Bruce Levenson is a Washington DC born philanthropist who was born on October 1, 1949. He spent most of his younger life in Chevy Chase, Maryland and graduated from Washington University and American University. He is married to Karen Boyarsky and together they have three children. His first company was founded with his good friend Ed Peskowitz in 1977. The company was titled United Communications Group and was based out of Levenson’s apartment. The pair worked on “Oil Express” which was a newsletter they published. It covered everything to do with the oil industry, but as the company gre so did the amount of information. Their newsletter soon covered healthcare, technology, energy, telecommunications, and mortgage banking. They even own a smartphone application called “GasBuddy” that locates the lowest priced gas stations. Bruce Levenson is most well known for being a majority owner of the Atlanta Hawks with his partner Ed Peskowitz. The two purchased the team and the Phillips arena in 2004. Levenson sold his share of the company in 2014 after ten years of ownership. He used Inner Circle Sports and Goldman Sachs to help him sell the basketball team and the Philips Arena operating rights.
For many months there were two groups leading the auction. One group was comprised of Steve Kaplan, minority owner of the Grizzlies, teaming up with Jason Levien, Grizzlies former CEO, and billionaires Handy Poernomo and Erick Thohir. The second groups was comprised of Mark Rachesky, who works for Lionsgate Entertainment, Steve Starker, a New York investment banker, and Jesse Itzler. The investment firm guaranteed that Bruce Levenson that the Atlanta Hawks and the arena’s operating rights would at least get $1 billion. Sadly for Levenson that wasn’t the case. Goldman Sachs was about 30% off the $730 million winning bid from what could be considered a late entry into the auction Tony Ressler, the co-founder of Ares Management LP, Grant Hill a NBA All-Star, Rick Schnall, Clayton Dubilier, and Sara Blakely, thee owner of Spanx. Although Levenson will make a large profit off of selling the basketball team and arena, many believe that he could have made more if he hadn’t oversold the price. A few of the groups that were part of the auctioning stated that they would have pair much more if the arena had been more maintained. According to reports the weight-rooms and the arena luxury boxes were below NBA standards .