At least one bidder is interested in purchasing the Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena operating rights from the Atlanta Spirit Group, according to Chris Vivlamore and Tim Tucker of the Atlant Journal Constitution. Sources the paper consulted, who could not reveal the prospective buyer's name due to "confidentiality agreements," say the person who may buy the Hawks is examining financial records, and one source said the buyer is "moving fast."
Atlanta Spirit sold the NHL's Atlanta Thrashers last month; the Thrashers' buyers then moved the team to Winnipeg. Fortunately, the Hawks are unlikely to meet the same fate, as the NBA would not approve of one of its clubs leaving Atlanta. Plus, moving the Hawks comes with an additional $195 million in fees, the Journal Constitution says, for Philips Arena bonds and penalties for leaving Atlanta and Fulton County.
According to the Journal Constitution, the buyer is seeking majority control of the Hawks franchise, and that "current ownership would retain a significant minority share."
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