Tim McGraw Buys Minority Stake in Arena Football Team

Will Headline Concert in Early 2005 to Promote Nashville Kats

Tim McGraw has become a minority owner of the newly reconstituted Nashville Kats arena football franchise and will headline a concert in Nashville early next year to promote the team.

McGraw made the announcement Monday (Nov. 1) during a press conference at the Nashville Coliseum. He was accompanied by Bud Adams Jr., who is both majority owner of the Kats and owner of the National Football League’s Tennessee Titans.

Adams, who introduced McGraw to the press, noted the singer had played high school football and continues to love the sport. “We hope he might come in and do a play or two for us,” he joked. Adams then presented him a Kats jersey with “Tim McGraw” and “1” inscribed on it.

McGraw returned Adams’ praise, adding, “He’s dedicated his life to this sport. I hope I can follow his example.” Asked if he thought the team was a sound business investment, McGraw said, “I’m part of the community here, and I want to support anything that helps this community.”

McGraw declined to reveal how much of the team he owns.

“Oh, about 80 percent,” he quipped when first asked. Then, glancing at Adams, he said, “We’d better keep that between us.”

A reporter reminded McGraw that another musical superstar, Jon Bon Jovi, owns a piece of the Kats’ Arena Football League competitors, the Philadelphia Soul.

“If he gets out there [and plays],” McGraw promised, “I’ll get out there and play. I know I can cream him.”

Although the date hasn’t been confirmed yet, McGraw said the promotional concert will be the only show he’ll perform in Nashville in 2005. It will be open only to the Kats’ season-ticket holders and selected teams sponsors. The show could take place as early as January at Nashville’s Gaylord Entertainment Center.

Wearing a varsity jacket and a baseball cap, McGraw appeared to have toned up and lost all the weight he had gained for his role in the recent film, Friday Night Lights, starring Billy Bob Thornton. The night before Thanksgiving (Nov. 24), NBC-TV will air McGraw’s second concert special.

Travis Tritt was a minority owner of the original Nashville Kats, which played in the Arena Football League from 1997 to 2001.

Edward Morris is a veteran of country music journalism. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a frequent contributor to CMT.com.