New Hawks Owner: ‘I Want to Bring a Championship to Atlanta’

by August 08, 2011

by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

Alex Meruelo is the new man in charge in the ATL. And he very clearly means business.

Meruelo, a man most Hawks fans have probably never heard of before, comes into town with big ideas, and a promise to shake things up. Aside from boasts about bringing an NBA title to Atlanta, even more critically, the new boss says he has no plans to move the team to another city.

From the AJC:

Although his primary residence and business will remain in Southern California, Meruelo said he plans to spend a lot of time in Atlanta and to buy a home here. “If you look at my previous … business ventures, I’m very hands-on, and this will be no different,” he said. Asked if there is any scenario in which he would seek to move the Hawks out of Atlanta, Meruelo said: “Absolutely no. None.”

He also said: “I want to bring a championship to the city of Atlanta.”

Owning an NBA team, he said, “has been a dream of mine and a passion, and you’ll definitely see that as I become, hopefully, the owner in a short period of time.”

Alex Meruelo — the NBA’s first Hispanic owner — made his fortune in the pizza chain business, and eventually branched out into real estate development, construction, banking, television, and he owns a hotel-casino.

The media in Atlanta is excited about the new owner, mostly because this means the previous ownership group can’t screw things up anymore. And this could signal that changes at the management and coaching levels could also be forthcoming in the very near future.