SBD/October 30, 2012/NBA Season Preview

Hawks Owners Happy With Decision Not To Sell One Year Ago

Levenson (r) said his group hopes to add minority investors, but "nothing is imminent"
The Hawks’ ownership group “considers itself fortunate that its deal to sell a majority stake in the team to a Los Angeles businessman fell through” one year ago, according to Tucker & Vivlamore of the ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION. Hawks co-Owner Bruce Levenson “described in detail for the first time how and why he and his partners moved from having one foot out the door to a full re-engagement.” He said that the group has “made no effort to sell the team since the deal with Alex Meruelo was called off Nov. 4, 2011.” He noted that the group “hopes to add minority investors, but is focused on building the franchise and owning it long-term.” Levenson said that ownership had “come to regret the decision to sell by the time the Meruelo deal collapsed.” Levenson: “We had not long before gone through this very public, very fractious dispute among our ownership group, and even though we were pleased with the result of that [the buyout of former partner Steve Belkin], it was still a very painful dispute. On top of that, we had just gone through the sale of the Thrashers, another very painful and public process. And on top of that, we were going into an uncertain period in the NBA with the collective bargaining agreement.” Levenson said that a year later, as a new season approaches his group would “like to add minority investors who could contribute to the organization in ways beyond financial, but added ‘nothing is imminent’ on that front.” Levenson said that the Hawks “continue to lose money, but not nearly as much as previously.” The Hawks reported that the owners “invested $9 million on capital improvements in the past year, including LED boards and a restaurant in Philips Arena and an exterior marquee, and recently approved five new positions in basketball operations and player development” (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 10/28).
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