In addition to the car rental revenue, the city will kick in $32.5 million for the Philips renovation from other sources, including part of the funds received from the $30 million sale of Turner Field and from two bond issuances, the city said. The Hawks will invest $50 million in the project.
The deal to renovate Philips should not be confused with a separate agreement between College Park and the Hawks to build a $20 million to $40 million facility in that south metro city for a minor league basketball team affiliated with the franchise.
City Councilwoman Felicia Moore said she is supportive of sports teams and the tourism and tax dollars that they generate. But she said residents don’t feel leaders are as invested in everyday ordinary citizens.
“What I’ve heard from people over and over again is, ‘What about us?’” Moore said. “Priority matters. And people are not feeling that they are part of the priority.”
Georgia State University student Tim Franzen said he didn’t understand the city’s love of stadiums.
“It’s insane,” he said. “We are not in a crisis of resources. We are in a crisis of moral authority.”
An exasperated Reed pushed back, saying he was tired of the council and his administration being beat up for what he sees as a record of accomplishment, including cutting the unemployment rate in half and millions in investment in the city.
“You are not going to come in here and question our hearts,” he said.