Del Biaggio troubles move closer to Predators
The Metro Council and Sports Authority of the City of Tennessee have been hit with a U.S. federal subpoena in the investigation of Nashville Predators minority owner William (Boots) Del Biaggio.
According to local media reports, the subpoena was served on Wednesday and requested any communication between Del Biaggio and the Sports Authority, landlord of the Sommet Centre where the Predators play.
Del Biaggio, 40, has been slapped with a series of lawsuits over the last two weeks alleging that he secured loans fraudulently. Last week, bankruptcy filings were made for Del Biaggio personally and his investment firm.
Del Biaggio once had a stake in the San Jose Sharks and lobbied to try to bring an NHL club to Kansas City, Mo., before getting involved with the Predators last year.
He ended up with a 27 per cent stake in the club, helping prop up a bid involving a group of Nashville businessmen after previous owner Craig Leipold's deal fell through to sell to Waterloo, Ont.-based Research in Motion executive Jim Balsillie.
Not long after, Balsillie explored relocating the franchise to southern Ontario. Leipold, who had signed a non-binding letter of intent, requested the NHL stop any further due diligence until a binding agreement was reached.
Leipold ultimately sold the club for more than $190 million to the Nashville group, more than $30 million less than the Balsillie offer. Leipold is now a part owner of the Minnesota Wild.
Since Del Biaggio filed for bankruptcy, lawsuits have piled up. According to a report in the Silicon Valley Business Journal, seven banks or lending institutions have sued him.
AEG Facilities, which runs several sports and entertainment venues, filed suit alleging that Del Biaggio borrowed $7 million to help invest in Nashville. AEG owned the San Jose Earthquakes of the Major Soccer League at the time.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman told Hockey Night in Canada this month that because Del Biaggio was a minority owner of the Predators, the club would not be adversely affected, regardless of the outcome of the investigations.