Kelly Loeffler no longer a WNBA team owner as NBA approves sale of Atlanta Dream

Renee Montgomery of the Atlanta Dream.

Adam Pantozzi | National Basketball Association | Getty Images

Kelly Loeffler is no longer a WNBA team owner.

The Women’s National Basketball Association introduced Friday that it and the NBA board of governors have unanimously authorized the sale of the Atlanta Dream to Larry Gottesdiener, chairman of actual property agency Northland.

Other team buyers embrace former Dream star Renee Montgomery and Northland president and COO Suzanne Abair.

“With the unanimous WNBA and NBA votes, today marks a new beginning for the Atlanta Dream organization and we are very pleased to welcome Larry Gottesdiener and Suzanne Abair to the WNBA,” stated WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert in a assertion. “I admire their passion for women’s basketball, but more importantly, have been impressed with their values.”

On a media name discussing the sale, Engelbert stated Montgomery could be a large “asset” to the brand new house owners. She labeled Montgomery as a “trailblazer who has made a major impact both in the game and beyond.” Montgomery, 34, performed 11 years within the WNBA, together with two seasons with the franchise (2018-19) earlier than retiring on Feb. 9.

“I want to continue to grow and we’re going to continue to grow the momentum in Atlanta for Atlanta Dream,” stated Montgomery on the decision.

Terms of the sale weren’t made out there.

But portray a image of WNBA team valuations, sports activities bankers estimate the 2019 sale of a greater market team – the New York Liberty – bought within the $10 million to $14 million vary. Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai now owns the team.

Asked by CNBC to verify if sale fell that worth vary, Engelbert stated phrases had been “confidential” however added “we’re looking forward to continuing the transformation around all the elements of the WNBA so that we can add value and valuation to all of our franchises going forward.”

Atlanta owner Kelly Loeffler (proper) talks with Dream General Manager Chris Sienko (left) through the WNBA recreation between the Las Vegas Aces and the Atlanta Dream on September fifth, 2019 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, GA.

Rich von Biberstein | Icon Sportswire | Getty Images

Loeffler, the previous Georgia U.S. Senator misplaced her senate seat in January’s Georgia runoff election. She made the headlines in July 2020 after she opposed the team’s assist of social justice for Black folks following a number of high-profile shootings involving police.

The Dream wore jerseys that supported the Black Lives Matter motion and remembering Breonna Taylor,  who was killed by police in Louisville, Kentucky, final March. Loeffler wrote Engelbert to oppose supporting the motion and specific her assist for gamers to put on the American flag on jerseys.

After the letter, Dream gamers used their platform to assist her opponent, now U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock. Players wore “Vote Warnock” shirts, which reportedly raised over $236,000 for his marketing campaign.

On Jan. 19, experiences surfaced a sale of the Dream was being finalized. In 2011, Loeffler and Mary Brock took over the bulk stake within the Dream, after then-owner Kathy Betty departed the possession group in 2011.

“That’s in the past now, we’re looking towards the future, and the new beginning for the Dream players and quite frankly, the WNBA,” Engelbert stated.

The Dream completed 7-15 final season and didn’t make the playoffs. The team will choose third within the 2021 WNBA Draft.

“It is a privilege to join a team of inspiring women who strive for excellence on the court and equity off the court,” stated Gottesdiener. “I would like to express my gratitude to Commissioner Engelbert, Commissioner (Adam) Silver, and the WNBA and NBA Boards of Governors for the opportunity.”

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