State Farm Arena Is in the Neighborhood
Author: Kevin L. Chouinard (@KLChouinard)
ATLANTA, GA -- When the Atlanta Hawks take the floor this October following a $192.5 million-dollar renovation of their home, it will have a new name: State Farm Arena.
The club has entered into a 20-year partnership with the largest home and automobile insurer in the United States to rename its home building, an arena that hosts nearly 170 events and 2 million guests each year. The Hawks and State Farm will also team up to begin new philanthropic initiatives and community engagement programs.
Fans will get to see State Farm Arena from the inside for the first time on Saturday, Oct. 20. The arena debuts with a "Welcome to the Neighborhood” Open House Party, a free, public event inviting fans to experience all that the new building has to offer, including the Topgolf Swing Suites, Killer Mike’s SWAG Shop (a four-chair barbershop overlooking the court) and the NBA’s first-ever courtside bar.
The team announced the move in a press conference last week attended by top executives from each group, as well as Keisha Lance Bottoms, mayor of the City of Atlanta, and Hawks players Kent Bazemore, John Collins, Taurean Prince and Trae Young.
"We are so fortunate in the City because we are strong," Mayor Bottoms said, "and we are strong because we have strong partners. What I can say about the Atlanta Hawks is that there is no stronger partner."
Hawks Principal Owner Tony Ressler said that State Farm was an exemplary organization with whom the Hawks could join forces for a sponsorship of the 10th-busiest arena in the world.
"We've always viewed the Hawks as a community asset in search of a championship," Ressler said. "State Farm is an exceptional company committed to being a great member of the community. At the Hawks Organization, we've tried to build bridges through basketball to all of metro Atlanta, and we have truly the ideal partner to pursue this endeavor."
State Farm Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael Tipsord echoed the same sentiment from the other half of the partnership.
"When I met with Tony, one of the things that I took away was just how committed he is to lifting up people in the community - the difference that he wants to make in the community. And that aligns perfectly with where our organization is."
Hawks CEO Steve Koonin summed it up best when describing the function of an arena in a city.
"An arena done well is not only a town hall for a city, it's a place where a lifetime of memories are made," he said
The Hawks start their memory-making Oct. 24 when they take the floor of renamed-and-rebuilt State Farm Arena for the very first time.