NBA basketball franchise the Atlanta Hawks will remain at its Philips Arena home until at least 2046 after the City of Atlanta agreed to provide funding for renovations at the facility.
The Hawks have signed an 18-year lease extension at the arena after Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed committed to provide $142.5m (€128.2m) for the project, which is expected to cost $192.5m in total.
The project will include the installation of new amenities on each level of the arena, as well as 360-degree connected concourses at all levels, improved sight lines and state-of-the-art video throughout the facility. In addition to Hawks home games, the arena is used to stage other events such as music concerts, ice shows and circus acts.
Work will begin in the summer of 2017, with renovations due to be completed in time for the start of the 2018-19 season. The expected conclusion of the project will coincide with the 50th year that the Hawks will have been based in Atlanta.
Tony Ressler, principal owner and chairman of the Hawks, said: “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.
“This 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.”
The Philips Arena renovations will take place at the same time as ongoing work at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the future home of NFL American football team the Atlanta Falcons and new Major League Soccer expansion franchise Atlanta United.
Mayor Reed added: “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. 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.”