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Former San Diego Padres Owner Emerges As Potential Hawks Buyer

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Tim Tucker of the AJC reports that former San Diego Padres owner John Moores is in an exclusive negotiating period with the Atlanta Spirit about the purchase of the Atlanta Hawks and the operating rights to Philips Arena. While in the exclusive period, the Spirit have agreed to not pursue the sale with anyone other than Moores. Tucker also reports that the sale is not close and that both sides remain far apart.

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.

Moores is computer-software developer and bought the Padres in 1994. He sold the team in 2009 to a group headed up by former Arizona Diamondbacks part owner Jeff Moorad.

It remains to be seen if that Atlanta Spirit are intent on getting completely out of the sports business. It is possible that some of the members of the Spirit group could remain as minority owners if the team is sold.