From today's Toronto Star:
Ticats owner rooting for Balsillie
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats' owner wants Jim Balsillie to bring the Nashville Predators to Steeltown.
"I'm pulling for Jim," software entrepreneur Bob Young said yesterday from his North Carolina office.
"The Ticats don't see having an NHL team in town as a bad thing at all and in fact, it may help us on many levels."
The wealthy businessman said there are "very practical" ways for both sports to work jointly, whether in ticket sales or marketing. Already – even though Balsillie is not yet the owner of the NHL franchise – the football and hockey parties have made contact regarding possible ventures together.
"It's only been done on a very casual level, not a senior level ... and I haven't spoken directly to Jim yet but it's on my to-do list to give him a call," Young said.
The teams would also share a landlord – the city of Hamilton in Ivor Wynne Stadium and Copps Coliseum. A Hamilton native, Young said two popular teams would bring fans dowtown year round, boosting a revitalization in the city core. It would also pump up civic pride. With seasons that don't overlap, he also believes co-existence would be painless and likely profitable.
And co-existence also means cheering each other.
"I'll say to Jim: `I'll buy season tickets for your hockey team' and I'd hold him to buying tickets for the Ticats,'' Young said. "We see this as a very good thing."