According to a report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Atlanta Hawks and the city of Atlanta have agreed to a deal that may keep the franchise in the downtown area through the 2046 season. There is currently a $192.5 million agreement in place that would extend the Hawks’ lease with the Philips Arena by an additional 18 years.
The two sides have come to terms on a pact that includes public funds to update and renovate the Philips Arena rather than build the Atlanta-based NBA franchise an entirely new home as is currently in the works for both the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and MLB’s Atlanta Braves. While the Hawks will now remain at the Philips Arena, the Falcons will be moving from the Georgia Dome to Mercedes-Benz Stadium while the Braves will be shifting from Turner Field over to SunTrust Park.
The aforementioned deal will call for taxpayers to account for approximately three-quarters of the upgrade, which would make them responsible for $142.5 million. On the other hand, the Hawks themselves would contribute the remaining $50 million.
“We are utterly committed to the city of Atlanta and its downtown area, and I believe this agreement will create a world-class Philips Arena,” said Hawks’ lead owner Tony Ressler.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed did confirm that there will be no jump in taxes for the city while “general fund dollars” will be used to pay the city’s portion of the new pact. Specifically, Reed mentioned that the majority of the city’s share will stem from a rental car tax, which state lawmakers recently approved.
As for the arena itself, the construction on the new and improved Philips Arena will begin during the Hawks’ next offseason while it is expected to be fully completed by the start of the 2018-2019 NBA regular season. That season will notably serve as the Hawks’ 50th anniversary in Atlanta after previously coming over from St. Louis, Missouri.