When the Atlanta Hawks officially became for sale it was widely speculated that the price tag could be close to $1 billion for the franchise and the operating rights to Philips Arena. That ballpark figure appears to be correct as Forbes has valued the franchise at $825 million which doesn't include the value from Philips Arena.
A group led by Bruce Levenson and Michael Gearon bought the Hawks for $189 million in 2004 (Levenson was also caught making racially charged comments last year, which fueled the team going up for bid). The Hawks lost money five straight years before turning a profit last season thanks to a nearly $20 million revenue sharing check. We value the Hawks at an enterprise value of $825 million, 22nd overall in the NBA. Don't be surprised if you see a reported sale price closer to $1 billion if you include $124 million of bonds tied to the municipally owned arena. A true enterprise value excludes that debt.
Atlanta's current ownership group may have been reluctant to sale their stakes in the club but they are going to be rewarded handsomely for doing so. Atlanta checks in at No. 22 among franchise values. A whopping 11 teams are valued in excess of $1 billion.