ATLANTA - FILE: A general view of the outside of Philips Arena before the Miami Heat face the Atlanta Hawks on October 21, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. It was reported by a person familiar with the deal that controlling interest in the Atlanta Hawks franchise and Philips Arena will be sold to California developer and pizza chain owner Alex Meruelo August 7, 2011. An official announcement has not been made. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
NBA.com writer David Aldridge reports that new majority owner Alex Meruelo paid in excess of $300 million for a 75-80 percent stake in the Hawks and Philips Arena.
The sale price, according to a source with knowledge of the negotiations, is in excess of $300 million. This does not including the debt that Meruelo will assume from Atlanta Spirit, which will retain between 20 and 25 percent of the team initially. Meruelo will have the option of buying even more of the team from the group in the next few years. The team will remain in Atlanta, unlike the Hawks' former co-tenant at Philips, the NHL's Thrashers, which Atlanta Spirit sold to a group in Canada that moved the team to Winnipeg earlier this summer.
The story also states that Meruelo will have the option of buying even more of the team from the Atlanta Spirit Group in the next few years and that he plans to move to the Atlanta area. The new Hawks owner sees the NBA as a great investment despite the lockout.