WNBA approves sale of Atlanta Dream to real estate executive Larry Gottesdiener, former player Renee Montgomery part of ownership group
Chairman of Northland Larry Gottesdiener leads three-member ownership group of Atlanta Dream
A little over a month after reports surfaced of an impending sale, the WNBA announced that the Atlanta Dream has new ownership. Real estate executive Larry Gottesdiener, chairman of Northland Investment Corporation, leads an ownership group that includes former Dream player Renee Montgomery and Northland president and chief operating officer Suzanne Abair.
“It is a privilege to join a team of inspiring women who strive for excellence on the court and equity off the court,” Gottesdiener said. “I would like to express my gratitude to Commissioner Engelbert, Commissioner Silver, and the WNBA and NBA Boards of Governors for the opportunity.”
The change in ownership ends the team’s embattled relationship with former co-owner Kelly Loeffler, a Republican appointed to the U.S. Senate and who lost an election runoff race in January after a controversial run that included criticizing and insulting the players and the league for their support of social justice issues and a misinformation campaign about the Black Lives Matter movement. Players in the league backed Loeffler’s opponent, Rev. Raphael Warnock.
Loeffler and the other former co-owner Mary Brock’s statement on the transaction: “Ten years ago we stepped up to keep the Dream in Atlanta, as an important asset for a vibrant and diverse city. It was also important to us to help level the playing field for women’s professional sports. We are proud of what we accomplished and wish the team well in their next chapter. We will always value the hard work and dedication, and the memories, fans, and friendships that sustained our commitment to the Atlanta Dream over the last decade.”
Montgomery, who announced her retirement from the league after 11 seasons on Feb. 9, will be the first former player to become both an owner and executive of a WNBA team. A two-time WNBA champion, she sat out the 2020 season to focus on social justice issues.
“My dream has come true,” Montgomery said. “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 will play the 2021 season at the Gateway Center Arena at College Park.