The Nashville Kats were an Arena Football League (AFL) team, which operated from 1997 until 2001. Inside the friendly confines of the Gaylord Entertainment Center, now known as Bridgestone Arena, the Kats were successful in reaching two AFL Championship games and being awarded the title of the AFL’s “Organization of the Year” in 1997.
In 2004, after the team lost scope under the ownership of Atlanta businessman, Virgil Williams, the Kats were purchased by Arthur Blank, a successful entrepreneur in his own right, who already had owned the Atlanta Falcons and the co-founder of the Home Depot chain of retail stores. The ensuing 2005 season would become the Kats best ever, as the completed an undefeated home game schedule and a trip to the Arena Bowl Championship. However, a surge of popularity caused the NFL’s Bud Adams to purchase the pre-history of the Kats, and revisit a Nashville franchise. In doing so, Blank’s team would be considered an expansion and, with a move to the new Phillips arena, they would become the team now known as the Georgia Force.
Along side his stints with the Force and the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, Blank is also at the helm of several charities and various small-scale retail promotions.