Updated: New ownership(s) in the works?

At this point, here is what I can report on the ongoing Thrashers ownership issue. According to people familiar with the situation there are two investment groups that are progressing in an effort to buy the Hawks, Thrashers and Philips Arena and will keep the Thrashers in Atlanta.

A deal is not close in either case as proper paperwork has not been filed to begin serious negotiations. However, at least one group has met with the officials from the NBA and the NHL. The meeting with the NHL was Thursday.

In one of the prospective groups there is one main investor with others in the group, some of whom are from Atlanta. The group is not only interested in purchasing the three properties but there is a “development element” to the deal, possibly involving the area around the arena.

The Hawks, Thrashers and Philips Arena have been for sale and groups have expressed interest in buying the Thrashers and moving them to another city. Canadian cities Winnipeg, Quebec and Hamilton have long been rumored to be a possible destination.

As far as a timetable on such a deal, according to sources it would take at least a month to complete their due diligence on the proposal and at least another month to complete negotiations.

This is not the group involved with Atlanta native Stephen Rollins. That group is said to still be interested but a formal bid has not been made at this point.

I am continuing to work on this story in my best effort to make sure it is 100 percent accurate. Understand that I am only reporting that two new group have expressed interest in purchasing the teams and arena from the Atlanta Spirit and is progressing in its effort. There is a long way to go but it appears that the situation has progressed beyond the point of someone “kicking the tires.”

Stay tuned.

231 comments Add your comment

Smoothie

February 25th, 2011
10:19 am

“there is a “development element” to the deal, possibly involving the area around the arena.”

Fantastic! Woo hoo! Hope this comes to fruition!!

J(Z)

February 25th, 2011
10:19 am

Baby steps. Thanks for giving us potentially good news C-Viv!!!!!!

SomaAtl95

February 25th, 2011
10:21 am

Thanks Chris. Once the A$G is gone hopefully the drama leaves the arena for a good long while!

Telfo

February 25th, 2011
10:22 am

the fact that the prospective group has already met with the NBA and NHL seems like a very positive sign that they are serious

Dick Dickson

February 25th, 2011
10:24 am

Please let this come to fruition. Please don’t let ASG screw this up like everything else they’ve touched.

timthebrave

February 25th, 2011
10:24 am

Jake

February 25th, 2011
10:26 am

Hopefully the “development element” will include finding some guys who can play hockey.

Alan R.

February 25th, 2011
10:27 am

It’s also an indicator as to why Bettman continues to say there are “no plans to do anything” in regards to Atlanta.

Greg

February 25th, 2011
10:29 am

“Development element” Does anyone else read this as Jacoby is looking to buy the Thrashers? I like that thought, because they would be seriously invested in making sure all old ASG entities were successful.

jp

February 25th, 2011
10:29 am

Geez, you mean the Hawks would get new owners too that wouldn’t be afraid of paying the “luxury’tax” which almost every team that’s competing for a NC is doing right now?

Man the Spirit Group sucked. Why couldn’t they just let me run the franchise?

Jay

February 25th, 2011
10:30 am

OMG this is great news. Once the teams are sold we need to rescind permission for SAG to enter our state!

kracker

February 25th, 2011
10:31 am

“there is a “development element” to the deal, possibly involving the area around the arena.”

This could mean goodbye to The Gulch area, where the Thrashers tailgates happen – every Saturday and Sunday home game. And Friday, too, if it is a holiday.

boots

February 25th, 2011
10:32 am

Development of the area is key to having people feel better about seeing the Hawks at home. This city is big enough for the NHL, and the fan base is here. This current ownership group is dominated by egos and lacks common sense or any understanding of how to run a professional sports franchise.

kracker

February 25th, 2011
10:32 am

Jay, did you mean ASG….or SOB lol

Anonymous

February 25th, 2011
10:33 am

Check your spelling: “There is one main investor[s] with others in the group, some of whom are from Atlanta.

JB

February 25th, 2011
10:33 am

75 bucks to see an NBA game…..You’re kidding, right? Horrible investment. It’s a money pit.

Sage of Bluesland

February 25th, 2011
10:33 am

I look forward to the day that the incompetent buffoon Don Waddell is no longer defrauding the fans of the Atlanta Thrashers….

Darkhorse

February 25th, 2011
10:36 am

Thanks for the investigative journalism Chris! Keep digging……

Hopefully someone that understands hockey and the fickle sports region of metro Atlanta and surrounding will be able to buy the team.

I’m not a big Hawks fan anymore, but I hope for nothing but steller success for them also. They both need to be rid of the ASG.

Saabotager

February 25th, 2011
10:36 am

C’mon folks nothing being reported here.

Ed Zachary

February 25th, 2011
10:37 am

Another group of investors – wonder when they will start suing each other.

moriler

February 25th, 2011
10:37 am

Sayonara Atlanta S***head Group.

Thrashered

February 25th, 2011
10:37 am

Another distraction while the moving vans are enroute to load up and move the Thrashers to Canada. Think about it. What good businessman would want the Thrashers? Why? They are a money pit and will never be successful in ATL

Brew

February 25th, 2011
10:39 am

Love for the ASG to sell. Love for the Thrashers to stay. Make it so.

TheManMike

February 25th, 2011
10:39 am

….I spy with my golden eye an idea of a city with all of it’s sports teams possessing the same Mascot. The Atlanta Hawks, Thrashers, Dream, Braves and our new MLS Team will all hence forth be The Atlanta Falcons. Aurthur Blank has comprised a crew to go in on this historic event and bring the lime light to ATL once again…..

…or – It could be the Russians….

Anonymous

February 25th, 2011
10:40 am

Maybe this should be a requirement for all professional leagues: No sale/purchase of a franchise be executed without a 51% majority interest owner. This will allow decisions to be made without having to get the permission of the majority of an ownership group in which no one has a controlling interest.

Smoothie

February 25th, 2011
10:40 am

Well, I got blocked, sorry for the “language”…but yes, the Gulch is an absolute travesty and needs to get completely overhauled and made over. Bring in Ty Pennington!

BlueThrash

February 25th, 2011
10:40 am

I hope it means they will create an area around the arena that is fan friendly. I am not expecting an owner quite like Terry Pegula (the man, a billionaire, wept when he met Gilbert Perrault…but what true hockey fan wouldn’t, right?), but it would be nice to have someone who at least appreciates the sport and its fans.

Dawg A

February 25th, 2011
10:41 am

ASG is a joke! Please sell the team and end this disaster! And hopefully the new group will clean up the mess and do it by wiping out everything these clowns have done!!!

Jeremy H

February 25th, 2011
10:41 am

Somewhere, in Winnipeg, there are children. And they are crying.

kracker

February 25th, 2011
10:42 am

A group is OK, as long as one person has a controlling interest. For my part, I would wish it to be the hockey person. It would be nice to see the Thrashers taken care of first, instead of last, for a change.

Telfo

February 25th, 2011
10:43 am

I realize Thrashered is a troll but i will respond anyway.

the value of the Thrashers is at an all time low at probably around 140 million or so. any decent owner could easily add 50 million to that value is a couple of years if managed the right way. you buy assets like this when they are “on sale” so to speak.

Blow Up this "team"

February 25th, 2011
10:43 am

I HAVE A DREAM – that one day the Thrashers have committed ownership.

Iron League 13

February 25th, 2011
10:43 am

Great news so far as keeping this team in Atlanta. I will remain CAUTIOUSLY optimistic (boardering skepticism) about another group owning all assets until details surface regarding the make-up of said group. Nuff said for now and I believe cynicism to some degree is 100% warranted when talking about a single ownership congolomerate holding several assests.

Thanks for the heads up on this Viv and not trumping this thing up, very responsible journalism.

I will be at Le Bulb with the boy to try and show some promise to these cats.

LET’S GO THRASHERS!!!

litz

February 25th, 2011
10:44 am

Kracker – if the “Multi-Mode Rail Terminal” (or whatever it’s called this week) ever gets built, the Gulch will go away anyways … it’s the only place in the downtown area you can build such a facility.

(in fact, Atlanta’s old Union Station was located there; the parking lots are the old railyard)

Now, if they do so, where they film future episodes of The Walking Dead is beyond me …

Back to topic …

As for Chris’ article … I’m so darned jaded w/ASG and the Thrashers right now, that I’m really – honestly – not willing to take an opinion.

When the deal is signed, and the ASG is sent packing … maybe then I’ll believe it can really happen.

atlthrasher

February 25th, 2011
10:45 am

Hockey can succeed here as long as you have the right type of ownership willing to commit to it. Look at Tampa, Carolina, and Washington. All of those cities came into question at some point. The owners DID something about that and they have flourished. Oh, what DID the owners do? spend money and build winners.

Iron League 13

February 25th, 2011
10:45 am

One too many O’s in con-glom-er-ate, there Iron.

JSS

February 25th, 2011
10:45 am

I rarely post on your blog Mr. Vivlamore (I avidly read it daily). However the fact that you mentioned the possible commercial development deal caught my attention. Not to be in rumor business, but as you were digging deeper into your reporting; Have you found that members of the possible new ownership group are the same as those who were prominent in Vine City, AUC (Atlanta University Center), and the Centennial Park area redevelopment?

I hope that you folks finally get your wish in terms of new “local” owners.

K

February 25th, 2011
10:45 am

kracker: didn’t you read the story on the Falcons and their new open-air stadium? the Gulch is already on somebody’s radar to go away. hope it doesn’t. closest cheap parking to Philips. well, for Thrashers games anyway.

Tom Lysiak

February 25th, 2011
10:46 am

This will bring out the Canadian trolls. You know who you are….

Ken Smartz

February 25th, 2011
10:47 am

“Somewhere, in Winnipeg, there are children. And they are crying.”

Probably because it’s -40 degrees and not because of what’s happening in Atlanta . . . unless you taunt them to come this way. As I’ve said before, I hope this is a positive development for the Thrashers.

Sanjeev

February 25th, 2011
10:48 am

Just got rid of the disaster called the ASG (and take Wadell with you I’ll pay for his moving expenses) and hockey can survive in Atlanta. The product is the problem not the fans.

Iron League 13

February 25th, 2011
10:48 am

I apologize for not proof-reading to my possible detractors. Please hammer don’t hurt me, I see em too.

Thrashered

February 25th, 2011
10:49 am

Again, there will be many stories pop up as to parties interested in buying the Thrashers. The team is a failure, the location of the arena is a failure, the ownership is a failure and there are too many other sports in GA that people are interested in. The Thrashers are irrelevant. Adios. May they live long and prosper in Winnipeg, QC or Hamilton.

chalkdawg4

February 25th, 2011
10:50 am

I was just in Memphis on Beale Street. It was a really cool 3-4 block party area. I was there early Sunday afternoon and there was already a lot of activity and live music with good food and drinks. The Fed Ex arena where the Grizzlies play was a block away. I was really jealous and wished that Atlanta could have an area like that vs. the sterile, antiseptic feel we have around Phillips and the dome.

BlueSpark

February 25th, 2011
10:50 am

C-Vivs: do you have a source besides Kincade? You don’t have to reveal the identity; a simple yes or no would satisfy me.

R. Stroz

February 25th, 2011
10:51 am

Back to the Phoenix blogs Winnipeg trolls.

Kano

February 25th, 2011
10:51 am

I hope it happens. I’d like to support the Hawks and Thrashers, but I won’t put a dime of my money into either of them so long as ASG owns them. I’d rather see the franchises moved than slowly and inevitably run into the ground by these clowns.

da' boomer

February 25th, 2011
10:52 am

Please tell me Don Waddell will not be a part of any package unless of course he is actually in a Fedex box being shipped to some 3rd world country…like Winnipeg

Dana Blankenhorn

February 25th, 2011
10:53 am

It never made sense for Philips’ owners to sell one of their lead tenants.

Philalamo

February 25th, 2011
10:53 am

Thrashers are gone. Adios, or should I say au revoir.