The ownership group of the Hawks has no plans to add partners or investors.
It’s a departure from the previous ownership group, the Atlanta Spirit, who publicly stated it wanted to add minority investors for years before it sold the team to a group led by Tony Ressler nine months ago.
Ressler, the principal owner, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in an exclusive interview recently that the current ownership group was thoughtfully constructed and complete.
“No,” Ressler said when asked if there were plans to add investors of any kind. “We thought (at the time of sale) having a group of additional owners and investors that offered different perspectives would add some value, including having half a dozen or so that are from the Atlanta area full-time and have a history of the Atlanta market which we thought would, and has I might add, added some real value and perspective.
“All of that was why we have some partners and I’m thrilled we do but there is no currently plan to bring in new partners. Actually, I haven’t even thought about it. We have a great group. I think the good news is we’ve made some good progress, as far as we can tell, and we genuinely feel the franchise on so many levels is going in the right direction. … I think I can speak for all of the new owners, everyone is pretty delighted with the new direction we are going in.”
Ressler is the principal owner along with partners Sara Blakely, former NBA player Grant Hill, Jesse Itzler, Steven Price and Rick Schnall. Also a part of the group are James Cox Chambers Sr., Michael Gearon, Jr., Bob Goodman, David Moore, David Novak, Jeffrey Seaman, Rutherford Seydel, Mitesh Shah, Robert Sheft, Sam Soni, Steven Starker, Ted Virtue and David Wasserman.
The Hawks this month announced plans for a $50-plus million practice facility in partnership with Emory that will break ground next month. The Hawks have added several corporate sponsors and are planning more announcements.
Ressler and his wife hosted Hawks players at a preseason barbeque and Christmas event at their home.
“(It’s) under the banner that the players are important,” Hawks CEO Steve Koonin said in the same interview with Ressler. “Those are cultural things that help build this winning culture, when the owner and the owner’s wife are putting on these things and paying great attention to detail, quite candidly, it makes us proud to be part of this organization.”