The Atlanta Hawks are for sale, and one man is trying to open the bidding process beyond just billionaires.
Mark DiNatale, a self-described lover of "the ATL" and an Atlanta native, has started a crowdfunding campaign to purchase the Hawks. DiNatale is trying to raise $600 million to buy the franchise, which would then be owned by donors to the campaign.
DiNatale points out that he isn't a very skilled basketball player, but that he's a dreamer:
I was born and raised in Atlanta. I love the ATL. I've never owned a professional basketball team before. But I can dribble between my legs 60% of the time. I can't dunk because I can't jump that high. But, I do dream big and I know that the ATL is just weird enough to dream with me. Let's rise up and slam dunk history y'all.
Donors to the campaign would have their money returned if the DiNatale's crowdfunding effort fails. The Packers are the only major professional sports franchise in the United States that is owned by fans.
In September, the NBA announced that Hawks owner Bruce Levenson would sell his stake in the team after a racist email came to light. Last week, it was reported that 100 percent of the franchise is for sale.
Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, who reported on the crowdfunding campaign on Wednesday, pointed out that DiNatale's crowdfunding campaign is unlikely to be successful even if it does raise $600 million.
Alas, this also is why DiNitale’s dream the Hawks being owned by the people could never come true even if the people ponied up the cash. The NBA must approve the new owners of the Hawks, and the league’s currant franchise owners aren’t going to let a bunch of fans into the inner-circle because they are a bunch of snobs. Well, also because they want the franchises in their association to be financially viable and run competently.
- Stanley Kay