Philips Arena is an indoor arena in Atlanta, Georgia. Completed in 1999 at a cost of $213.5 million, it is home to the Atlanta Thrashers of the National Hockey League, the Atlanta Hawks of the National Basketball Association, and the Atlanta Dream of the Women’s National Basketball Association. It is owned and operated by Atlanta Spirit, LLC, the group of investors that also owns the Hawks and Thrashers. The arena seats 19,445 for basketball and 18,545 for ice hockey. The largest crowd ever for an Atlanta Hawks basketball game was in the 2008 NBA Playoffs (Game 6 against the Boston Celtics), where there was an approximate number of people of about 20,485. The arena includes 92 luxury suites and 1,866 club seats. For concerts and other entertainment events, the arena can seat 21,000. The arena has been recently ranked as a top venue in Pollstar magazine’s Top 100 Worldwide Arena Venues, and for the first half of the 2009 calendar year it has been named as the No.1 concert and events venue in the United States, based on attendance figures released by the leading industry publication, beating traditional powerhouse larger-market venues such as the Madison Square Garden in New York City.
The arena is laid out in a rather unusual manner, with the club seats and luxury boxes aligned solely along one side of the playing surface, and the general admission seating along the other three sides (the arrangement was later emulated at the Detroit Lions’ home, Ford Field). This unique layout is a vast contrast to many of its contemporaries, which have their revenue-generating luxury boxes and club seats located in the ‘belly’ of the arena, thus causing the upper deck to be 2–4 stories higher. The layout at Philips was done so as to be able to bring the bulk of the seats closer to the playing surface while still making available a sufficient number of revenue-raising club seats and loges.
On the exterior, angled steel columns supporting the roof facing downtown spell out "ATLANTA" and the side facing the Georgia World Congress Center spells out "CNN." The arena adjoins the CNN Center. The Dome/GWCC/Philips Arena/CNN Center rail station below the arena provides access to MARTA public transportation.
Philips Electronics purchased the naming rights to the arena upon construction.
For the 2007-2008 season, Philips Arena utilized the new "see-through" shot clock units which allow spectators seated behind the basket to see the action without having the clocks interfere with their view and for basketball joining the FedExForum, Wachovia Center, TD Banknorth Garden, United Center, US Airways Center and the Time Warner Cable Arena. Video advertising panels replaced the traditional scrolling panels.
Philips Arena is among the busiest arenas for concerts in the world, having sold well over 550,000 concert tickets in 2007. World Championship Wrestling (WCW) hosted a number of professional wrestling events including WCW Nitro on June 5, 2000 at Philips Arena before it was sold to WWE in spring 2001. The arena was also host to the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Royal Rumble event in January 2002 and Backlash 2007 in April 2007, and has hosted several episodes of Raw including February 6, 2006 and SmackDown and ECW. SmackDown and ECW returned to the arena on August 5, 2008 for a TV Taping. Raw returned to the arena on November 17, 2008 along with an ECW taping. The 2009 WWE Draft also took place on April 13, 2009. The arena will also host the annual Royal Rumble pay per view event in 2010.