Philips arena is a tremendous structure. The side of the arena where the suites are located are unmatched by any other arena, holding 92 suites. Having this many suites on one side is unlike any other arena. The suites have a modern and elegant look, which really sets the tone for the rest of the arena. Another unique feature on this side of the arena is the massive suite in the middle. This may be one of the biggest suites I've ever seen in a NBA arena.
The arena's seating is setup with a bowl in the lower level and the upper level consist of the suites and bowl style seating. The seats on both levels are padded are padded on the seat and the backs. They also have armrests that are located on both sides on the seats. Some of the seats include cup holders.
Philips arena includes 4 restaurants/clubs. One of the newest restaurants/clubs will be RED. Red will make its debut in April of 2012. Red is located behind sections 203-204.
The concourse as a whole was impressive. The entrance from the CNN Center opens up into the Hawk Walk. The Hawk Walk provides you with plenty of dining options, including Taco Mac. Taco Mac is located behind section 2011. They also have an entrance from outside the arena. The CNN entrance is also a quick way to pick up Hawk merchandise. When you enter you will see a team shop to purchase all your favorite Hawk merchandise. You can go up one level and you will see the interactive floor. This floor gives you the chance to shoot hoops, play video games, and more. The lower concourse is nice and wide, which provides fans with plenty of room. The upper level concourse is also fairly big. Both concourses have a Hawks theme which unites the whole arena. When I was there the arena was a little over half way full. At full capacity it may get a little crowded.
The exterior is just as nice as the interior. Outside of the entrance you can see the word Atlanta spelled out. The exterior has plenty of windows. The windows help both the look of the interior and exterior.
Philips arena has a drop down scoreboard and also ribbon scoreboards on the front of the upper decks. Philips Arena is also the first arena to be LEED certified.
The location of the stadium is great. It's near the Georgia Dome, CNN Center, Centennial Park, and more. There's plenty of parking around the arena and access from the Marta.
Philips Arena: There are many things I like and few things I don't like about Philips Arena. The location is great. The Hawk Walk makes you feel like you're at Hawks game as soon as you walk in, which really impressed me. Chair back seating throughout the arena and the seats were comfortable. The suites really make the arena stand out from others. The only thing I didn't like with the structure was that there were walls in the upperdeck that separated from different sections not a big deal, but worth mentioning.
Scoreboard: The center hung scoreboard was not bad, but it wasn't great either. The screens were a nice size, but could be bigger. I'd rather see the score on a digital screen then the old school scoreboard below the screens. I also don't like the blue bars around the scoreboard. Overall, the scoreboard isn't up to par with other NBA arenas. I would add a new center hung scoreboard that fits the arena.
Atmosphere: The atmosphere was pretty live through out the game. The Kia section was loud throughout the game and is a great idea to have a section like that in an NBA arena. The arena was a little over half full, those fans were also treated to five free minutes of overtime basketball. Overall, for the fans that were at the game did a good job to create a good atmosphere. The entertainment during the game was pretty good. My favorite part was Skyhawk dunking off the trampoline.
City: Atlanta is a great city. Plenty of things to see, places to eat, and lots of entertainment. I love Centennial Park, the World of Coca Cola, and the Aquarium are right there with no need to travel from place to place. The New Era store is awesome for a hat lover like me. I had the opportunity to visit Piedmont Park during my visit and which I recommend to visitors of Atlanta . I love seeing green space in such a big city. The traffic can be a little bit of a hassle at times, but that comes to be expected in a city of Atlanta's size.
Game Day Activities
- Stop into Grindhouse Killer Burgers located in the Sweet Auburn Curb Market. They have parking available right on location. Parking can be validated and free for customers who only stay for an hour. My suggestion is a double cheeseburger with onion rings on the side. Check out their website!
- Try to find parking near the arena. There are a few lots located right across the arena on Centennial Olympic Park Road.
- Head over to Centennial Olympic Park. The park pays tribute to the 1996 Olympic Games, which were held in Atlanta. In the park you can find the Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coca Cola. The Georgia Aquarium is the largest aquarium in the world! It features over 60 exhibits. The World of Coca Cola takes you through the history of Coke and shows off a lot of cool memorabilia. My favorite part of the World of Coca Cola was the chance to try Coke products from all over the world! One of my personal favorite places to visit in Atlanta is the New Era Hat store located on Lucky Street. This store is one of the few stand alone New Era stores in the world.
- For a quick bite to eat try the CNN Center. They have plenty of fast food options as well as sit down restaurants.
- Go to Philips Arena! They have a Taco Mac located inside the arena if you didn't find a bite to eat at the CNN Center.
- X-Factor Basis: Suites/Hawk Walk