Exterior photo of Philips Arena. Home of the Atlanta Hawks.

Image Credit: Wikimedia

The city of Atlanta has announced that it will contribute nearly $143 million towards the renovation of Philips Arena, home of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks. The Atlanta Hawks organization will contribute another $50 million towards the project which will keep the Hawks in downtown Atlanta until 2046. The extension comes via an additional 18 years added onto their current lease with the arena and city.

The majority of the money needed to renovate Philips Arena will come from car rental taxes within the city. The rest will come from the sale of Turner Field to Georgia State University and future land sales. These sources of revenue are refreshing considering so many professional sports organizations try to place the burden on local taxpayers when it comes to stadiums and arena dealings. The renovation is aimed at creating a ripple effect that could lead to the development of the area in between Philips Arena and Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of the Atlanta Falcons. A mixed-use development is currently being constructed in the area around Turner Field and Georgia State University that will include bars, restaurants, retail and office space.

Photo of an Atlanta Hawks home game at Philips Arena.

Image Credit: Hector Alejandro (CC BY 2.0)

The Atlanta Hawks want to completely reconfigure one entire side of the arena that only exclusively has private suites. The transformation will now allow basketball fans to navigate the entire lower level of the arena. Suites will also be adjusted in size. The current seating layout on the lower level will also change; the arena was originally constructed to accommodate professional hockey. Atlanta’s NHL franchise, the Thrashers, relocated to Canada in 2011 and became the Winnipeg Jets. Atlanta Hawks owner Tony Ressler was very vocal about the importance of renovating Philips Arena and that pursuing a brand new arena for the team was never a possibility.

If the Hawks were to decide to leave Atlanta before 2046, the club will owe the city nearly $200 million according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Original talks between the city and the Atlanta Hawks placed the renovation costs in the neighborhood of $300 million. The Atlanta Hawks will also be adding constructing a brand new 90,000 square foot practice facility combined with a sports medicine center. Locally owned HJ Russell & Company will have a hand in the construction of both the practice facility and Philips Arena renovation. The renovations for Philips Arena are expected to be completed in time for the 2018-2019 NBA season.




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