Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed held a join press conference along with Atlanta Hawks principle owner Tony Ressler to announce a partnership with the City of Atlanta to refurbish Philips Arena. The proposed deal would cost $192.5 million of which the Hawks would invest $50 million with the city picking up the rest.
“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. Today’s 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,” said Tony Ressler, Atlanta Hawks Principal Owner and Chairman. “We appreciate the efforts of the Mayor, his team and the rest of the City government in working with team executives in accomplishing this positive feat for our team and our city.”
Per Reed, the funding will not result in higher taxes for any Atlanta citizen. The money will be funded from an extension of the car rental tax along with $12.5 million coming from the sale of Turner Field.
“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,” said Mayor Reed. “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 redesign is expected to take place during the offseason and shouldn’t impact the Hawks in season schedule. The redesign will involve the elimination of the stacked suites that make up one side of the arena. The new suites will circle the arena’s upper bowl.
Hawks CEO Steve Koonin said that the redesign would allow connectivity and amenities through out the arena. The renovation is slated to be complete in time for the 2018-19 which would coincide with 50th anniversary of the Hawks’ move to Atlanta.
Here are some renderings of the proposed renovation: