The WNBA approved the sale of the Atlanta Dream from former Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Mary Brock to a three-person ownership group that includes former player Renee Montgomery.
The sale comes months after Dream and other WNBA players spoke out against Loeffler after the former Republican lawmaker chided the league over its support for social justice causes. Joining Montgomery in the new ownership group is Northland Chairman Larry Gottesdiener and Northland President and CEO Suzanne 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,” WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said in a 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.”
The sale was approved unanimously.
Gottesdiener called it a “privilege” to join the Dream. Montgomery became the first former player to be an owner and executive of a WNBA team. She sat out the 2020 season and recently retired.
“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!”
Over the summer, Loeffler sparked controversy when she wrote to Engelbert objecting to the league’s plans to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement during the season. Players responded by wearing T-shirts in support of her U.S. Senate opponent, the Rev. Raphael Warnock, who would later knock off Loeffer in their runoff race.
Loeffler and Brock released a joint statement on the sale.
“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,” they said.