Alex Meruelo, founder of popular pizza chain La Pizza Loca, has made a deal to purchase the Atlanta Hawks.
Upon approval by the NBA, Meruelo will become the NBA’s first Latino majority owner.
Meruelo, the son of Cuban immigrants, who was born in New York and raised in Southern California, started his career in Huntington Park by opening the very first La Pizza Loca in 1986 when he was 21 years old.
Along with his work in food and service, Meruelo has his hand in commercial and residential real estate, construction, and television.
Meruelo purchased the Spanish-language station KWHY-TV in Los Angeles earlier this year. He also owns the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno, Nevada.
Even with Meruelo’s Southern Californian roots, he has said that he has no plans to relocate the team, also saying that he plans to be very involved with the team, pledging a hands-on approach.
The Hawks ended last season with a 44-38 record, beating the Orlando Magic in the first round of the NBA playoffs before losing to the Chicago Bulls. The Hawks have reached the postseason in each of the past four years.