Renovation gets underway on Hawks’ Philips Arena as new renderings released
The US$192.5m renovation of Philips Arena, home of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks, has now commenced, just a day after funding was approved by the Atlanta City Council.
Around US$110m for the renovation will be generated from the car rental tax collected at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and other sites. An additional US$32.5m will come from the city’s sale of Turner Field, the former home of MLB’s Braves, to Georgia State University.
The City Council voted Monday to extend the car rental tax.
The Hawks will contribute US$50m. As part of the deal, the team’s lease was extended through the 2047-2048 season.
The renovation includes removing a wall of suites on one side of the arena, which is closed for four months before re-opening for the 2017-18 season.
Work is scheduled to be complete before the start of the 2018-19 season.
New renderings released
CNN reports that the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks have released new renderings of a US$192m, HOK-designed renovation to Philips Arena.
Hawks COO, Thad Sheely, told CNN:
It’s the second-biggest redesign of an NBA arena, behind the recent remodeling of Madison Square Garden.
Construction began June 20 and is due to finish during the 2018-2019 season, which marks the Hawks’ 50th anniversary in Atlanta.
It’s so much more than a renovation. A renovation implies that we’re putting some paint on the walls, maybe you added a bathroom or two to your house. It doesn’t really denote to scale. We really are, with almost at $200 million, are going to be able to touch almost every thing and facing piece of the building.
When the project is done, the arena will have 360-degree connectivity to go with new restaurants and bars—including the first bar on an NBA floor. The Hawks Bar, in the shape of the team’s iconic ‘Pac-Man’ logo, will be just steps from the court.
The new center-hung scoreboard will be more than three times the size of the old one. For concerts, there will be new dressing room and backstage areas, as well as improved acoustics in the building.
About the Philips Arena renovation
The Atlanta Hawks announced plans for a US$192.5m renovation of Philips Arena – designed by HOK’s Sports + Recreation + Entertainment practice – back in late 2016.
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 prior to the renovation getting underway:
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.
Images, courtesy: HOK