Nashville Loses On Predators Lease

A lawyer who drafted a lease agreement between the NHL’s Nashville Predators and the city-owned Sommet Center has confirmed that he and the team’s lawyers bungled the language in the contract.

Following a recent report by the Tennessean, city attorney Larry Thrailkill told the paper the old terms of the lease called for the team to pay 5 percent per ticket or $1.75, whichever was less, in seat taxes to the city. However, the 5 percent language was apparently omitted from the newest lease agreement, signed in April 2008 and retroactive to July 2007.

“Due to a mutual misunderstanding by lawyers, the amended and restated documents omitted the 5 percent language,” Thrailkill said. “You have identified this mistake in the drafting and it should be addressed and corrected; however, the parties have charged, collected and paid the seat use charge consistent with the intentions of the parties to the negotiation and the term sheet.”

But that didn’t exactly jibe with the Tennessean’s findings, which reported the city might be owed nearly $400,000 in seat taxes from the Predators, despite the missing 5 percent language.

Team president for business operations Ed Lang told the paper both sides had been operating under the belief that there was no change in the contract.

“We’re trying to figure out, ‘Did something in the negotiations change?’ I’m relying on our attorneys right now. They’re reviewing it,” he said.