For nearly two decades, large steel beams spelling out “Atlanta” have stood guard over Centennial Olympic Park Drive, welcoming fans of the Atlanta Hawks, Thrashers (RIP) and Dream to Philips Arena.
The venue will likely take on a different name soon, as Philips announced it will not renew naming rights when its 20-year lease ends in June 2019, Venues Now reported. When the deal was struck in 1999, the 20-year, $185 million naming agreement was one of the most expensive in sports, the report added.
If this is the first you’ve heard of Philips in several years, you’re not alone. It turns out the company sold most of its assets to a Japanese competitor in 2013, and it no longer makes TVs and other consumer electronics, Venues Now also said.
Now, arena officials will work to find a new sponsor for the arena. With two NBA arenas named for American Airlines, Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines might look to catch up in the arena naming arms race. Coca-Cola and Home Depot are also options, but it remains to be seen who will step up and offer possibly upwards of $10 million per year to have the arena named after their corporation.
Michigan State University’s basketball arena is named the Breslin Center, so perhaps we can get a GoFundMe started to scrounge up enough money to turn Atlanta’s pro basketball arena into the Breslanta Center.Follow @Sean_Breslin