Press Releases


Atlanta City Council Approves Intergovernmental Agreement Allowing for the Transformation of Philips Arena

Post Date:06/20/2017 12:10 PM

News Release

Council Communications
Atlanta City Hall
55 Trinity Ave. S.W.
Atlanta, GA 30303 

Dexter M. Chambers
Council Communications Director
(404) 330-6309/392-0159


June 20, 2017

Atlanta City Council Approves Intergovernmental Agreement Allowing for the Transformation of Philips Arena

ATLANTA – The transformation of Philips Arena is now a slam dunk after the Atlanta City Council gave its approval to an intergovernmental agreement with the City of College Park and the Fulton County Recreation Authority extending the rental car tax. Revenue from the tax will be used to finance bonds to fund significant, state-of-the-art improvements at Philips Arena. (Legislative Reference No. 17-R-3784).

The measure was approved by a vote of 14-yeas, 0-nays and 1-abstention.

The public contribution for the arena transformation is capped at $142.5 million, of which $110 million will come from a series of bonds backed by the recently expanded car rental tax collected at the CONRAC (Car Rental Facility) at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and other facilities throughout the City.  

Originally constructed as a multi-purpose facility and opened in 1999, Philips Arena annually ranks among the most-programmed venues in the country.  Philips Arena hosts approximately 170 events per year, including most of the biggest musical acts, family shows including the circus and ice shows. It is more widely known as the home of the Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club.  The venue employs approximately 1,500 staff per event, including 300 full-time employees and 1,200 part-time employees. More than 1.6 million fans and customers attend events at Philips Arena every year.

The project will add new amenities on every level of the 17-year-old facility, 360-degree connected concourses at all levels, improved sight lines and state-of-the-art video.

The total cost of the project is nearly $192.5 million project, with the City contributing an additional $32.5 million from one-time funding sources, while the Atlanta Hawks will contribute $50 million to the project, per a memorandum of understanding approved Monday by a vote of 12-yeas 2-nays and 1-abstention between the City and the Hawks (Legislative Reference No. 17-R-3785).

Philips Arena was originally built at a cost of $213 million, which included construction, financing and public improvement costs.

Construction will begin this summer and continue for approximately 18 months, with the Hawks continuing to play the 2017-18 season around isolated construction activities. Coinciding with the Hawks’ 50th Anniversary in Atlanta, the transformed arena is expected to be completed for the 2018-19 season.

Ongoing capital repairs and maintenance costs of Philips Arena will be covered by a $3 per ticket facility charge.

In other news, the Atlanta City Council, by a vote of 15 – yeas and 0 – nays, approved:

  • An ordinance authorizing the allocation of $3 million to pay for the construction and permitting of two new parks in Buckhead – Lenox Park and Old Ivy Park. (Legislative Reference No. 17-O-1316)

The $3 million in funding will go towards soft costs associated with the conversion of two city-owned green spaces into public parks. The conversion will include improvements such as accessible walking paths, green infrastructure, the installation of amenities such as playgrounds, pavilions, plazas, bike racks, park benches, trash receptacles, security lighting, and the addition of accessible parking spaces.

  • A resolution requesting the Department of Public Works to evaluate alternative collection fee structures against the city’s current annual base rate plus a front footage fee. (Legislative Reference No. 17-R-3775)

The above resolution calls for the City to seek alternative means of charging fees for solid waste and recycling services. A graduated rate increase is being proposed for those services through 2020. The resolution also requests the public works department to analyze the best practices of other municipalities.


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