Cleats are beginning to drop as Nashville aims for its third Arena Football franchise.
The Tulsa World is reporting that city's AFL franchise, the Talons, is all but packed up and set for a move to San Antonio. Tulsa's franchise is at the forefront of most relocation rumors in the indoor football league and San Antonio seen as a top candidate, though there was some speculation San Antonio would be granted an expansion franchise.
From Mike Brown at the World:
Ross said moving to San Antonio "is one of four options, but nothing is etched in stone. We've got our letters of credit in with the league and we're going to do something."
He said simply shutting down the franchise is not an option "because we've come too far for that."
A source told the Tulsa World "it would not be inaccurate to report that the Tulsa franchise will be relocated to San Antonio."
The World also confirmed the existence of three rough-draft schedules for the upcoming season, one of which includes a Nashville franchise. Predators COO Sean Henry has said Bridgestone Arena is aiming for a 2013 start for a new team.
The Talons' move to the AlamoDome, though, doesn't leave Nashville in the lurch. The Dallas Vigilantes have sprung to the fore as the likely new gridiron tenant at Fifth and Broad, first reported on an Arena Football fan site.
The SportsBusiness Journal is out with another examination of which cities have the most overextended pro sports dollar based on total aggregate income versus the necessary outlay for each city's teams competing in Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, the NFL, the NBA and the NHL.
Nashville is still one of 20 cities in the red, as the 16th most overextended city, with the projected outlay to support the Titans and the Predators exceeding income by $10.5 billion. The good news is that number has improved. As noted in an October 2010 City Paper report on the feasibility of MLB in the Music City, Nashville's deficit to support pro football and hockey then was nearly $17 billion.
Things are moving in the right direction.
Don't freak out, Predators fans, but Shea Weber sold his Hillsboro Village condominium Tuesday.
No reason to panic, as he still owns a home in Green Hills, according to property records.
Weber bought the condo in The Enclave back in his first full season in Nashville in 2006. He bought a new home three years later, but held on to the condo.
Weber, like so many other folks selling in this market, took a bit of a bath on his condo. He paid $383,900 for it five years ago and has sold it for $320,000. But it's doubtful there will be any tears shed: Remember that the Preds' captain just scored a franchise-record $7.5 million contract from a league arbitrator.
It's nearing 24 hours since Titans single-game tickets went on sale and the franchise has set a post-Super Bowl XXXIV record for futility.
Last year, the games sold out in four hours. Previous to that, tickets never lasted more than two hours. Only in the team's first year on the east bank did tickets last longer than a day.
Team Vice President Don MacLachlan noted that the Oct. 30 date against Indianapolis is almost sold out and roughly 2,000 tickets remain for each of the rest of the home dates. He said the team expected a slowdown:
"We knew there were a lot of intangibles that we couldn't control, i.e. the lockout, people not knowing whether there would be a season or not, focusing so much of our attention on season ticket holders, the economy, the price of gas," he explained, adding, "We've talked to a lot of people over the course of the summer and we weren't exactly sure how it would turn out but we are very encouraged that there are not a whole lot of tickets remaining in the games."
The NFL broadcast blackout rules apply during the preseason as they do during the regular season, but MacLachlan told George Plaster yesterday afternoon the team has corporate partners lined up to buy any remaining tickets for Saturday's opener against the Vikings, ensuring a local broadcast on WKRN.
Meanwhile, Predators COO Sean Henry tells us things are going swimmingly at Fifth & Broadway. The team "should find [themselves]" selling 10,000 season ticket equivalents, "if not more" — up from 8,500 last year — and new season ticket sales are double what they were before last season. "We're up dramatically," he said. Meanwhile, Henry's former employer, the Tampa Bay Lightning, have parlayed a surprising season and doubled its season ticket sales.