With a growing presence in metro Atlanta, State Farm is aiming to be a highly visible good neighbor to downtown and its potential Gulch transformation.
Atlanta Hawks and State Farm brass announced today a 20-year naming rights deal that, in theory, will spell the end of calling the Hawks’s roost “Philips Arena.”
Henceforth, it’s “State Farm Arena.”
(That’s not to be confused with State Farm Center on the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign campus, or the other State Farm Arena, a small venue in Texas).
Beyond new signage throughout and atop the arena, which is undergoing a $193 million renovation after two decades, the partnership will aim to “co-create impactful community initiatives and bolster existing community and social responsibility programs,” per a press release.
Exactly what State Farm paid for naming rights wasn’t disclosed.
Following the Omni Coliseum’s demolition in 1997, Philips Arena debuted as home court for the Hawks and home ice for the Thrashers in 1999, until the NHL franchise skated off to Winnipeg 12 years later. It’s been rumored for months that the refurbished arena would likely carry a new name, as the Hawks’s 20-year contract with the technology company Philips was drawing to a close.
In Dunwoody, State Farm is building one of its three regional hubs into a multi-tower complex with direct MARTA connectivity. The company counts more than 6,000 employees in metro Atlanta.
That’s good for a Top 20 ranking among metro Atlanta employers, according to a recent Atlanta Business Chronicle tabulation. By comparison, the region’s top employer, Delta Air Lines, tallies more than 31,000 employees.
As State Farm Arena, the Hawks’s home will open in October, following what officials call the second largest renovation in NBA history, behind only a billion-dollar retooling of Madison Square Garden that wrapped in 2013.
Highlights will include the “third-largest center-hung scoreboard in the NBA,” new seating, and the league’s “most immersive video experience,” plus non-basketball attractions such as Topgolf Swing Suites, Killer Mike’s barbershop, and a dozen food and beverage items priced at five bucks or less, per the release.
Counting 170 events and about 2 million annual guests, the arena is ranked by Pollstar among the world’s top 10 concert venues, as owners point out. Post-renovation concerts on the docket include Drake, Elton John, Justin Timberlake, P!nk, Shawn Mendes, and Carrie Underwood.
Atlantans can have a firsthand look at
Philips —er, State Farm Arena—alterations themselves October 20 during a free public event described as a “Welcome to the Neighborhood” Open House Party.