Philips Arena

Philips Arena

Infobox Stadium | stadium_name=Philips Arena

location= 1 Philips Drive NW
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
owner=Atlanta Spirit, LLC
operator=Atlanta Spirit, LLC
construction_cost=$213.5 million
architect=HOK Sport
tenants=Atlanta Hawks (NBA) (1999- present)
Atlanta Thrashers (NHL) (1999-present)
Atlanta Dream (WNBA) (2008-present)
Georgia Force (AFL) (2002, 2005-2007)
seating_capacity=Basketball: 18,729
Hockey and Arena football: 18,545

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 NHL and the Atlanta Hawks of the NBA. It is owned and operated by Atlanta Spirit, LLC, the group of investors that also owns the Hawks and Thrashers. The arena seats 18,729 for basketball and 18,545 for ice hockey. The largest crowd ever for an Atlanta Hawks basketball game was in the 2008 NBA Playoffs, where there was an approximate number of people of about 20,040. It includes 92 luxury suites and 1,866 club seats. For concerts and other entertainment events, the arena can seat 21,000.

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 field 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 lodges.

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 Dome/GWCC/Philips Arena/CNN Center rail station below the arena provides access to 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, 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 that 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.

World Championship Wrestling (WCW) hosted a number of professional wrestling events including WCW Nitro on June 5, 2000 at Philips Arena before it was sold to WWE in spring 2001. The arena was also host to the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) "Royal Rumble" event in January 2002 and "Backlash 2007" in April 2007, and has hosted several episodes of "RAW" including Feb. 6, 2006 and "SmackDown! and ECW". Smackdown! and ECW returns to the arena on Aug 5, 2008 for a TV Taping.It hosted the NBA All-Star Game in 2003.

The facility played host to the 2004 US Figure Skating Championships.

The venue had been named the site of the 2005 Southeastern Conference Women's Basketball Tournament; however, when the NHL announced in early 2004 that the 55th NHL All-Star Game, scheduled for February 2005 would be held in Atlanta, arena officials withdrew the Southeastern Conference Women's Basketball Tournament - which was then moved 140 miles to the northeast along Interstate 85 to the BI-LO Center in Greenville, South Carolina. Oddly, the arena would not even be the host of that planned All-Star Game due to the 2004–05 NHL lockout. As a result, Atlanta became the second (San Jose being the first) city to lose a planned All-Star Game because of a labor dispute. Philips Arena would later be announced as home to the 56th NHL All-Star Game in 2008.

The DVD film for the tour Destiny Fulfilled ... And Lovin' It by Destiny's Child was filmed there. On September 12 2006, Latin mega-star Shakira, performed one sold-out concert, part of her 2006-2007 World "Oral Fixation Tour".

Widespread Panic performed 17 sold out shows over nine years, from 1999 through 2007.

On 5 October 2008, superstar musician Janet Jackson will bring her Rock Witchu Tour to the arena. On 9 November 2008, the music icon Tina Turner will rock the arena performing hits such as Proud Mary, What's Love Got To Do With It, and The Best for her "". With the first date selling out in weeks, a second date on November 2nd, 2008 was announced for Tina Turner. Coldplay will give two concerts on November 5, 2008 and on November 11, 2008 as part of their Viva la Vida world tour. On November 24, 2008, Madonna will perform as part of her Sticky and Sweet Tour. AC/DC are due to perform there on December 16th as part of their Black Ice world tour, and Celine Dion will perform her Taking Chances Tour at the arena on January 17 2009.

On March 14th 2008, an EF2 Tornado struck near Philips Arena. The arena only received minor exterior damage.

External links

* [ Official site]

succession box
title = Home of the
Atlanta Hawks
years = 1999 – present
before = Georgia Dome
after = current
succession box
title = Home of the
Atlanta Thrashers
years = 1999 – present
before = first arena
after = current
succession box
title = Home of the
Georgia Force
years = 2004 – 2007
before = Arena at Gwinnett Center
after = Arena at Gwinnett Center
succession box
title = Home of the
Atlanta Dream
years = 2008 – present
before = first arena
after = current
succession box
title = Host of the
NBA All-Star Game
years = 2003
before = First Union Center
after = Staples Center
succession box
title = Host of the
NHL All-Star Game
years = 2008
before = American Airlines Center
after = Bell Centre

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