The Atlanta Dream have new ownership after pressure was placed on former U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler to sell her 49 percent share of the team. On Friday, the WNBA and the NBA's Boards of Governors approved the sale of the Atlanta Dream to a three-member investor group led by Larry Gottesdiener, who is the Chairman of the real estate company Northland. The approval of the sale was unanimous.
From the WNBA:
The WNBA and NBA Boards of Governors have unanimously approved the sale of the Atlanta Dream to Larry Gottesdiener, Chairman of Northland, an industry-leading national real estate firm. The three-member investor group is comprised of former Dream star Renee Montgomery, Northland President and Chief Operating Officer Suzanne Abair, and Gottesdiener.
Two-time WNBA champion Renee Montgomery will be the first former player to become both an owner and executive of a WNBA team. Montgomery sat out the 2020 season to focus on social justice issues and recently announced her retirement from the league after 11 seasons.
Founded in 2007, the Dream has qualified for the WNBA Playoffs eight times and has reached the WNBA Finals three times. The team's former owners, Dream Too LLC, the Atlanta Dream ownership group, purchased the team in 2011.
"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," WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said in a statement. "I admire their passion for women's basketball, but more importantly, have been impressed with their values. I am also thrilled that former WNBA star Renee Montgomery will be joining the ownership group as an investor and executive for the team. Renee is a trailblazer who has made a major impact both in the game and beyond."
"My Dream has come true," Renee Montgomery said in her own statement. "Breaking barriers for minorities and women by being the first former WNBA player to have both a stake in ownership and a leadership role with the team is an opportunity that I take very seriously. I invite you to join me as the Dream builds momentum in Atlanta!"
The Dream are the second WNBA team to be sold this year, as the Las Vegas Aces were sold to new owner Mark Davis earlier this month. After missing the playoffs in each of the past two seasons, the Dream will be looking to turn things around under their new ownership group.