Augusta's first professional basketball team in 13 years will soon have a home, according to Augusta Groove co-owner Gary Perry.
Perry said Thursday that the Atlanta-based ownership group is close to finalizing a deal to play its home games at Augusta State University's Christenberry Fieldhouse. He said he expects the final details to be worked out by next week.
"We're doing that next Wednesday," Perry said. "Everything will be done by then. Everything's already done with the league."
Augusta State athletic director Clint Bryant said Thursday evening that a deal was not yet official.
"I can't confirm anything, because nothing's been signed," Bryant said. "It looks favorable, but we haven't signed an agreement yet."
Despite the lack of an official deal, Perry said that a news conference had been set for 10 a.m. Wednesday at Augusta State to make a formal announcement that the team will play at Chistenberry Fieldhouse.
If the deal is finalized as Perry expects, the team's 20-game season, which will begin in January, will include 10 home games at Christenberry Fieldhouse.
The Groove, formerly a member of the Continental Basketball Association as the Atlanta Krunk, will play in Augusta as a member of the Premier Basketball League.
It will be the first attempt at professional basketball locally since the Augusta Drive's failed season in 1995.
The Drive played their games at the James Brown Arena, then called the Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center.
The Groove's three owners, LaVon Mercer, Rick Brown and Perry, originally entered into negotiations with the Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority in an attempt to call James Brown Arena home.
Those talks ended after Perry said the Coliseum Authority's demands were too high.
The Groove have already announced that one local athlete, former Thomson High School star Roderick McGahee, will play for the team this season.
Reach Billy Byler at (706) 823-3216 or firstname.lastname@example.org.