Forbes released its ranking today of team values for every NBA franchise. The Atlanta Hawks are ranked 22/30 with a value of $825 million, a nice increase from the 2004 purchase price of $189 million. The Hawks are currently on the market and Forbes projects that the team could be sold for as much as $1 billion.
While the team garnered its first profit in six years last season, there are a couple of upcoming media deals that should be enticing to prospective buyers. The Hawks begin a new cable television deal with Fox Sports South next season that will be worth more than twice the current deal. Also, the Hawks will benefit from the NBA’s new national media deals with Walt Disney and Time Warner beginning in the 2016-17 season that are worth 3x as much as the previous deals.
Forbes points out that the Hawks have a real issue with attendance, though. The Hawks ranked of 28/30 in attendance last year and ESPN shows that the Hawks are 24th in attendance so far this season. Attendance has been low despite the Hawks owning the second longest current playoff streak of seven years, coming in only behind the San Antonio Spurs. They also have the second best record in the NBA this season, standing 1/2 game behind Golden State for the best record.
Bleacher Report has an ongoing collection of rumors on the potential sale of the Hawks, including the possibility of Hank Aaron owning part of the team. Thankfully, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and the current ownership team are trying to keep the Hawks in Atlanta. Commissioner Silver shared his views:
I do want to see the Hawks stay in Atlanta, and we’ve made that clear to the market. I don’t think it will be a real issue, because I would be shocked if they were to sell to a group whose intention it was to even seek to transfer the team out of Atlanta.