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Alex Meruelo's Hawks Purchase Partially Financed By Atlanta Spirit LLC, According To Report

Alex Meruelo's purchase of the Atlanta Hawks made waves earlier this week when he became the first Hispanic owner in the NBA. It seems that the purchase might be kept in the headlines for awhile longer, though, according to a Forbes report.

Meruelo's group purchased the Hawksfor an estimated $300 million, but Forbes' Mike Ozanian cites first-hand knowledge saying that Atlanta Spirit LLC will finance nearly 40 percent of the deal for the next five years. Ozanian says that the confusion around the exact amount Meruelo's group paid for the Hawks can probably be directly attributed to the terms of the financing.

Unfortunately, the article from Forbes paints a grim picture for Meruelo's future with the Hawks as he notes that "seller financing is unusual in sports and typically involves poorly capitalized teams" while using the Los Angeles Dodgers -- currently in a new financing mess -- and the Tampa Bay Lightning as two other teams that went this route in recent history.

With the problems regarding financing professional sports teams, specifically when said financing comes from the previous owners, Ozanian says that the sale is "no sure thing" to be approved by the league's owners.

In summary, this could get messy.

For more Hawks, head to Peachtree Hoops.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.