State Farm Arena formerly known as Philips Arena opened it’s doors since April and gave Atlanta Hawks fans an opportunity to explore the renovated arena. With the massive price tag of $192.5 million dollars, how did the Hawks organization do? Pretty fantabulous! The new additions to the arena include Topgolf Swing Suites, Zac Brown’s Social Club, Hawk Walk Market and the new Front Porch neighborhood which is where Killer Mike’s S.W.A.G. Shop is located, the arena is now circular and there’s a lot of walking so if you need to get in your 5,000 steps, you’ll accomplish your goal.
I entered the arena from the Marta entrance and now they have a scanner to scan your tickets and a glass gate to walk through. Once in, immediately to your left and right, are walls painted in vibrant colors welcoming you to the neighborhood. The wall on the left has an the 1995 infamous Source Awards quote from declaring “The South Got Something To Say.” This is a very Instagram worthy background and one of three of my favorite walls in the arena.
If you come from any entrance besides the front of the arena, the S.W.A.G. Shop is located up the main stairs in the front of the arena and off in the corner. There was a meet and greet to meet Killer Mike and they were also giving free haircuts. As expected, it was a popular attraction and the line was long and the shop full so I didn’t get to see inside.
When you leave the shop and make your way down stairs, the Hawks Shop is still to your left. It wasn’t finished but I’m excited to see the new changes. Where the Hawks banners once hung, is now called Hawk Walk Market(HWM). All of the eating options that were on the left are no longer. The space is now open with the center court bar. It reminds me of the bar in the Mercedes Benz Stadium on the 100 level. The HWM is very open and I love the color scheme throughout the arena. Muted colors; tan, beige, brown and grey…it gives the arena a lightness. If you keep walking out of the HWM, you enter Zac Brown’s Social Club. In the Zac Brown Social Club, there’s more dining options, a bar and seating. The Zac Brown Social Club takes you to the elevators to access the upper levels of the arena including the suites.
The 100 level is the same, however, there are changes to the upper levels. There isn’t a 300 level, this has been changed to the 200 level. The 200 level is now the terrace level. The terrace level is located on the second level and has the walkway. This is called the Social Circle. This area has my second favorite wall. An ode to R&B singer Usher with two fingers holding up the peace sign and the words “Peace Up, A-Town Down” on the corner right. Another Instagram worthy spot. Make your way to the 200 level and that’s where my third favorite wall is located. A white wall with hawk wings and the words “Stand Tall, Fly High” and the True To Atlanta hashtag.
After you’ve snapped pictures, shopped, gotten a haircut and/or gotten something to eat…it’s time to make your way to your seats. If you’re sitting in a suite, you might be thoroughly impressed. You’ll feel like being in someone’s home HGTV quality work has gone into the renovation of the suites. The suites are also closer to the court so you don’t feel like you’re so far away from the action. If you’re not about the suite life, you’re still going to love your seats. Like I mentioned before there isn’t a bad seat in the house. The new video 360 degree video screen will have you seeing everything. The main video board has 4,477 square feet of active video display, making it one of the three largest in an NBA venue.
Due to time and the lines I didn’t get to see the Topgolf suites. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the Open House Party. The Hawk Bar was nice. The Chef’s Club was amazing. Everything was everything! My mind couldn’t wrap around what I was seeing. There is so much to take in. Kudos to the design team because every single design element made sense. If you’re going to spend $192.5 million dollars, it better make sense. What I love about the Atlanta Hawks organization is they sew in the culture of the city into the fabric of what they do. An authentic representation of what it means to be True To Atlanta.
May the odds be in the Hawks favor as they celebrate 50 years this season. The home opener is Wednesday, Oct. 24, against the Dallas Mavericks. Halftime performance by Future and National Anthem performance by the Zac Brown Band.