Philips Arena has been the home nest for the Atlanta Hawks since 1999. Its basketball seating capacity is 18,047, and the arena has 92 luxury seats, nine party suites and 1,866 club seats. The arena’s unique seating configuration allows it to have one of the highest closest-to-the-court seating ratings in the NBA. You will have no confusion what city you are in when you see the exterior of Philips Arena, as the steel columns spell out “ATLANTA”.
There are very few nights that Philips is not in use, as it also hosts the WNBA Atlanta Dream, NCAA Regional Basketball tournaments and other indoor sports events. It hosts major concerts by such artists as Taylor Swift, Madonna, Florida-Georgia Line and many others.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
Philips Arena concession stands are arranged by the various types of foods offered, with basketball/Hawks-themed names. Some examples of this are Buzz Beaters (ice cream), Slam Dunk Pizza, Fullcourt Press (hot dogs), Backcourt BBQ and Burgers & Birds (burgers and chicken sandwiches). Prices for some of the most commonly purchased items include: hot dogs ($6), pizza ($8), large popcorn ($7), nachos ($6.50), barbecue sandwich ($10), regular-size soda ($4.50) and bottled water ($4.50).
Another option is to have a seated dinner overlooking the court at RED, Philips Arena's upscale dining option. Appetizers include shrimp ($12), chicken wings ($12) and salads ($8). Entrees include burgers ($14), barbecue ribs ($24) and shrimp and grits ($18). Reservations are required, as seating is limited.
Craft beers are available at the Georgia Brews stands located throughout the arena. Beers on tap or in bottles or cans are all $9. Among the more unique offerings are Jekyll Hope Dang Diggety, Jailhouse Misdemeanor Ale and MNB Fu Man Brew.
When looking for one word to describe the atmosphere at Hawks game in Philips Arena, that word would have to be "electric." There is an energy level present within the fan base, the team itself and several elements built into the arena. The fan base is energized by the team's success in recent years and the exciting brand of basketball they play. The team has a great record in head-to-head competition with many of the NBA's elite teams. A new coach, several young developing stars and a new approach all add up in the win column. There is definitely a situation of the team feeding off the crowd's energy in fast break situations and defensive gems.
Another element of the electric feeling flowing through the facility is courtesy of the rebranding of the team two years ago. The team now wears fiery colors of red, black and neon yellow, a color scheme that has been repeated on the court. Philips has the capability of turning the court into an artistic palette with its patented 3D projection system that provides unbelievable clarity and images on the court during pregame introductions and quarter breaks. In addition, the scoreboard features large HD screens that can play replays of the action almost instantaneously. Finally, the Hawks cheerleaders, DJ, and PA announcer all team up to assure that the energy level never drops throughout the evening.
Oh, one last thing about the term electric -- Philips Arena naming rights are owned by Philips Electronics, one of the largest electronic appliance makers in the world
Philips Arena is located at the epicenter of Atlanta's top tourist attractions. It is adjoined to the CNN Center, where you can take the very popular CNN studio tour. Just across the street is Centennial Olympic Park, which is home to the Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coca-Cola and the Center for Human and Civil Rights. Also located nearby is the College Football Hall of Fame. The arena's next-door neighbor is the Georgia Dome, home of the Atlanta Falcons, and the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which will become the Falcons' new nest in 2017.
The Georgia World Congress Center is located next door to CNN Center and hosts all the major conventions in town. As a result, the lodging options are plentiful. Brands nearby include the Omni, Marriott, Hampton Inn and Hyatt Place.
Many people think of the south as simply being a hotbed for football and NASCAR. That may be somewhat true, but don't tell that to the fans who fill up Philips Arena on a regular basis. The Hawks have been the ascendant professional franchise in Atlanta and have gone deep into the NBA playoffs in recent years. The recent addition of Atlanta native Dwight Howard to the roster has also created a lot of new buzz around the team. The Philips PA announcer, the in-house DJ and Harry the Hawk do a great job in keeping the fans fired up and entertained during breaks in the action.
Getting to Philips Arena can be a challenge, especially at rush hour or when a large convention is in town. The building is surrounded by arterial streets, which tend to clog very easily on game nights. There are numerous parking decks surrounding Philips, with an average parking rate of $20 on event nights.
A much easier solution is to take MARTA, Atlanta's rapid rail system, to the games. There is a rail station directly outside the arena (GWCC/Georgia Dome). The fee is $2.50, no matter how far you ride on the system. MARTA extends out into all the major suburbs, as well as to Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
Tickets to Hawks games can range from $30 up to $160, based on seat location. Expect to find higher than face value prices when the opposition is the Cavaliers, the Celtics or Golden State. Parking averages $20, but by taking MARTA to the game, you can reduce that expense to $2.50 each way. The Hawks concessions are reasonably priced, and the food court in CNN Center is a cheap option for pregame dining.
When considering the ROI of attending a game at Philips, you have to factor in that you are watching a playoff-caliber team, will enjoy some great entertainment during the breaks in the action and have immediate access to some great clubs and dining after the game ends.
Many fans make a long weekend out of their attendance at a Hawks game. There are so many major attractions to take in within walking distance of the arena that it can take 2-3 days to cover them all.
Another extra is the statue of the greatest Atlanta Hawk ever, Dominique Wilkins, which is located next to the main entrance to the arena.
Star gazing at Hawks games has become competitive with the Lakers. Stars such as Tyler Perry, Jane Fonda, Usher and many hip-hop artists make their home in Atlanta. In addition, many TV shows and movies are now shot in the Atlanta area, and you never know what actors and actresses you will see courtside.
Philips Arena is a "green" facility. It is the first NBA/NHL arena to be LEED-certified for energy efficiency.
The 3D projection system used to place images on the court is truly unique and entertaining. Here is a short example of what it looks like:
When they blew up the old Omni Coliseum in 1997, my young self (just awakened to the beauty of basketball and having attended my first few pro games at this place) was obligatorily sad to see it go. The interim years before we got our new digs were painful as a team that was actually playing on the pro level (not a given in our town) did not have facilities to match. During those interim years our NBA affiliate was housed between the Georgia Dome and Alexander Memorial Coliseum.
If only the Atlanta community had known what was to come in 1999: An 18,000-plus-capacity palace for both basketball and hockey. But more on the latter sport in another review; this is all about Philips Arena as the Highlight Factory, home of the Atlanta Hawks.
Everything fades with time, and such is the fate of Philips Arena. At the time that it opened in 1999, it was state-of-the-art – and in many ways, it still is. And please, dear reader, don’t get it twisted: This is still a good place to take in a basketball game.
But this stadium has had its time in the limelight, first as a young whippersnapper of a facility that, just four years into existence, hosted the NBA All-Star Game; and then, as the site of a Southern sports revival around its 10th birthday, when the Hawks actually started winning.
By now, though, the “Highlight Factory” branding is starting to wear. No matter how loudly or largely the marketing department claims that Jeff Teague is Derrick Rose’s “thorn,” it will never be true; we don’t have the on-court product to pack the place, and that’s unfortunate, because full seats are what Philips needs at this point in its life-cycle.
Rising out of the ashes of the old Omni came Philips Arena. Given the moniker "The Highlight Factory," Philips Arena was driven by the vision of former Hawks owner Ted Turner as part of his push for an NHL expansion team. The Atlanta Thrashers are gone, and the Hawks have gone through some significant turmoil, but the Highlight Factory remains a central figure in downtown Atlanta.
The Hawks were pushed through the last quarter of the century by the ownership of media mogul Ted Turner. In 1982, the Hawks acquired their quintessential player and face of the franchise, Dominique Wilkins. Wilkins quickly earned the moniker "The Human Highlight Reel," which the Highlight Factory is certainly a nod to. Well after the Human Highlight Reel's era ended, Turner would get out of the Hawks ownership group, selling to a group of executives known as Atlanta Spirit. Under Atlanta Spirit, the Hawks would be characterized by ownership in-fighting, which would lead to lawsuits, boardroom battles, and bad-feelings. The result on the team was a lack of corporate leadership, extremely poor teams on the court, and a ton of empty seats in the Philips Arena.
Eventually the dust settled, and the members of Atlanta Spirit figured it all out, with Bruce Levenson and Michael Gearon emerging with majority control of the board. The company would quickly sell the NHL team, the Atlanta Thrashers to a group from Winnipeg to become the Winnipeg Jets, playing in the MTS Centre. All Atlanta eyes became focused on the Hawks, and they answered the call, becoming a much better NBA team, and a consistent playoff participant.
Right now, a trip to the Highlight Factory gives patrons the opportunity to see some great basketball, in what could be a really great environment. It could be the center of your Atlanta destination. It could be the Highlight.
I'm going to be objective on this one as I pretty much have given up watching the NBA as a whole (too many punks and crybabies in the League) and the owners of the arena (they pretty much lowballed any investor so they can dump the Thrashers to Winnipeg).
Overall the times I've been to Philips Arena for basketball or hockey have been great experiences. The food is fine, whether you go into the game (prices are reasonable), or go to the CNN Center for a bite. Getting there, unlike its neighbor the Georgia Dome is relatively easy. There are things for the fans to get involved with by meeting former players or current ones before the game, or raffles/auctions on the concourses and the concourses before the Thrashers moved for Winnipeg were pretty neat (haven't seen it since they've gone though).
Largest complaint was the fans. They didn't show up when the teams are winning. And those who did show up, show up for the opposing teams (Lakers, Heat, Bulls, Knicks, etc.). A very thin fanbase where the fans are just not energetic at all.
Good facility, but just a rough atmosphere in general.
Back in September 1999, Sir Elton John performed at Philips Arena, making the concert the first event at the then new facility. Ever since then, the likes of Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z and Drake have performed at what would be known as one of the top concert venues in the country.
However, Philips was always and will be home of the Atlanta Hawks, who have been an up-and-down team since they started playing there. The Hawks have seen their share of good and bad when it comes to wins and losses, but the one thing that has been consistent is the atmosphere of the arena.
Is Philips Arena the best place to watch an NBA game? That’s debatable. But when it comes to food, seating, access and return on investment, the Hawks make sure you leave Philips Arena happy.
Food & Beverage: There are plenty of options both inside and outside the arena
Atmosphere: Very intimate atmosphere. Even though I was in the upper deck I felt like I was right on top of the action
Neighborhood: Phillips arena is located right next to the Georgia Dome and the CNN building. There's plenty to do if you show up a little early
Fans: Not especially loud or crazy but not bad
Access: For being in downtown Atlanta this arena is actually realatively accessible. Plenty of parking in the area
Return: I would definitely go to another Hawks game. Had a great time and got to check out downtown Atlanta afterwards
Extras: I take one point off all the beggars in front of the stadium on game days. But what was really neat was that it's attached to the CNN building so you can spend some time shopping/eating before the game and then just walk right in at game time
I have been to games with a near empty stadium, games with probably a 5 to 1 visiting team fan ratio, and I have been to games packed, loud, rocking, and rolling. Game 6 vs Pacers was amazing. Location/ access both great. Ticket prices for an NBA team are pretty great.
Philips Arena has been one of the most popular concert venues since its opening in 1999. However, it’s also home of the Atlanta Hawks, and because of the recent success of the franchise, Philips Arena has become a very attractive NBA venue.
From the actual court design, to the activities in the concourse, Philips has greatly improved the NBA experience over the years and it’s one of the arenas on the rise in the league.
There may be better places to watch and experience an NBA game, but if you are in the Atlanta area, going to a Hawks game is a must.
The reason I list the Spurs first is because I am a Spurs fan!! But getting back on point, the game was about what I had expected (a Spurs blowout by nearly 20 points). The arena is beautiful but has areas where, if you don't know where you're going, you'll end up walking out of the arena. One positive is that you don't have to wait outside before the game. The CNN Center is located next door and people can mill around in there before heading to the entrance which connects the arena to the CNN Center! The atmosphere was not bad. The Hawks go out of their way to let you know that the opposing teams are in hostile country! Now by that, I mean that they have people "chasing" opposing fans around chanting "HAWKS" and "A-T-L"! It is by NO means threatening or disparaging. Playful banter. I like that. The arena looks huge on the inside but the court looks small in comparison. It feels like the Hawks management wanted to pack everyone in to see the Hawks play and it works! We had lower bowl seats (behind the goal post) and we had no problem seeing the action, save for the many fans who decided to come late or were getting drinks and food at the MANY eateries on the concourse. The sound system is top notch. A lot of hip-hop music, but it is Atlanta and they pride themselves on hip-hop. No problem. Nothing profanity laced or anything of that sort. The jumbo-tron at mid-court gives a the fans on either end great coverage for action occurring at the other end of the court. But they tend to give "full replays" while action is happening on the court depriving fans of seeing what is happening live. Food and drinks aren't pricey. Just average price one would pay at an NBA game. The fans are kind of "wishy-washy" for lack of a better phrase, or at least they were in the section that my wife and I sat in. Once the Spurs got a big lead, they became disinterested in the game and began talking about either the playoffs or about the Falcons. It's like they had passion, and once they got down by a few points, they were onto another topic. But there was a lot of enthusiasm during the game.
Philips Arena is the home of the Atlanta Hawks, a member of the National Basketball Association. It has been home of the Hawks since 1999, and it’s owned by the city of Atlanta.
The reason that Philips was constructed was that Ted Turner, who was the owner of the Hawks at the time, wanted an upgrade from the Omni Coliseum which opened in 1972. The Omni was demolished in 1997, and it was replaced with Philips, which also was home of the Atlanta Thrashers of the National Hockey League.
Because of the way it’s constructed, as well as the location and food, Philips Arena is one of the best NBA experiences in the country. And it doesn’t hurt that the Hawks are a pretty good basketball team, as well.
And Philips is only going to get better, as it was announced in early 2016 the arena is going to go through major renovations that could cost up to $300 million.
1198 Howell Mill Road
Atlanta, GA 30318
275 Baker St NW
Atlanta, GA 30313
190 Marietta St NW
Atlanta, GA 30303
Philips Arena-100 Techwood Dr NW
Atlanta, GA 30303
225 Baker St NW
Atlanta, GA 30313
121 Baker St NW
Atlanta, GA 30313
275 Centennial Olympic Park Dr
Atlanta, GA 30303
190 Marietta St NW
Atlanta, GA 30303
250 Marietta St NW
Atlanta, GA 30313