The Haslam family has been involved in many businesses including politics and business. Patriarch Jim Haslam created the Pilot Corporation chain of convenience stores and gas stations. His children would become heavily involved in the family business and various other pursuits. Perhaps the most famous, sports.
Eldest son Jimmy Haslam and his wife, Dee, own the NFL team Cleveland Brown and the MLS team Columbus Crew. Jimmy was also a minority owner of the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers. Youngest son Bill Haslam owns the Tennessee Smokies minor league baseball team.
He would also be becoming a NHL team owner.
Bill Haslam buys majority stake in Nashville Predators
The Tennesseean and ESPN are reporting that Bill Haslam will acquire the Nashville Predators of the National Hockey League. Well, at least. Haslam apparently gradually buys the team over three years.
But the case is not necessarily concluded. For that to happen, matters such as NHL review and approval would have to officially pass. Approval seems to be expected at this point.
Historically, the transfer of ownership of the Predators has come with some drama. The franchise was originally owned by telemarketing and shoe mogul Craig Leipold.
Later, Leipold nearly sold the team to tech figure Jim Balsillie. Balsillie obviously had plans to move the franchise to Hamilton, Ontario. But the point became moot when the deal fell through. This may be one of five times Balsillie has sought to acquire an NHL team.
A venture capitalist named William Del Baggio then wanted to try his luck with the Predators.
Apparently hoping to move the franchise to Kansas City, Missouri. Del Baggio had previously unsuccessfully attempted to acquire the Pittsburgh Penguins. Eventually, a group of local season ticket holders purchased a majority stake in the team. At the same time, Del Baggio became a minority owner.
The Predators stayed in Nashville. Leipold quickly returned to the ranks of NHL ownership when he purchased the Minnesota Wild.
But Del Baggio soon found himself in serious legal trouble, selling his catch. Leadership disputes between the remaining owners would become highly publicized.
The Nashville Predators have never won a Stanely Cup championship so far. However, they grew remarkably close in 2017. The team is affiliated with the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals and the ECHL’s Florida Everblades.
Haslam is a former governor and mayor
Bill Haslam was educated at the Webb School in Knoxville before graduating from Emory University in Georgia. Later, he became a top official at Saks Fifth Avenue and Harold’s.
In 2003, Haslam was elected mayor of Knoxville. He will be re-elected in a dominant way in 2007.
In 2010, Democratic incumbent Governor Phil Bredesen was given a time limit to run again. Haslam entered the race for the Republican nomination for governor and won. He would win the general election with a landslide victory, followed by a landslide re-election in 2014.
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