Move to Atlanta – HawksDespite the success, Kerner became weary of the Hawks’ longtime home, Kiel Auditorium. The 33-year-old arena seated only 10,000 people and was starting to show its age. The Hawks occasionally played at the larger St. Louis Arena, mostly against popular opponents, but Kerner was not willing to move the team there full-time because it had not been well-maintained since the ...
Ted Turner’s ownershipCable network entrepreneur and Atlanta Braves owner Ted Turner bought the team n 1976, Turner bought the Atlanta Hawks, partially to provide programming for WTCG. The Hawks were the only NBA team in the Southeastern United States, just as the Atlanta Braves were the only Major League Baseball team in the region for many years to come. Turner’s ownership was ...
New ArenaPhilips Arena Coming!Around this time, it was decided that the Omni should be replaced by a new arena. The Omni was designed with weathering steel that was intended to rust into a seal around the arena so it could last for decades. However, the designers and architects didn’t reckon on Atlanta’s humid subtropical climate. As a result, it never stopped rusting and ...
Phillips Arena OpensFollowing the 1997 playoffs, the Hawks then moved back to Alexander Memorial Coliseum at the Georgia Institute of Technology, with the Georgia Dome used for larger-capacity games, until Phillips Arena opened before the 1999 – 2000 season. Philips Arena is a multi-purpose indoor arena located in Atlanta, Georgia. It was completed and opened in 1999 to replace and occupying the ...
Atlanta Spirit LLC’s OwnershipIn March 2004, the team was sold to a group of executives by the name of Atlanta Spirit LLC by Time Warner, who inherited the Hawks and Braves upon its merger with Turner Broadcasting in 1996, along with the Atlanta Thrashers pro ice hockey team now the Winnipeg Jets, with which the Hawks shared the Philips Arena, which replaced the ...
History of the Hawks
The Atlanta Hawks are one of the most storied franchises in professional basketball. They have been a part of the National Basketball Association (NBA) since 1968, when they were founded as the Tri-Cities Blackhawks in Moline, Illinois. Since then, they have moved to Milwaukee, St. Louis, and finally to Atlanta in 1968, where they remain.
In their first season as an NBA franchise, the Hawks made it to The Finals but ultimately lost 4–2 against Bill Russell's Boston Celtics dynasty team led by legendary coach Red Auerbach. Despite this setback early on, however, throughout its history, with stars like Dominique Wilkins and Dikembe Mutombo leading them along with Hall of Fame coaches such as Lenny Wilkens and Mike Fratello at various points over time - The Hawks went on to become one of only three teams (the other two being San Antonio Spurs & Los Angeles Lakers) that has won 50 or more games for 10 consecutive seasons from 1985-86 through 1994-95 - making them one of the most successful teams during that era!
In addition to their regular season success over those years, which included 8 division titles between 1980–81 & 1993–94, The Hawks also had some Playoff success reaching 5 Eastern Conference SemiFinals between 1982 – 1992 under head Coach Mike Fratello while powered by players like Moses Malone & Doc Rivers before falling short each time just shy of advancing into 'The Finals.' Nevertheless, despite not winning a championship yet since moving from St Louis back in 1968 - fans continue cheering for Atlanta’s beloved team every year, hoping that maybe this could be “their year”!
Tri-Cities - Milwaukee - St. Louis - Atlanta
1949 – Present / National Basketball Association
1946 – 1949 / National Basketball League
1968 – Present / Atlanta Hawks
1955 – 1968 / St. Louis Hawks
1951 – 1955 / Milwaukee Hawks
1946 – 1951 / Tri-Cities Blackhawks
Hawks - For sports fans, the Atlanta Hawks are among the most beloved teams in the NBA. But did you know that their nickname has an interesting origin story?
The Atlanta Hawks began as a professional basketball team in 1946, known as the Tri-Cities Blackhawks. The name was chosen to honor Black Hawk, a Sauk Indian chief who had fought against U.S forces during the War of 1812 and eventually settled near what is now Rock Island County, Illinois—close to where three cities (Moline and Rock Island in Illinois and Davenport Iowa) that made up "Tri-Cities." This was also close to where some members of the ownership group lived at this time.
In 1951, after moving from Moline/Rock Island area to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for five years, the franchise changed its name from Tri-Cities Blackhawks to Milwaukee Hawks. However, by 1955 due to low attendance figures, it moved again -this time down south -to St Louis, Missouri. The team kept its original nickname but added “Saint” before it became Saint Louis Hawks. In 1968 they relocated again –this time further east–and became known simply as Atlanta Haws, which remains until today!
It's incredible how much history there is behind such a simple name like 'Hawks.' As we cheer on our beloved team each season, let us remember all those who have gone before us, making this great sport possible!
NBA Championships 0
2019 - Present / State Farm Arena
1999 - 2018 / Philips Arena
1997 – 1999 / Georgia Dome & Alexander Memorial Coliseum
1972 – 1997 / The Omni
1968 – 1972 / Alexander Memorial Coliseum
1955 – 1968 / Kiel Auditorium
1951 – 1955 / Milwaukee Arena
1946 – 1951 / Wharton Field House
2015 – Present / Tony Ressler
2004 – 2015 / Atlanta Spirit, LLC
1977 – 2004 / Ted Turner/Turner Broadcasting
1968 – 1976 / Tom Cousins/Cousins Corporation, Carl Sanders
1946 – 1968 / Ben Kerner
To qualify as the greatest player for this team, the player must have played one season for this team. If not, we will remove the player.
* verifies that player has played for this team as an added player by a fan.
9 / Bob Pettit
21 / Dominique Wilkins
23 / Lou Hudson
44 / Pete Maravich
55 / Dikembe Mutombo
59 / Kasim Reed
– / Ted Turner
*Blue is this team’s history