Hawks to stay in downtown Atlanta as Philips Arena renovations approved


The Atlanta Braves and Falcons will open shiny new stadiums next year, but the Hawks will have to settle for a fixer-upper.

Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed announced on Tuesday that the city has agreed to contribute $142.5million toward a nearly $193m renovation of Philips Arena, the Hawks' home since 1999.

That commitment will keep the NBA team downtown, an important consideration for the city with the Braves setting up shop in suburban Cobb County next spring.

The city's share of the Philips Arena makeover will come mostly from rental-car tax revenues, though Reed said $12.5m from the sale of the Braves' former home, Turner Field, also is factored in.

That downtown stadium has been purchased by nearby Georgia State University to serve as the home of the school's football team.

The Hawks will kick in $50m for arena renovations that represent the best they could hope for thanks to the massive commitment to the Falcons' $1.4billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium being built next door.

The city's portion of that project is $200m for construction, plus operational costs going forward once it opens.