Is Ted Turner interested in an Atlanta sports team? No chance

I had a long interview with Ted Turner this week over a wide range of topics. You’ll be able to read that here Saturday afternoon.

For now, though, here’s something you may find interesting. I asked him if he’d be interested in returning to the Atlanta sports scene.

After all, as the previous owner of the Braves and Hawks, he was instrumental in bringing pro hockey back to Atlanta in 1997 when he won the Thrashers franchise from the NHL.

Ted Turner

Ted Turner

Now, the Thrashers are on the market and there are rumors they could end up back in Canada, where the Flames went after leaving Atlanta.

That sale also could trigger a new owner for the Hawks and the rights to Philips Arena, since the Atlanta Spirit owns all three properties. Turner was the one who decided to build Philips Arena downtown when others wanted it in the suburbs.

So Ted, are you going to get back in the local sports game?

“No, I’ve done sports — been there, done that,” Turner, 72, said.

Please return Saturday for my column on what Turner said — or wouldn’t say — on a variety of issues, from nuclear war and alternative energy to Atlanta’s future.

- Henry Unger, The Biz Beat

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

33 comments Add your comment

John Anderson

April 22nd, 2011
7:28 am

@#$% Can Don Waddell!

John Vogt

April 22nd, 2011
7:29 am

What an ass…you call this a “news” column??
Headline: Is Ted Turner interested in an Atlanta sports team?
Column: “No, I’ve done sports”
Get a job doing something else since you have nothing creative at ALL to write about.
What an ass.
Can’t possibly wait for the forthcoming update!

Worthless Story

April 22nd, 2011
7:52 am


April 22nd, 2011
8:01 am

Well, heck, he asked the question and Ted said no. What’s misleading about that?


April 22nd, 2011
8:04 am

Do you get payed if someone clicks on your column? Is that what you were trying to do? Because this was a waste of everyone’s time.2 minutes of my life I will never get back. Thank you

Dean Tate

April 22nd, 2011
8:08 am

I’ve been wondering myself if Ted might be interested in getting back in, particularly with the Thrashers in upheaval. So I’m glad Henry asked and got a definitive answer. If he’d given the answer in the headline, nobody would’ve clicked on the column. Big deal.


April 22nd, 2011
8:12 am

This Biz Beat isn’t even high school quality. Sad!

Totally worthless story

April 22nd, 2011
8:12 am

That desperate for clicks, huh?


April 22nd, 2011
8:14 am

Good. Look at the Braves’ record for most of his ownership. We only improved when he got out of the way of operations. He was a horrible owner.

alms for the poor

April 22nd, 2011
8:20 am

Here’s a click for you, poor man.


April 22nd, 2011
8:35 am

How is this new? Turner has said for years he would never own another team. Whoever wrote this tease should be on unemployment line.

Reality Bites

April 22nd, 2011
8:43 am

Scrapin the bottom of the barrel are we, Cox Ent?


April 22nd, 2011
8:46 am

Where did you get your journalism degree from? Wal-Mart???

Gold Jacket

April 22nd, 2011
8:52 am

Worthless article

Honky Talkin'

April 22nd, 2011
9:01 am

Slow news day? BULL$HIT article.

D man

April 22nd, 2011
9:11 am

Juicy Bison Goodness

April 22nd, 2011
9:55 am


Thank you for contributions and dedication to professional sports here in Atlanta, but we in the BISON CONNOISSEUR Community now need your talents in your marvelous restaurants.

Gary Sdao

April 22nd, 2011
10:02 am

I wish he would because we need people like Ted. I just want to say one thing, i am on direct tv and i ordered the sports pac. and i was told i could get all the baseball games. I was ecited because i’m from New York and i like the New York Yankees. I tured it on and all the games were black out. So i called Direct TV and they told me because of Ted anybody living in this region of the usa will be blacked out. I’m a disabled man who has just retired so Ted if you can fine it in your heart to forget the money i would be greatful…..gary sdao

Henry Unger

April 22nd, 2011
11:52 am

OK guys. I’m getting hammered for being a tease with today’s post. And since I don’t like teases either, I’m going to post Sunday’s full column on Saturday afternoon. That’s the earliest I can post it. My interview with Ted touched on lots issues, from renewable energy to his philanthropy to downtown Atlanta. Hope it’s more satisfying.

Henry's My Hero

April 22nd, 2011
11:54 am

Maybe the headline was a little too much hype, but Henry’s the best business journalist in Atlanta and has been for more than a decade. Fact is, Henry’s the only guy who can get Ted or any other former/current CEO in town to return his calls. That’s how respected (and feared) he is. So chill out.


April 22nd, 2011
11:59 am

Ted Turner is an entrepreneur that has turned Atlanta, the news business and sports business upside down and inside out. Today, business people talk about “Change”, well Ted Turner is Mr. Change and even though he may be out of the limelight I’m still interested in what he’s thinking and what he has to say, regardless of his quirky personality and style (and even though I might not agree).

Given the state of Atlanta sports I think it’s appropriate that he should be asked if he’s interested in getting back into this business. Given the state of the news media I think it’s appropriate that he should be asked if he’s interested in getting back into the news business. Given the state of the country and world I think it’s appropriate that he should be asked where he sees himself working in today’s environment.

All of your insulting comments, regarding this article, shows your immaturity and inability to recognize true business value.

Sir Speak a Lot

April 22nd, 2011
12:22 pm

Hey Shadow7071 – I hear the sound of puckered lips — Kiss #ss!!
Terrible article – “True business value”??? What in the world are you talking about?
Mature people speak up – immature people suck up!
Way to go!


April 22nd, 2011
12:34 pm

@Sir Speak – If you see no value in what Ted Turner has to say then your position in the business world must be somewhere around Walmart greeter. But more than likely in you’re in a cube having dreams of your own office while down the hall in the conference room planning I’m the stranger planning the downsizing of your department.

You boys play nice!

April 22nd, 2011
1:25 pm

I think it probably wasn’t Henry to put the short article up on the sports blog. Probably the master of the sports blog did it…so…

Mr. Chris Paul

April 22nd, 2011
2:06 pm

Ted Tuner, My Hat off to you sir. Enjoy your Life. Move On. SPORTS IS DEAD in 2011 + Has anyone else noticed Stadiums are EMPTY ! My Entire Family works, college, were doing ok. We Invite everyone over and watch sports on our LCD 50 ” Screen with Speakers. & the Best Part, Food & Drinks are Plentiful & Cheaper ! & We are with Family & Friends !

So, PUT DOWN YOUR PRICES, WE ARE IN A RECESSION / DEPRESSION, then Maybe we will come back to the Ballpark, Stadium, Arena, ETC……

I hav espoke my Peace , Thank You. & God Bles Atlanta Georgia Sports, Good Luck & Good Night

[...] here: Is Ted Turner interested in an Atlanta sports team? – Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]


April 22nd, 2011
2:56 pm

Hey Ted….whatever lyin Don Wadell says……believe the opposite…..


April 22nd, 2011
4:47 pm

Shadow7071 works at Kmart

Bring ted back!

April 22nd, 2011
7:57 pm


April 22nd, 2011
8:04 pm

yup, yer right!! Guess I do….


April 23rd, 2011
4:52 am

Ted for prez! It’s great to hear he’s matured beyond sports. Now if he’ll just reconcile with Jane.


April 23rd, 2011
9:05 am

Buffalo burger, anyone? Geronimo!


April 26th, 2011
11:01 am

As a Thrashers fan it is painful to hear his response to the question, but not surprising. Ted is in the past for Atlanta and we, like a girlfriend who got dumped, need to remember that and move on. I, for one and probably the only one, am thankful that the Atlanta Spirit Group exists because it kept these teams in Atlanta, even thought the results have been mediocre at best. So they have served their purpose and now it is time to find a competent group of investors that can turn these teams fortunes around! I believe that Lord Stanley’s Cup needs to spend a summer in the capital of the true South-ATLANTA!