|"The Highlight Factory"|
|Location||1 Philips Drive NW |
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
|Owner||Atlanta Spirit, LLC|
|Operator||Atlanta Spirit, LLC|
|Construction cost||$213.5 million|
|Architect||Populous (formerly HOK Sport)|
Ice hockey: 18,545
|Atlanta Hawks (National Basketball Association) (1999-present)|
Atlanta Thrashers (NHL) (1999-present)
Atlanta Dream (Women's National Basketball Association) (2008-present)
Georgia Force (Arena Football League) (2002, 2005-2007)
Philips Arena is an indoor arena in Atlanta, Georgia. Completed in 1999 at a cost of $213.5 million, it is home to the Atlanta Thrashers of the National Hockey League, the Atlanta Hawks of the National Basketball Association, and the Atlanta Dream of the Women's National Basketball Association. It is owned and operated by Atlanta Spirit, LLC, the group of investors that also owns the Hawks and Thrashers. The arena seats 19,445 for basketball and 18,545 for ice hockey. The largest crowd ever for an Atlanta Hawks basketball game was in the 2008 NBA Playoffs (Game 6 against the Boston Celtics), where there was an approximate crowd of about 20,485. The arena includes 92 luxury suites and 1,866 club seats. For concerts and other entertainment events, the arena can seat 21,000. The arena has been recently ranked as a top venue in Pollstar magazine's Top 100 Worldwide Arena Venues, and for the first half of the 2009 calendar year it has been named as the No.1 concert and events venue in the United States, based on attendance figures released by the leading industry publication, beating traditional powerhouse larger-market venues such as Madison Square Garden in New York City and the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The arena is laid out in a rather unusual manner, with the club seats and luxury boxes aligned solely along one side of the playing surface, and the general admission seating along the other three sides (the arrangement was later emulated at the Detroit Lions' home, Ford Field). This unique layout is a vast contrast to many of its contemporaries, which have their revenue-generating luxury boxes and club seats located in the 'belly' of the arena, thus causing the upper deck to be 2–4 stories higher. The layout at Philips was done so as to be able to bring the bulk of the seats closer to the playing surface while still making available a sufficient number of revenue-raising club seats and loges.
On the exterior, angled steel columns supporting the roof facing downtown spell out "ATLANTA" and the side facing the Georgia World Congress Center spells out "CNN." The arena adjoins the CNN Center. The rail station below the arena provides access to Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) public transportation.
Philips Electronics purchased the naming rights to the arena upon construction.
For the 2007-2008 season, Philips Arena utilized the new "see-through" shot clock units which allow spectators seated behind the basket to see the action without having the clocks interfere with their view and for basketball joining the FedExForum, Wachovia Center, TD Banknorth Garden, United Center, US Airways Center and the Time Warner Cable Arena. Video advertising panels replaced the traditional scrolling panels.
During the late 1980s and early 1990s, many cities starting building new state-of-the-art sporting venues for their NHL and/or NBA franchises, or in hopes of attaining one. Many of these arenas had modern amenities for their high-end customers, such as luxury boxes, club seats, and large, posh club-level concourses; some even had practice facilities on-site. These attractions were rarely found in arenas constructed in the early 1970s when The Omni was built and led to its chief tenant, the Atlanta Hawks, being put in a competitive disadvantage. The operating manager of the current arena in place Ted Turner wanted an expansion hockey team but was told by the NHL that a new arena would have to be built. That, along with the fact that The Omni was rapidly deteriorating, led to a new venue being built. After much consideration of possible other sites, it was decided that the Omni would be demolished, and a new Omni built in the same location, starting in 1997. This new coliseum became the Philips Arena. The Philips Arena held its first event with a September 1999 concert by the musician Sir Elton John.
Philips Arena occupies the site of the Omni Coliseum, Atlanta's former sports arena. The Omni's "center-hung scoreboard" now hangs in the lobby of Philips Arena, where it still displays The Omni's logo along with those of Philips Arena, the Hawks, and the Thrashers (who never played in The Omni). The scoreboard still functions and displays information relevant to the game taking place in the arena.
On March 14, 2008, an EF2 Tornado struck near Philips Arena. The arena only received minor exterior damage.
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