Monday, June 04, 2007

Golden Horseshoe Tigers [or Predators]; Balsillie Hamilton's New Patron; and a Faux Pas?

Most of you already know that Balsillie is working with the City of Hamilton to get exclusive NHL rights to Copps Coliseum(1). Though I am not doing backflips just yet, this latest development has some interesting implications.

Golden Horseshoe Tigers?
Balsillie is operating a group called 'Golden Horseshoe Sports and Entertainment Inc' (GHSE). I simply love it. Not only does it smack MLSE in the face, but it might foreshadow his vision for another team in Southern Ontario. I now have a feeling that he will market the team as the 'Golden Horseshoe [Predators, Tigers, Loyalists, or whatever]'. This gives him some leeway for possibly keeping the team in Hamilton while he builds a new one in Cambridge. As much as my preference is for GHSE to bring back the Tigers, I would be happy with the 'Golden Horseshoe Tigers', and would live with anything else he called it, as long as the team is based in Hamilton.

Jim Balsillie: Hamilton's New Thomas McQuesten?
There are few people in Hamilton's history that made significant changes to our image, economy, and landscape (e.g. Thomas McQuestion brought McMaster University to Hamilton and supported the Royal Botanical Gardens). It looks like the deal for rights to Copps Coliseum includes operating the other facilities owned by HECFI, which suggests a long term commitment to downtown Hamilton. If in a perfect world this deal works out, Balsillie may play an integral role in Hamilton's renaissance.

Cat out of the bag?
Did Mayor Eisenberger make a faux pas by telling the Hamilton Spectator that Balsillie intends on moving the Nashville Predators to Hamilton, or is it part of GHSE's scheme to reduce investor interest in Nashville? This is all very interesting, and will definitely lead to many sleepless nights as I try to make sense of it all.

1. Dreschel (May 31, 2007). Another shot at NHL team for Hamilton. The Hamilton Spectator.

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