Atlanta had been mentioned as a possible future city for WNBA expansion, but efforts did not come together until the beginning of 2007. An organizing committee with Atlanta businessmen and politicians began the effort to attract an expansion team. The inability of the Atlanta Hawks of the NBA to draw crowds was a concern of the WNBA, and the committee kicked off an effort in February 2007 to gain volunteers and petition signatures.
Philips Arena, the Gwinnett Arena and Alexander Memorial Coliseum were candidates for venues. By May 2007, the committee had over 1,000 pledges for season tickets, although the goal was 8,000 season tickets in ninety days. By July the committee had 1,200 commitments. The next step was to find an owner for the team.
On October 16, 2007 word broke that Ron Terwilliger, an Atlanta businessman and CEO of a national real estate company would be the future owner of an Atlanta franchise. The next day, at a news conference at Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park, WNBA president Donna Orender made the announcement that Atlanta would officially be granted a WNBA expansion franchise.
In 2009, Atlanta reached the playoffs at 18–16, exceeding their previous record by 14 wins. Despite being in the playoffs, the Dream ended their season in disappointment and lost in the first round to the 2008 champion Detroit Shock in a sweep. After the season, their coach, Marynell Meadors, was awarded the Coach of the Year Award.
The Atlanta Dream are a professional basketball team based in Atlanta, Georgia, playing in the Eastern Conference in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). The team was founded before the 2008 WNBA season began. The team is owned by Dream Too LLC, which is composed of two Atlanta businesswomen: Mary Brock, and Kelly Loeffler. Like some other WNBA teams, the Dream is not affiliated with an NBA counterpart, even though the Dream share the market with the Atlanta Hawks.
2008 – Present / Women’s National Basketball Association
2008 – Present / Atlanta Dream
Dream – The name was inspired, in part, by the famous speech of Atlanta native Martin Luther King, Jr.
WNBA Championships 0
2020 – Present / Gateway Center Arena @ College Park
2018 – 2019 / State Farm Arena
2008 – 2017 / Philips Arena
2011 – Present / Dream Too LLC, composed of Mary Brock and Kelly Loeffler
2010 / Kathy Betty
2008 – 2009 / Ron Terwilliger
*Blue is this team’s history