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Hawks, State Farm reach agreement to rename arena

ATLANTA -- Philips Arena in Atlanta is being renamed for State Farm after a $192.5 million renovation.

The Atlanta Hawks and the insurance company announced Wednesday they have reached a 20-year deal on naming rights for the arena, currently in the final phase of its renovation. The arena is expected to reopen in October as the Hawks celebrate their 50th year in Atlanta.

A person with knowledge of the negotiations said the agreed amount for the arena name change is around $200 million. The person spoke on condition of anonymity, citing a lack of authorization to discuss financial terms.

The Hawks had played in Philips Arena since its opening in 1999 after Dutch Royal Philips Electronics purchased the naming rights.

The State Farm red logo will be displayed at the top of the arena, which might be one of the smallest-capacity NBA venues (17,600 seats). Its amenities will include a state-of-the-art video board system, three times larger than the current one, along with rapper Killer Mike's barbershop, Zac Brown's BBQ restaurant, a fantasy golf area, a club lounge and premium seating areas with couches and cabanas.

"This is the last piece of the puzzle," Hawks CEO Steve Koonin said. "We hope through this sports and entertainment venue we can bring people together."

Tickets to the suites, cabanas or verandas are available for all events at Philips Arena -- with food and beverages included.

"It's going to be a social place unlike anywhere else in the NBA," Koonin said in a recent interview. "All of our research told us that people don't want to sit down in a chair eating a hot dog out of aluminum foil and watch a game. They want a great night out. ... Think Vegas pool meets sporting event."

State Farm has one of its three regional hubs based in Dunwoody, Georgia.

"This decision symbolizes our pledge to making a difference in communities, building our brand locally and nationally, and ultimately growing State Farm," said State Farm Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael Tipsord. "The Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club is well known for giving back in this community. Along with our Neighborhood of Good initiative, we'll have new opportunities to invest in the local community."

State Farm Arena will offer a new fan-friendly concessions pricing plan the Hawks say is the first of its kind in the NBA. The team says the new menu features price cuts of up to 50 percent, including $5 beer. The announcement also said 12 food and beverage items will be priced at $5 or less.

The Hawks said their motivation came from the Atlanta Falcons' success with similarly affordable pricing at the neighboring Mercedes-Benz Stadium in downtown Atlanta. The Hawks also were inspired by affordable concessions prices at the Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Georgia.