Metro Looks For Better Deal With Predators

Metro Looks For Better Deal With Predators

CREATED Dec 6, 2011

By Phil Williams
Chief Investigative Reporter

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Metro officials got more time to take a look at Nashville's deal with the Nashville Predators -- and city officials say they hope it will mean fewer taxpayer dollars going into the Bridgestone Arena.

This follows questions recently raised by NewsChannel 5 Investigates.

Tuesday, the Nashville Sports Authority voted to accept an offer by the Predators to waive a December 31st deadline.

A multimillion-dollar incentive package -- first approved by the Metro Council back in 2008 -- was set to automatically renew at the end of the month.

But Metro's finance director told us today that he hopes the city can negotiate a better deal for taxpayers.

"I would anticipate that you will see fewer, that we will strongly urge less taxpayer dollars going into the operation of the facility," Rich Riebeling said.

Our NewsChannel 5 investigation recently revealed that, after Predators officials negotiated that deal with the city in '08, they went to the state legislature and got more taxpayer money diverted from Metro coffers into their own pockets.

Riebeling said that issue will be part of the discussions over a new deal.

E-mail: pwilliams@newschannel5.com