Spirit in negotiations about Hawks, arena rights

In case you missed it, here is Tim Tucker’s story about the latest developments in the Atlanta Spirit ownership. The AJC continues to report the story and we will let you know of any new developments.

The Thrashers aren’t the only team that the Atlanta Spirit ownership group is discussing selling.

The Spirit, in the process of negotiating a deal that would send the hockey team to Winnipeg, also is in talks about a possible separate sale of the basketball Hawks, who would remain in Atlanta.

Two people familiar with the situation, both of whom asked not to be identified because of the ongoing talks, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the Spirit and outgoing San Diego Padres owner John Moores are in an exclusive negotiating period regarding the Hawks and the Philips Arena operating rights. Both people said a deal is not close and that it’s far from assured one will get done.

The exclusive negotiating period means the owners agreed not to pursue the sale of the Hawks to any other prospective purchaser for a prescribed period of time. It is not known when Moores’ exclusivity expires.

Moores did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

Meanwhile, negotiations continued on a possible sale of the Thrashers to True North Sports and Entertainment, a Canadian group that would relocate the team to Winnipeg. True North does not have an exclusivity agreement, meaning the Spirit remains free to entertain offers to keep the Thrashers in Atlanta.

As of late Tuesday afternoon, Thrashers president Don Waddell said no such offers had been received.

“My job is to continue to actively pursue buyers,” Waddell said. “At this time, there are no further developments.”

You can read the rest of the story here.

51 comments Add your comment

Old Time

May 19th, 2011
11:05 pm

The only problem with the “revealed plan” is that they have no dates in the arena next year because of the NBA lockout, no naming rights on the arena and in today’s days economic climate that might not be that easy to get and on top of that Phillips needs a serious overall. If the Spirit clowns can’t sell the Thrashers, Hawks and Phillips, they are going bankrupt. True North is desperate and the Spirit knows this so they can unload the Thrashers quickly for a higher price than the Coyotes would have cost, and then try to get rid of the rest if they can. Which again with the lockout looming won’t be easy. So if they can’t sell it all they get the money from the Thrasher sell and the NBA will own the Hawks and the city Phillips.