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Hawks Ownership releases statement about rumored sale

The team has heard the rumors of ownership issues that could lead to selling their properties to groups that may take the Atlanta franchises away from the ATL.

Bruce Levenson and Michael Gearon, two of the principal partners of Atlanta Spirit LLC, the parent company that owns the Atlanta Hawks, Atlanta Thrashers and Philips Arena operating rights, have released the following statement regarding the rumored sale of the teams and arena:

 "As has been shared publicly for more than a year, we are interested in finding minority investors and have engaged a firm to assist us in that effort.  We have no plans to move either team, and remain committed to the Hawks, the Thrashers, Philips Arena and the city of Atlanta."


In addition to the statement, the ASG announced that Bob Williams has been named President, Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena, and Executive Vice President, Atlanta Spirit LLC by the partners in the parent company that owns the Atlanta Hawks, Atlanta Thrashers and Philips Arena operating rights.  In this capacity, Williams will have oversight of all Hawks business operations and all Philips Arena business operations, and will share oversight of all Atlanta Spirit shared services with Don Waddell who is President, Atlanta Thrashers, and Executive Vice President, Atlanta Spirit LLC.


"Bob is smart, skilled and hard-working, and has done a tremendous job in building Philips Arena into a perennial entertainment powerhouse," said Hawks, Thrashers and Philips Arena co-owner Michael Gearon.  "His business acumen and proven track record, combined with his knowledge of the market and history with the franchise, make him uniquely qualified and a perfect fit for this position.  My partners and I have the utmost confidence in his ability to lead the business side of the franchise to new heights." 


Williams began his career in 1975 in ticket sales with the Atlanta Hawks before moving into the concert and entertainment side of the business.  He was a 22-year employee of The Omni Coliseum and was the building’s president beginning in 1994 until it was imploded in 1997.  Williams was a member of the executive committee to oversee the design and construction of Philips Arena, and since its opening in 1999, he has guided the venue to repeated Top 10 national and international Pollstar rankings, including a 2009 mid-year designation as the No. 1 entertainment venue in the United States based on concert and special event attendance.    Also in 2009, Philips Arena became the first LEED certified existing NBA or NHL arena in the world.


 "I’m thrilled to put my experience to the test in a new, yet familiar discipline, and am grateful to our owners for their confidence in me," said Williams.  "The opportunity to help shape the relationship that our fans and business partners have with the Hawks is an exciting challenge and one I’m looking forward to immensely."