A $192.5 million renovation of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks Philips Arena has kicked off after funding was approved by the Atlanta City Council.
Mayor Kasim Reed committed to provide $142.5 million in funds, with the Hawks funding the remainder, to improve the city-owned facility in order to revitalise the arena as a basketball-first, world-class venue.
About $110 million for the renovation will be generated from the car rental tax collected at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and other sites.
An additional $32.5 million will come from the city’s sale of Turner Field, the former home of MLB’s Braves, to Georgia State University.
The Hawks will contribute $50 million. As part of the deal, the team’s lease was extended through the 2047-2048 season.
The redeveloped arena will include new amenities on every level of the building, 360-degree connected concourses at all levels, improved sightlines and state-of-the-art video throughout the building.
The renovation includes removing a wall of suites on one side of the arena,.
The venue will now be closed for four months before re-opening for the 2017-18 season. Work is scheduled to be completed before the 2018-19 season.
Originally constructed as a multi-purpose facility and opened in 1999, Philips Arena annually ranks among the most-programmed venues in the country, after Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center in New York City and Staples Center in Los Angeles, according to Pollstar’s rankings.
Philips Arena hosts approximately 170 events per year, including most of the biggest musical acts, family shows including circus and ice shows, and Hawks home games. Philips employs approximately 1,500 staff per event, including 300 full-time employees and 1,200 part-time employees.
More than 1.6 million fans and customers attend events at Philips Arena every year, with those numbers expected to increase significantly in the next 2-5 years.
Image courtesy Atlanta Hawks