new arena.

^^^OH, ok. I misread your previous post and thought you meant $500 to fix Copps. My goof.

However, if you listen to the podcast one could get the impresssion that the 220m - 240m price tag inlcudes indemnification.

As for the cost of renovating Copps, we’ll have to wait and see.

Hamiltonian Doug Farraway of the fan590 writes:

[i]If two teams in significant cities in the west are added filling in the Bettman foot print doesn’t one western team need to swing into the east?

Don’t we have a deal on the table from an eastern based billionaire to purchase a western based club?

Could expansion into the west be the catalyst for the re-location of Jim Balsillie and the Nashville Predators into either Hamilton or Southern Ontario?

Doesn’t the purchase price of 220 million for the Predators now look more and more like, a purchase price plus an expansion fee/slash territorial rights fee than ever before under this scenario?[/i]

The whole article can be found here: ... 05519_5000

Balsallie challenged US patent laws so he's no shrinking violet when it comes to challenging the staus quo. When the issue of territorial rights was being discussed a few years ago and legal opinions were being sought, the concensus seemed to be that territorial exclusions would not stand up in court in Canada (and likely not in the US either for that matter). However, even if the Competition Board decides against the NHL as they likely would, the league could still tie the matter up in the courts on appeal for years.

Balsallie is obviously no fool and has likely done his due diligence. I'm sure his plans for the Pred's future are based on facts and not hopes and speculation.

An Argo-Cat fan

Listening to Rodier on the Fan 590 yesterday, these boys are checking into the legal facts and issues quite heavily, as would be expected. No dumb bunnies here.
While I must say I'm not a huge NHL fan, I would love to see Balsillie and Rodier challenge some of the wishy washy language the NHL has in their constitution if it is lame legally. It would be fun. But if the NHL thinks that's what he will do, I bet they don't allow him in as an owner despite the very generous offer he is giving to the current Preds owner for the team.

The real problem in brining a NHL team to Hamilton is Copps Colliseum. It's too big for the AHL and too small for the NHL. Basically, it's an obstentacious waste of money without any effective purpose. Kinda like Sheila.

Plus, Ballsillie could build an arena in west Kitchener and be outside the fifty mile radius rule.

it's an obstentacious waste of money without any effective purpose

Very, very well said Ockham, couldn't agree with you more. The city needs someone, very very soon to ante up now to make it NHL standard or else they will continue to look silly as silly can be in the eyes of many. Or else tear the friggin place down and put money into IWS - junior facility for the OHA. It is basically turning into a joke spectator hockey in Hamilton.

I bet that J.B will try to put the Preds in Copps until a new arena is built not in K/W, but a long the 403 between Hamilton and Brantford.

There is a new 400 series highway in the works called the 406 which will connect the 401 to the 403 and run along the east side of Cambridge. Having an arena in the area that I just spoke of then allows fans from Hamilton, K/W, Cambridge, London, Mississauga, Brampton and the Niagra Region all to be within an hour of the place.


They could even put direct highway access into the arena parking lot. It's also out of the 80 km halo of the ACC and HSBC Arena. And yes, Bob could get involved and put a stadium right beside. Nice little complex, all of a sudden.

Sounds like the basis of an idea ticat. But what about Copps then? The city still looks foolish with a 17,500 arena so close to an NHL arena.