The Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club and the City of Atlanta have agreed a US$192.5 million renovations package for the Philips Arena.
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 that hosts approximately 170 events annually.
The Hawks committed to an 18-year lease extension to remain in downtown Atlanta through 2046.
The new 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.
Tony Ressler, Atlanta Hawks Principal Owner and Chairman, said:
When our group became owners almost a year and a half ago, we pledged to work diligently with the City of Atlanta to ensure that the Club remained downtown. We knew that a key part of producing a winning team, providing a superior fan experience and being a civic asset to the City of Atlanta required a renovation of our arena and a meaningful improvement to the downtown area of this city.
This announcement with the Mayor is a significant step toward this goal, and we look forward to this exciting transformation that will ensure that we provide the best fan experience possible now and for the next 30 years.
The Hawks will begin renovations of Philips Arena during the summer of 2017, and the transformation will be completed by the start of 2018-2019 season, coinciding with the Hawks’ 50th Anniversary in Atlanta. The Hawks will play next season at Philips.
Mayor Reed said:
This is the first stake in the ground in transforming the critical corridor from the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium to Centennial Olympic Park and across to Five Points and Underground Atlanta.
I want to thank Tony Ressler and the Atlanta Hawks’ ownership for committing to this deal that will keep the NBA in our City and help re-imagine downtown for the millions of residents, visitors and tourists who come to Atlanta each year.
The Hawks’ say their vision is to have a building that is “True to Atlanta” by taking the excitement and inclusiveness of the Beltline and connecting that spirit to the reimagined Philips Arena.
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 the 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.
Images courtesy Atlanta Hawks