Sources: PREDS SOLD
05-23-2007 6:16 PM — The Nashville Predators are being sold.
has learned that Canadian businessman Jim Balsillie, co-CEO of Research In Motion (makers of the Blackberry electronic communication device) is purchasing the Predators from Wisconsin businessman Craig Leipold. Leipold has owned the club since it first took to the ice in 1998.
The sale of the Predators, Nashville's first major league sporting franchise, was apparently discussed today in New York at a meeting of the National Hockey League's Board of Governors. It is believed as of now that the team will remain in Nashville for the forseeable future.
According to NashvillePost.com
sources, a press conference has been scheduled for tomorrow to announce the sale of the team. At the time of publication of this article, officials from Predators could not be reached for comment.
Balsillie, the 46-year-old co-CEO of Research In Motion, is responsible for driving corporate strategy, business development, marketing, sales, and finance at the company, which is based in Waterloo, Ontario. He is a native of Peterborough, Ontario, with a bachelor of commerce from the University of Toronto and an MBA from Harvard University.
According to the RIM website, "Jim is also a noted athlete, passionate fitness advocate and role model for his friends and colleagues. He was Athlete of the Year at Trinity College, University of Toronto, plays hockey and golf at competitive levels, and coaches his son's soccer and basketball teams. He currently trains and competes in Men's Long Course Triathlons."
Last October, Balsille made a widely publicized bid to purchase the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins, for $175 million from former player Mario Lemieux and his partners. That deal foundered late in the year.