Hawks contingent tours visiting arena for renovation ideas

A contingent from the organization, including principle owner Tony Ressler, co-owner Grant Hill and CEO Steve Koonin, toured the Amway Center here before Sunday’s game between the Hawks and the host Magic. The tour was given by an official from the City of Orlando.

The Amway Center, located in downtown Orlando, was opened in October of 2010. The arena hosted the 2012 NBA All-Star Game. It is also a venue for concerts, arena football, minor league hockey and other events.

Hill, who played for the Magic from 2000-07, has a suite in the arena in which the contingent planned to watch Sunday’s game.

Ressler has also visited Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.

When his group purchased the Hawks, Ressler told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Philips Arena is “not in the upper quartile of arenas” in the league. As he saw it, there were three things that could be done – nothing, remodel or rebuild. To do nothing, he said, was not an option.

The Hawks began a several-phase plan to renovate Philips Arena this summer with significant cosmetic upgrades to the Hawks locker room area and weight room.

The AJC reported in October that Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said his administration was working on a plan with the Hawks for a significant overhaul of Philips Arena to keep the team downtown. The renovation being discussed could total $150 million to $250 million. The city and the team were discussing plans that would involve an undetermined amount of public investment.

Of major concern of the ownership group the fact that all suites in Philips Arena are located on one side of the building.

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