NBA basketball team the Atlanta Hawks has commenced work on a major renovation project at its Philips Arena home stadium.
Expected to cost approximately $192.5m (€172.9m/£152.7m), the initiative will include removing a wall of suites on one side of the venue and a series of other improvements.
Philips Arena will be closed for four months prior to the 2017-18 season to allow work to take place, with the franchise hoping to finish the project in time for the 2018-19 campaign.
Work began just one day after Atlanta City Council gave its approval to funding for the project, with around $110m of the total cost to be generated from car rental tax collected at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and various other sites.
In addition, $32.5m of funding will come from the city’s sale of Turner Field, the former home of Major League Baseball team the Atlanta Braves, while the Hawks will contribute $50m to the project.
As part of the funding deal with the city, the team has agreed to extend its lease at Philips Arena through to the 2047-48 season.