Friday, January 28, 2011 Swartz: Hawks no longer collateral as part of Philips Arena refinancing

How about some good news:
The Atlanta Hawks franchise is no longer tied to Philips Arena as collateral in case its owners default on long term bond payments – making it easier for the owners to tap into NBA’s credit facility and for the team to be sold -- according to a bond refinancing document from the City of Atlanta and Fulton County Recreation Authority.

The owners, a seven-man group known as the Atlanta Spirit, refinanced the remaining $124.5 million of debt remaining on the arena in August 2010, just before the start of the 2010-2011 NBA season, documents show.

The refinancing pledges operator revenues up to the maximum annual lease payment as collateral for the bonds instead, the documents show.
Kristi E. Swartz goes on to explain that the use of the team as collateral dates back to Turner's ownership of the club.

There's been no evidence the owners are interested in selling the Hawks (the Thrashers are a different story) but anything that makes the team easier to sell while also making it less likely control of the team changes due to defaulting on bond payments is a net positive for the franchise.

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