A person familiar with the deal says controlling interest in the Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena will be sold to California developer and pizza chain owner Alex Meruelo.

The deal, subject to the approval of the NBA, is to be announced today.

The Hawks ownership group, led by Michael Gearon Jr. and Bruce Levenson, also recently sold the NHL Atlanta Thrashers to a group that has moved the team to Winnipeg. The Thrashers deal, for a reported $170 million, was announced on May 31.

The Hawks will remain in Atlanta.

Meruelo founded La Pizza Loca, which has over 50 franchised and company owned restaurants in Southern California.


This is great news Hawks’ fans! With the league currently going through a work stoppage I think this is when you buy! We recently saw how the NFL adjusted salaries and the same is on the way for the NBA whenever they decide to resume action meaning that stupid $124 million dollar contract will mean absolutely nothing because the league is looking to cut these outrageous contracts by 30%-40%.

The new ownership couldn’t be worse than the Atlanta Spirit and their crappy day to day operations of a once proud franchise. It’s my understanding that the Spirit will retain a minority stake in the Hawks but I think Mr. Meruelo should reconsider if he wants to start from scratch…

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