NBA Atlanta Hawks select joint venture to transform Philips Arena

The NBA’s Atlanta Hawks have confirmed that Atlanta Joint Venture has been awarded the contract to serve as construction manager for the upcoming US$192.5m renovation of Philips Arena.


Atlanta Joint Venture (AJV) is comprised of four of the US’s premier construction companies, with two based in Atlanta: Turner Construction Company, AECOM Hunt, SG Contracting and Bryson Constructors. Atlanta-based construction and management firm HJ Russell & Company, in association with Legends Project Development, are serving as the project management team for the project.

Hawks CEO Steve Koonin, said:

Our goal is to transform Philips Arena into a venue that embodies the spirit and connectivity of our great city. We are fortunate to work with these respected, industry leaders who understand Atlanta, share our passion for innovation and also place a high value on diversity in their work. 

Michael Russell, CEO, HJ Russell & Company, said:

HJ Russell & Company is proud of being chosen as one of two project management firms to oversee the construction of Emory Healthcare Courts in the new state-of-the-art Emory Sports Medicine Complex along with helping to manage Philips Arena’s impressive renovations. As an Atlanta native and lifelong Atlanta Hawks fan, it’s very exciting to play a significant role in renovating Philips Arena and building a space and place where our hometown team will prepare and train to compete against any team in the NBA.

Turner Construction Company is the controlling partner of AJV and will provide project management as well as support staff. Turner, who is the nation’s leading sports builder, has worked on major national renovations including Madison Square Garden, Littlejohn Arena, First Energy Stadium and Arrowhead Stadium. Locally, Turner’s Atlanta office completed the renovation of Bobby Dodd Football Stadium (Georgia Tech), the Russ Chandler Baseball Stadium (Georgia Tech) and Foley Field Baseball Stadium (University of Georgia).

Shannon Hines, SVP of Turner Construction Company, said:

With more than 200 employees that call Atlanta home, Turner is honored to be part of the team that will renovate Philips Arena, a facility rooted in the culture and community of downtown Atlanta. Our people are committed to actively serving and improving our community, and making the Hawks and City of Atlanta’s vision of a world-class facility a reality.

AECOM Hunt will lead preconstruction efforts and provide on-site field supervision during construction. Also a national leader in the industry, AECOM Hunt has led construction on 15 NBA arenas and over 70 arena projects, including T-Mobile Arena, Little Caesars Arena, Amway Center and Barclays Center. AECOM Hunt is also playing a leadership role with Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

Michael S. Burke, AECOM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said:

AECOM Hunt is proud to be part of the Philips Arena renovation and delivering the Atlanta Hawks a downtown home that they and the City of Atlanta can be proud of. Our experience delivering world-class sports venues is second to none, and we look forward to partnering with these other leading firms on the project.

SG Contracting will provide on-site management services and support staff. Based in Atlanta, SG spearheaded the construction of McCamish Pavilion and focuses on construction projects in the greater Atlanta region.

Thad Sheely, Hawks Chief Operating Officer, commented:

We are excited that Atlanta Joint Venture will be spearheading our construction process as we look to transform the Arena into an attraction for all Atlantans. The joint venture represents the best of Atlanta local construction and sports renovation work nationally and we look forward to working together.

Located in East Point, Bryson Constructors will provide management support and field support staff. With over 25 years of experience, Bryson’s portfolio includes work at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and in the educational, industrial and commercial spaces. In 2009, Bryson was honoured by the National Association of Minority Contractors as ‘Georgia Contractor of the Year’.

The Hawks first announced their plans for the US$192.5m renovation of Philips Arena last month and also confirmed that HOK’s Sports + Recreation + Entertainment practice will deliver the designs.


The renovation of the arena, which opened in 1999, will create a building that is authentic to Atlanta and inspired by the excitement and inclusiveness of the city’s Beltline. The reimagined arena will include new amenities on every level of the building, including clubs, suites and luxury boxes, 360-degree connected concourses on all levels, improved sightlines and state-of-the-art video throughout. The renovation will better connect the arena to popular tourist attractions around Centennial Olympic Park.


The city-owned facility hosts more than 170 events annually. As part of the renovations, the Hawks have committed to an 18-year lease extension to remain in downtown Atlanta through 2046.


Atlanta Mayor, Kasim Reed, said last month:

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.

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 reimagine downtown for the millions of residents, visitors and tourists who come to Atlanta each year.

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 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 two to five years.

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