Industry News

NBA’s Hawks unveil plans to transform Philips Arena

NBA basketball franchise the Atlanta Hawks has announced details of an extensive renovation project at Philips Arena, its home venue.

The team said the groundbreaking project, which will be led by US architecture firm HOK, will be the second-largest arena reconstruction in NBA history, after the renovation of New York’s Madison Square Garden, home of the Knicks.

It is hoped the wide-ranging project will transform the arena into a sports and entertainment centre that showcases both the Hawks and the city of Atlanta. A major element of the project will be the removal of the six-level wall of suites on the west side of Philips Arena to allow new amenities to be added on every level of the venue.

A new centre-hung scoreboard, which will be three times bigger than the current structure, will also be fitted, along with fresh video displays. Arena concourses will be fitted with 360-degree connectivity and enhanced eating and drinking experiences.

Under the new plans, the number of 20-person suites will be significantly reduced, with more modern and flexible suites to be offered instead to appeal to a wider range of potential spectators.

According to the team, Philips Arena will also feature the NBA’s first “bar on the floor” – the Hawks Bar. The bar will be designed in the shape of the Hawks’ Pacman logo and will be located just a few feet from the court, providing unrivalled views of the action.

The arena will become much more digitally-connected, with each corner of the venue to be anchored by state-of-the-art video pavilions. The venue is also set to be the first to be fitted with 6mm resolution throughout, a move the Hawks said would provide the “best second-screen experience in professional sports”.

Other features of the arena will be the 250-seat Hawks Meeting and Conference Center, a restaurant inspired by Atlanta-based musician Zac Brown, a custom suites experience designed by Topgolf and a Killer Mike barbershop.

“We are beyond excited to see construction begin on the new Philips Arena,” Hawks chief executive Steve Koonin said. “Every element of the arena under the roof will be brand new and designed with Atlanta and its vibrant communities in mind. Every trip to the new arena will be a great night out and an unbelievable experience.”

The $192.5m (£147.9m/€168.9m) renovation project began on June 20 and is scheduled to be completed during the 2018-19 season to coincide with the Hawks’ 50-year Atlanta anniversary. The team will continue to play at the arena while development work is ongoing. The Hawks have a lease to play at the arena until 2046.

Image: Jack Piranha and Jymlii Manzo