Philips Arena: Wikis

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Philips Arena
Philips Arena Logo.svg
Philips Arena.jpg
Location 1 Philips Drive NW
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
Coordinates 33°45′26″N 84°23′47″W / 33.75722°N 84.39639°W / 33.75722; -84.39639Coordinates: 33°45′26″N 84°23′47″W / 33.75722°N 84.39639°W / 33.75722; -84.39639
Opened September 1999
Owner Atlanta Spirit, LLC
Operator Atlanta Spirit, LLC
Construction cost $ 213.5 million
Architect Populous (formerly HOK Sport)
Capacity Basketball: 19,445
Ice hockey: 18,545
Concerts: 21,000+
Tenants
Atlanta Hawks (NBA) (1999-present)
Atlanta Thrashers (NHL) (1999-present)
Atlanta Dream (WNBA) (2008-present)
Georgia Force (AFL) (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 were approximately 20,485 attendees. 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 the Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Contents

Layout

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 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, United Center, US Airways Center and the Time Warner Cable Arena. Video advertising panels replaced the traditional scrolling panels.

History

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.

Events

Philips Arena is among the busiest arenas for concerts in the world, having sold well over 550,000 concert tickets in 2007.[1]

Philips Arena in basketball setup
Philips Arena in hockey setup, viewed from section 303

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. Also the (Jan. 31,2010) Royal Rumble was showcased.

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Concerts

Since the opening in 1999, Philips Arena has been a hotspot for performances from many prominent singers and bands. These include Kings of Leon, Taylor Swift, Dave Matthews Band, Britney Spears, Black Eyed Peas, Pearl Jam, Tina Turner, Madonna, Shakira, AC/DC, Bon Jovi, Metallica, Green Day, Tokio Hotel, Christina Aguilera, Beyonce, T.I., Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Cher, The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, Justin Timberlake, KISS, Blink-182, Paul McCartney, George Michael, Barbra Streisand, Jennifer Lopez, Slipknot, Barry Manilow, Avril Lavigne, Foreigner, Rush, Roger Waters, U2, Elton John, Jay-Z, The Police, the Jonas Brothers, Lil Wayne, The Who and many others.

On the last day of their FanMail Tour, popular R&B trio TLC performed at the arena the day before Super Bowl XXXIV, which was also held in Atlanta.

Destiny's Child's concert at the arena on July 15, 2005 was filmed for the Destiny Fulfilled ... And Lovin' It DVD, which was released on March 26, 2006 titled "Live In Atlanta".

Widespread Panic has performed seventeen sold-out shows over nine years, from 1999 through 2007, at the arena. A banner commemorating this milestone hangs from the rafters.

Tornado

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

References

  1. ^ [1]

External links

Preceded by
Georgia Dome
Home of the
Atlanta Hawks

1999 – present
Succeeded by
current
Preceded by
first arena
Home of the
Atlanta Thrashers

1999 – present
Succeeded by
current
Preceded by
Arena at Gwinnett Center
Home of the
Georgia Force

2004–2007
Succeeded by
Arena at Gwinnett Center
Preceded by
first arena
Home of the
Atlanta Dream

2008 – present
Succeeded by
current
Preceded by
First Union Center
Host of the
NBA All-Star Game

2003
Succeeded by
Staples Center
Preceded by

New Orleans Arena
Joe Louis Arena
Home of the
Royal Rumble

2002
2010
Succeeded by

FleetCenter
TBD
Preceded by
American Airlines Center
Host of the
NHL All-Star Game

2008
Succeeded by
Bell Centre

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