Atlanta Spirit co-owner Michael Gearon said there is now a “sense of urgency” to find additional investors or a buyer willing to keep the Thrashers in Atlanta. If the ownership group does not get additional financial help in the near future the franchise could be sold and moved to another city.
“If we are faced with that as the only alternative, that’s what’s going to happen,” Gearon told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in an exclusive interview Tuesday. “I don’t think there is an ability to stomach another $20 million in losses. We just can’t do it.
“The reality is we need fans showing up and we need investors, or a primary investor.”
Yes, because it really is somehow our fault, isn't it?
Folks, it might be time to accept that we're getting near the end of the line. One can't help but wonder if Dustin Byfuglien's big contract yesterday has something to do with this, i.e. that it's a very real possibility the team will be moved, and that this makes playing for the Thrashers more attractive, etc. It's also a way of sprucing up the team for a potential sale.
There have been good-intentioned calls for Arthur Blank to buy the team, but your editor has a hard time imagining that will happen. But there are many, many extremely rich people in Atlanta, and surely there's someone who's willing to add a money-losing hockey team to their list of responsibilities in a depressed/depressing economy.
No? Then saving the team will require some serious public-spiritedness/civic solidarity. Demonstrations with goofy signs, letter-writing campaigns, raising money, asking the city gubmint to intervene, public ownership a la the Green Bay Packers, etc.
But Green Bay is a small town, and Atlanta is a big city not really known for such stuff. Desperate times.