Sports Authority extends Preds incentive deadline

New agreement to be ready by June 30

An agreement on a restructured incentives package at Bridgestone Arena still hasn't been reached and the deadline, already extended once, has been changed again.

The Metropolitan Sports Authority voted unanimously Monday to extend the negoatiation window to June 30.

The incentives package, which went into place when the Predators were purchased by the local ownership group in 2007, was to be automatically renewed if no action was taken by the end of 2011. The team agreed to extend that deadline to April 30, acknowledging that the performance-based package was in need of tweaking.

As recently as late March, indications were that a new agreement would be ready for approval by Monday's deadline.

"The discussions have been positive in content and tone. I'm confident an arrangement can be reached. We're close and ... by that, I mean days or weeks," Lauren Brisky, the Metro Sports Authority's representative in the negotiations, said March 22. "While I don't have specifics for you today, I want to leave you with a positive sense. My expectation is this will happen by the month of April."

But with the team in the midst of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and with the mayor's office working on finalizing a budget — set to be revealed Tuesday — the parties came to the conclusion it would be prudent to add another two months to the negotiation window.

"The parties continue to negotiate in good faith, and the Team and Manager wish to further extend the time for the delivery of the Termination Notice," Predators COO and President Sean Henry wrote in a letter to the authority.

Metro Law Director Saul Solomon told the authority his office and the Dean Administration are aware of what the authority would like to see before being asked to vote on a restructured incentives package. In the past, some authority members have complained they have not been given ample time to review financial reports and other documents before being asked for approval on new deals. The hope is the extended window will placate those concerns.

In fact, Solomon said city and team could have hammered out an agreement over the weekend, but chose instead for a more patient course of action.

The Authority's next regularly-scheduled meeting is set for May 17.