Organized sports is big business to each player, team, stadium, and state where they are held. Teams in the NBA are sold and bought by new investors frequently over the franchises years. The Atlanta Hawks are no exception and will be sold to a group led by Antony Ressler. Bruce Levenson is among the current stock holders involved in this multi-million dollar sale.
Ressler is involved in a large group of notable investors including such big names as Jesse Itzler (co-founder of Marquis Jet), Grant Hill (former NBA player), Sara Blakely (founder of Spanx), Steven Starker (co-founder of BTIG), and Rick Schnall (partner at Clayton Dubilier & Rice). These million dollar investors are joining together to purchase the Hawks for a bargain price of 850 million dollars. This sale requires the approval of the NBA owners which is not expected to be an issue.
The dollar amount of this sale was shocking to some who expected that the team would bring Levenson and his partners over a billion dollars when sold. According to an article on the USA Today website, Bruce Levenson is set to sell his portion of the team in September. The price that his group attained for the team is considerably less than the amount they were seeking just a year ago. At this time, the Hawks investors have relinquished control of the team to the new owners from Ressler’s group.
This incredible sale sets a precedence for other NBA team sales. Irwin Raij is a sports attorney at Foley & Lardner. In the article he states that, “The price reflects the strength of the NBA product right now and views as to what they think the market can become,” he said. “This takes into account the national and local media deals and the trend of increasing NBA team valuations. … This price for this team in this market will be viewed positively.” It is predicted that franchise owners and players alike will see an increase in the amount of return on their investments in the NBA teams.
When it comes to professional sports, owning an award winning team like the Hawks is only a dream for most of the basketball loving population. With the sale of the Atlanta Hawks to Antony Ressler and his group of active investors, Bruce Levinson will now be able to sit back and relax during the Hawks games instead of sweating over the dollar signs making their way down the court.