Atlanta Dream sold – new owners include Black woman
Renee Montgomery is recently retired WNBA player
Carol Ozemhoya | OW Contributor | 3/1/2021, 2:24 p.m.
Last year, when civil unrest hit Atlanta as well as other U.S. cities in the wake of the death or George Floyd, the Dream, Atlanta’s WNBA team, came out in support of the protests and Black Lives Matter. This didn’t sit well with owner, Kelly Loeffler, the team’s White owner who happened to be running against a Black candidate in a very heated battle for Congress. Several high-profile Black entrepreneurs expressed interest in buying the Dream, including LeBron James and Kevin Hart.
On Friday, the WNBA and NBA Board of Governors unanimously approved the sale of the Atlanta Dream to a three-member investor group that includes former player Renee Montgomery, who is Black, reports USA Today.
In addition to Montgomery, investors include chairman of real estate group Northland, Larry Gottesdiener, and Northland President and COO Suzzane Abair.
“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,” said WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert in a team 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.”
Montgomery played her final two seasons in the WNBA for the Dream and announced her retirement following her 11-year career in February. She opted out of the 2020 season to focus on social justice reforms.
Montgomery becomes the first former player to be an owner and an executive of a WNBA team.
“My Dream has come true,” said Renee Montgomery. “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!”
Founded in 2007, the Dream has qualified for the WNBA Playoffs eight times and has reached the WNBA Finals three times.