We're not in the habit of bashing the hometown, but we must admit some (pleasant) surprise at seeing Phillips Arena ranked #7 on a list of the most valuable sports venues in the U.S. This particular list calculates value based on the size of the naming rights contract in place; the Dutch electronics conglomerate Phillips will apparently pay some $182 million over 20 years to have their name on the home of the Hawks and...the Hawks. Our surprise emanates partially from the departure of the Thrashers and Atlanta's exit from the fraternity of cities with an NHL franchise...this would seem a devastating loss. Moreover, to see Phillips Arena in front of venerable arenas like the Staples Center in L.A. (home of the championship-rich Lakers) and the TD (Boston) Garden was quite unexpected. But hey, we'll take it. The Falcons have carried the burden of Atlanta's pro sports glory for far too long. That '95 World Series just keeps getting further and further away.
· Most Valuable Stadiums in America [24/7 Wall St.]