David Aldridge of NBA.com and TNT is the first to report a figure on the sale of the Atlanta Hawks to California businessman Alex Meruelo: Aldridge's source claims a sale price in excess of $300 million for the Hawks and Philips Arena, which doesn't include a good deal of outstanding debt Meruelo will assume. (The Atlanta Spirit group owes a reported $120 million bonds on Philips; that debt is repaid with a portion of arena revenue.) Depending on how Philips, a 12-year-old building with a strong reputation in terms of condition and amenities, is valued, that appears to be a hefty pricetag for a mid-rung team with historically iffy attendance.
The Atlanta Spirit group bought the Hawks for $208 million in 2004.
Recent sales of NBA franchises have been mixed in terms of prices. The Golden State Warriors went for a record $450 million, while the Charlotte Bobcats were bought by Michael Jordan for less than $300 million. The Detroit Pistons, New Jersey Nets and Philadelphia 76ers were also reported to come in under Forbes valuations.
Meruelo has insisted he will not relocated the Hawks, and doing so would prove mighty expensive regardless.