Dear Mr. Mayor,
As a recently relocated new "Atlantan" and import from the North suburbs, I wanted to share a few thoughts on your grandstanding efforts to upstage the Braves new stadium announcement on Tuesday, 9/16.
First of all, I thought that you were a sports fan? If you were you would realize that trying to steal the spotlight from the Braves big day by making news with the Atlanta Hawks was a waste of time. Atlanta is barely interested in the Hawks during their season, let alone their off-season. I am sure a PR team could have filled you in on that one.
I understand your ambitions. You have already managed to lose an NHL team and a MLB team from the city limits while you have be in office. My wish is that we don't hemmorage any more teams before you exit. By the way, don't count an expansion soccer team as some sort of trade off for the Thrashers or Braves.
Speaking of the Thrashers, how did you let them exit the city with little interest from your office. The Thrashers had better attendance, better TV ratings and a clear advantage in merchandise sales. Yet when the Hawks ownership group created another mess you want to help QB the selection of a new owner and give some cash incentives for them to come?
With all due respect Mr. Mayor, I don't trust your judgement. I am suspicious of your motivation to cut a sweetheart deal for an NBA team after ignoring the larger fan base that existed for the NHL team. What is your game plan? Is there one?
I realize the Braves have made you look bad. It appears you played poker and lost on a bluff. I just don't want you reaching into my pile of chips as a taxpayer so you can find an owner to your liking.
The new owner will be here for a much longer time and will have the chance to make a true imprint on the city of Atlanta. That is the same opportunity that you had when you took office. Stick to politics and avoid the sports world. Your resume of serving the fans of Atlanta is spotty at best.
By the way, the mesy winter weather will be here before you know it! Let's have a plan this time.
Bruce Levenson and his email is front page news around the sports and news media world today. I have a few comments of my own...
1) The Game Night Ops at the Hawks is amazing. I know many of the crew and have worked with them personally. I know them to be professional, cutting edge and fun people. I also am glad to know that they are color blind. Who cares who is on the Kiss Cam? Who cares who is chosen to play in an on court contest? I have never once heard a fan complain about this issue. The Game Ops would inspire more people to come back then turn them away.
2) I have said many times before on the air, "Atlanta LOVES the NBA, but only LIKES the Hawks". That is a Hawks issue. They never have delivered to the local fan base and continue to be unable to inspire fans to give them a reason to attend.
3) Southern Whites? Really? I don't even know what to say about that one. Nothing is worse than painting with a broad brush and depicting a group of people by what might be a small minority element. Every group of Americans has a portion that shames them by their behavior. I hate that stereotypes get perpetuated by small minded ideas.
4) There is one fact that nobody wants to even discuss. This bothers me. You can have honest dialogue on a topic without painting it as a race issue. ABC News published the Most Dangerous Zip Codes in America. The stadium complex in downtown falls into the 7th worst in America. Making our streets safer for ALL residents is something that should be a priority. This is an Atlanta issue, not a Hawks issue. By the way, I am now an Atlanta resident so I am particularly interested in what they plan to do moving forward.
How do you feel about the email and the chances a new owner can turn around the Hawks?
Drop me an email at email@example.com or @johnkincade on Twitter