Sunday, August 07, 2011

Atlanta Hawks Are Sold

Tim Tucker of The Atlanta Journal-Consitiution reports that the Atlanta Spirit Group have sold a majority stake in the Atlanta Hawks and the operating rights to Philips Arena to Alex Meruelo:
Meruelo said some members of the Spirit group will maintain minority ownership positions but that he will own more than 50 percent and control ownership decisions. He would not be more specific about the size of his stake and would not divulge the price he has agreed to pay for it.

But he said, "I will be in complete control of the team."

Although his primary residence and business will remain in Southern California,

Meruelo said he plans to spend a lot of time in Atlanta and to buy a home here.

"If you look at my previous ... business ventures, I'm very hands-on, and this will be no different," he said.

Asked if there is any scenario in which he would seek to move the Hawks out of Atlanta, Meruelo said: "Absolutely no. None."
Given the uncertain future of the NBA, both in terms of when the league will resume and how its financial structure will change it's pointless to speculate as to the particulars of Meruelo's ownership. Regardless of particulars, Meruelo has two obvious and certain opportunities to improve on the job done by his new minority partners:

1) Allow basketball people to make basketball decisions
2) Better overcome the demographic and logistical difficulties that keep Philips Arena far below capacity far too often

1 comment:

jrauch said...

I really hope an (expected) extended labor dispute and new ownership means we've seen the end of the Sund/Drew braintrust.