- The Atlanta Hawks and the city of Atlanta have agreed to a $192.5 million arena renovation deal that will keep the NBA team in the city until at least 2046, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
- Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said that the city will kick in $142.5 million toward the overhaul of the downtown Philips Arena, and the team will pony up the rest — $50 million. If the Hawks breach the agreement and leave the arena before 2046, they'll be on the hook for a penalty of $200 million.
- The city plans to pay for its share via a combination of rental car tax ($110 million), the sale of Turner Field ($12.5 million) — the former home of the Atlanta Braves — and other projected property sales of $20 million.
Reed said he believed the arena overhaul could be the beginning of more than $1 billion worth of development in the area, which is not far from the new $1.5 billion Mercedes Benz Stadium, the future home of the Atlanta Falcons. In fact, one of the Hawks owners, Tony Ressler, has expressed a desire to explore mixed-use development around Philips Arena.
The Atlanta area has been a hotbed of sports construction activity in recent years. Georgia State University plans to transform Turner Field into a football stadium, and the Braves are scheduled to begin play at the new $672 million SunTrust Park in neighboring Cobb County in 2017. The facility topped out in June, and according to Cobb Commission Chairman Tim Lee, revenue from the new ballpark will provide the county school system with enough money to pay for 290 new teachers over the next decade.
The Atlanta Falcons also have a new stadium under construction. Crews installed the last steel beam for the facility's roof late last month, putting construction crews one step closer to finishing the project's standout element — a multipiece, petal-like system that opens and closes much like an eight-blade camera aperture. In addition, the complex, which will also be home to the Atlanta United soccer team, is slated to be the first LEED Platinum–certified stadium and the first sports facility to earn 100% of the LEED program's water credits.