Stephen Rollins, filmmaker and owner of Lightning Pictures, is popping up again as a potential investor for the Atlanta Thrashers. Rollins went first appeared on the scene in May of 2010 as a potential owner for the team, but that movement fizzled.
From the Canadian Press:
Rollins said he has met with Bettman and said the commissioner stressed he wants the team to remain in Atlanta. Rollins said he also met with a group representing the Thrashers’ owners.
When Rollins first expressed interest last year in purchasing the Thrashers, he spoke of himself as the potential lead owner. On Thursday, he said he has added “one of the largest investment and hedge fund groups around” to his efforts.
While Rollins said his primary interest is the Thrashers, he said the investment group has a broader focus.
“My heart is with Atlanta, being my hometown team,” Rollins said. “We’re just looking at all the options, talking with various people around the league about teams. I’ve been keeping my ear out on the situation in Atlanta. I know they’re wanting to do something pretty quickly.”
Rollins, the head of Lightning Pictures, said he wants to see the Thrashers remain in Atlanta. As an Atlanta resident in the 1990s, he was part of a grass-roots effort to bring the Thrashers to the city as an expansion franchise. He said he remains a fan and often wears his Thrashers jersey to meetings in Los Angeles.
He’s aware of the situation, he’s a fan, and at this point, I’m sure most fans don’t care how successful his film company is or is not. If he is willing to purchase a share in the team and keep the team located in Georgia, more power to him. He was instrumental in bringing the team to Atlanta in the first place, still obviously cares about the team and manages to keep up with them from Los Angeles, and wants to invest in hockey. He’s also serious enough to set up a meeting with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman the situation.
The issues in Atlanta certainly couldn’t get any worse. The team needs someone with an emotional investment in the team to keep them here; Rollins fits the bill.