Not one to fall behind in the stadium arms race currently happening in the city, the Atlanta Hawks have something special planned for the Philips Arena renovations that just got underway.
The $192.5 million facelift was billed as necessary to improve the fan experience at the Hawks’ arena, and they’re right. The walkways are detached from one another and it’s impossible to see the action from the concourses. An entire sideline is dedicated to a wall of suites, and that’s not ideal, either.
But on Wednesday, the Hawks started to reveal a few more details about some of the amenities coming once the renovations are done. Perhaps the wildest new feature will be a fully functional barber shop by none other than Michael Render – you might know him as rapper Killer Mike.
“As a kid, barbershops were where I picked up how to be a guy, how to be cool,” Killer Mike told AJC.com. “But we’re taking them to the next level, where blue collar men can come in and be pampered with a cut, a shave and a (hair) wash. This is a big deal for me because I get to do this for a team that I’ve always been a fan of.”
A little closer to the court – really close to the court – will be the location for a courtside bar that’s the first of its kind. The Hawks Bar, which will be in the shape of the Hawks’ “Pac-Man” logo, will be located just behind one of the basketball hoops.
“You literally will be 10 feet from the action while you’re having your cocktail and standing and talking with your friends,” Hawks CEO Steve Koonin told CNN. “The days of sitting in your seat, eating your hot dog and having a beer are gone forever. It’s about socialization and a great night out.”
Also, get ready for Zac Brown’s Social Club, a gourmet Southern restaurant that’ll have a live music stage, CNN also said. Brown, an Atlanta native, is also a big Hawks fan.
Then there are the two TopGolf simulator suites where you’ll have a chance to hit golf balls in a machine that simulates the experience at TopGolf. Philips will be the first sports arena in the world to boast these simulators.
Finally, the Hawks also revealed that a new scoreboard will hang over the court after the renovations are complete. It’ll be three times larger than the current scoreboard, AJC.com said.
In the coming months, I expect the Hawks to continue rolling out their plans for the revamped arena, but with Wednesday’s announcement, Hawks fans have more than enough to chew on until the next update.Follow @Sean_Breslin