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Team trying to keep NHL Predators in Nashville says deal with Leipold unlikely

NHL.com @NHL

It looks like Craig Leipold will have to start looking for a buyer for his Nashville Predators all over again.

The Nashville-based Tennessean newspaper says the leader of a local group trying to buy the NHL club doesn't expect the deal to work out.

The group asked Saturday for new municipal tax money and several improvements to the Sommet Center, where the Predators play. According to leader David Freeman, the city has rejected the requests.

"No, I'm not hopeful, but also not bitter," Freeman, CEO of 36 Venture Capital, told the newspaper Monday after his group's proposal to change the Predators' Sommet Center lease was made public. "We put a ton of work into it, and we did our best."

The group has until Oct. 31 to negotiate exclusively with Leipold, who previously had talks with buyers who might move the team out of town.

One of those prospective buyers was Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie, the co-CEO of Waterloo, Ont.,-based BlackBerry maker Research In Motion.

That fell through when Balsillie started taking season-ticket deposits in Hamilton after promising not to move the team.

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