Putting a D-League team for the Atlanta Hawks in College Park won’t come cheap.
According to a report by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Matt Kempner, College Park, GA expects to pay between $20 and $40 million to build an arena for the Atlanta Hawks’ recently announced D-League affiliate. The source of this funding had been a subject of speculation recently, but today some more concrete details emerged.
Public funding for sports arenas has become an increasingly prevalent practice in recent years, and this announcement seems to follow such national trends. The cost of this arena is much smaller than many other recently-announced projects, but is still a lot of money for a city the size of College Park.
Until more exact cost details emerge, this figure should be treated as an estimate. However, there is little reason to doubt its accuracy, especially since it came from the city manager. The final price tag will certainly be something to keep an eye on in the coming months as construction commences.
Public funding for sports stadiums and arenas is nothing new, and anyone curious for more information on such projects can look to the metro Atlanta area (where all three major sports teams are drawing from public funds for construction projects). However one feels about the politics of such funding, it’s safe to say that the recent news out of College Park follows broader trends.
It is also important to note that the city plans to use the arena for other events (concerts, local sporting events) as well. While a full cost analysis of D-League attendance and the profits from local events is outside the scope of this article, it seems likely that having this arena serve multiple functions should help offset the cost at least somewhat.
The Hawks have announced several exciting projects recently, including the creation of College Park’s D-League team and new renovations of Philips Arena. These new projects are good for the long-term growth of the franchise, but the funding sources will be important to keep an eye on as well.