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Affectionately known as 'Smurf Turf' at what stadium will you find the world's only blue AstroTurf playing surface? 


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Atlanta Hawks announce plans to transform Philips Arena into next-generation venue

The Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club has unveiled plans to completely transform Philips Arena into a new fan-focused sports and entertainment venue that reflects the ideals and spirit of the city.

The transformation will rethink and rebuild the interior of the building from the roof-line to the baseline – and will include major changes to the current arena configuration, including removing the six-level wall of suites on the west side of the arena allowing for new amenities on every level of the building, installing a new state-of-the-art centerhung scoreboard and video displays, and revamping the concourses with 360° connectivity and a reimagined eating and drinking experience featuring new open food stalls and bars throughout.

The transformation will be the second-largest renovation in NBA history, behind only the recent renovation of Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Originally designed as a multipurpose venue, the demolition and reconstruction of the six-level wall of suites will create a new seating configuration and enhance the overall viewing experience by creating better sightlines for Hawks basketball and the many A-list concerts and shows that frequent the arena.

The number of traditional 20-person suites will be significantly reduced to make way for more modern and flexible suites showcasing a variety of seating options and amenities, tailored to fit any-sized business, entertainment or personal need.

The arena will have large amounts of open, connected spaces. Each concourse level will have a redesigned look and feel with more open, social dining areas and an increased number of premium food and drink options.

The technology throughout the building will also receive a major reboot, centered around the most modern video capability in sports. The new centerhung scoreboard will be over three times the size of the current model and each corner of the reimagined arena will be anchored by state-of-the-art video pavilions.

The arena will be the first with 6mm resolution throughout, enabling fans in any seat the best second-screen experience in professional sports. Another new addition to the arena will be the Hawks Meeting and Conference Center, an innovative meeting space including a 250-seat master conference room and four additional breakout rooms, equipped with the most advanced technology (touchscreen technology, interactive whiteboards and top-notch wireless presentation solutions) and access to full top-shelf bars and amenities. 

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

HOK is the leading architect on the project. The firm is also serving as lead architect of the Emory Sports Medicine Complex, the world-class sports medicine center and training center in Brookhaven set to open later this year.

Construction started on June 20th and will be completed during the 2018/2019 season, coinciding with the Hawks’ 50th Anniversary in Atlanta. The Hawks will play all regular season home games at the arena during that period.

The US$192.5m project will revitalize the city-owned arena as a basketball-first, world-class sports and entertainment venue that hosts approximately 170 events and nearly two million guests annually. The Hawks committed to an 18-year lease extension to remain in downtown Atlanta through 2046.

July 5, 2017

Written by Matt Ross


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