"I found out the team was available and I've been a fan for 20-some-odd years," Siegel said. "I thought it would be a good business venture as well as a fun venture and a way that I could help the community."
Siegel, 79, said he wouldn't have bought the team if it stayed at UCF, where it currently plays home games. Terms of the contract with
"[The community] is used to going downtown for Magic games and the Citrus Bowl. That's where the team should be," Siegel said. "I'm not interested in what happened in the past. As far as I'm concerned, it's like a new day, a new team.
"We're going to fill that arena."
The Preds played home games at Amway Center from 2011-13 before defaulting on their lease due to low attendance figures, short of the 6,000 required. The
Entering a late game Monday, which Siegel attended with his wife, Jackie, and two sons, the Preds (8-7) were leading their division. Their final home game is at
"I like to take things and make them better," Siegel said. "That's one of the challenges. I think if the team was running like a Swiss watch, I'd probably not be as interested."
Siegel joins a high-profile group of AFL team owners that includes
A lot of changes will be made to the team, Siegel said. Promotional strategies could include bussing guests of
"It's not just all business," Siegel said. "They can go there and raise hell and have fun. It'll be like them having nine company parties a year.
"We're going to just promote it, get some good sponsors and give people an entertaining form of football. Make it more of a party atmosphere. Football will be the main ingredient but there will be a lot of appetizers as well."
The team could even be seen on reality TV. The Siegels reportedly signed a deal with NBCUniversal's reality TV production company
The last some may remember of the business tycoon is his financial struggles, chronicled in the 2012 documentary filmed during construction of the largest private house in the country, a 90,000-square-foot home dubbed "Versailles" on
Siegel, who Forbes estimated to be worth
"One day my grandchildren will be running the team," Siegel said. "I have no plans to sell it or close it down. I think it will be stable for the rest of my lifetime."
Siegel also has purchased the
"I don't have any plans to announce as we're sitting here," Siegel said, "but the day is young yet."
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