The pending major renovations to Philips Arena will not interrupt a Hawks season despite news that the Dream will play the next two years on the campus of Georgia Tech.
The WNBA’s Dream announced Monday night that they will play all home playoff games this season and the entire 2017 and 2018 seasons at McCamish Pavilion because Philips Arena “will not be available.”
Hawks principal owner Tony Ressler told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution earlier this year that the Hawks playing games away from Philips Arena while much-needed renovations are done to the facility simply is not an option. The major construction would begin in the summer of 2017 for completion in 2018, without any interruption of the Hawks’ season, for the 50th anniversary of the team’s move to Atlanta. The Hawks moved to Atlanta from St. Louis in 1968.
Expectations are that the renovations to Philips Arena will cost between $200-300 million. The city of Atlanta has pledged money to help with the upgrades. The Hawks are developing plans for the renovations.
In the Dream’s announcement, the team stated that playoff games this year would be held at the 8,600-seat McCamish Pavilion because Philips Arena has “multiple conflicting events” during the majority of the playoff schedule. The WNBA playoffs are scheduled to begin Sept. 21 with a last possible final day of Oct. 20. Events schedule at Philips Arena during that span include Disney on Ice, a comedy concert and Hawks home preseason games against the Cavaliers, Pistons and Pelicans.
The Dream played three games at McCamish Pavilion in 2014 and one game this season — a win over Dallas on July 22. In 2013, the Dream had to play games in the WNBA Finals at Gwinnett Arena (now Infinite Energy Arena) because of a conflict with Disney on Ice at Philips Arena.
McCamish Pavilion, formerly known was Alexander Memorial Coliseum, underwent a $50 million renovation in 2011-12.
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