The WNBA announced the sale of the Atlanta Dream to Larry Gottesdiener and its approval of that sale on Friday.
The Dream had been partially owned by former Georgia senator Kelly Loeffler, who was condemned by Dream players for her lack of support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Dream forward Elizabeth Williams led the charge to support Loeffler’s opponent in the 2020 Senate race, Raphael Warnock, who won, and now the team has forced Loeffler to sell the team.
Gottesdiener is the chairman of a real estate firm called Northland. Joining him on the ownership team will be former Dream player Renee Montgomery and Suzanne Abair, the president and chief operating officer at Northland.
Gottesdiener had the following to say about taking over:
It is a privilege to join a team of inspiring women who strive for excellence on the court and equity off the court. I would like to express my gratitude to (WNBA) Commissioner (Cathy) Engelbert, (NBA) Commissioner (Adam) Silver, and the WNBA and NBA Boards of Governors for the opportunity.
Engelbert offered the following:
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. 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.
Montgomery, who recently retired after sitting out the 2020 WNBA season to work on social justice reform, is the first former WNBA player to hold jobs as both an owner and an executive of a WNBA team. She said:
My Dream has come true. 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!