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  • 26 Mar
    ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Hawks are planning a $192.5 million renovation of Philips Arena, with the city providing the bulk of the funding.As part of the deal announced Tuesday, the Hawks agreed to an 18-year lease extension to remain at the city-owned arena through 2046.The city will contribute $142.5 million toward the project, which will most noticeably alter the look of the luxury boxes stacked on one side of the arena. There will be new amenities, a variety of different-size suites, improved sightlines for basketball, a state-of-the-art video system, and connected concourses throughout the 17-year-old facility.Philips Arena originally was built to host both the NBAs Hawks and the NHLs Atlanta Thrashers. The hockey team moved to Winnipeg in 2011.Mayor Kasim Reed had pledged to contribute to an arena renovation when the Hawks were in the process of being sold by former controlling owner Bruce Levenson, who gave up the team after revealing that he sent a racially insensitive email. Tony Ressler wound up leading a group that purchased the Hawks and operating rights to the arena.Ressler said all along that he preferred to remain downtown rather than pursue a new facility, as long as Philips Arena was upgraded.We knew that a key part of producing a winning team, providing a superior fan experience and being a civic asset to the city of Atlanta required a renovation of our arena and a meaningful improvement to the downtown area of this city, Ressler said. Todays announcement with the mayor is a significant step toward this goal, and we look forward to this exciting transformation that will ensure that we provide the best fan experience possible now and for the next 30 years.Reed said the renovation was part of a long-range plan to transform an unsightly tract of downtown adjacent to the arena and the new $1.4 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium, a retractable-roof facility set to open next year as home to the NFL Falcons and a Major League Soccer expansion team, Atlanta United.There have been talks about turning the area, known as the gulch, into a mixed-used development much like the highly successful LA Live complex next to Staples Center in Los Angeles. Reed said its part of a plan to connect the sports venues to popular tourist attractions around Centennial Olympic Park, as well as to one of the citys biggest development flops, Underground Atlanta.This is the first stake in the ground in transforming the critical corridor, Reed said. I want to thank Tony Ressler and the Atlanta Hawks ownership for committing to this deal that will keep the NBA in our city and help reimagine downtown for the millions of residents, visitors and tourists who come to Atlanta each year.Its another huge commitment by the city to a sports venue, though Reed stressed that no money from the citys general fund will be used and no new taxes will be needed.About $110 million will come from an extension of car-rental tax and the city will contribute $12.5 million from the sale of Turner Field to Georgia State University and a development company, a deal expected to close by the end of the year. The remaining $20 million from the city will come from a series of expected future land sales, the mayor added during a City Hall announcement.The renovation of Philips Arena comes on the heels of the city agreeing to spend at least $200 million -- and perhaps much more, some critics have argued -- for the Falcons new stadium, which will replace the 24-year-old Georgia Dome. In addition, suburban Cobb County put up some $400 million in public funding to build a new baseball stadium for the Atlanta Braves that opens next season.SunTrust Park, about 12 miles from downtown, will replace Turner Field even though that stadium is only two decades old. Georgia State plans to downsize the Braves former home into a 30,000-seat stadium for its football program.The renovations on Philips Arena will begin next summer and should be completed by the start of the 2018-19 season. The Hawks will continue to play at the arena during the overhaul, with much of the work being done over the next two offseasons. Cheap Chicago Bears Jerseys . - Oakland Raiders running back Rashad Jennings was speaking to a group of local high school students earlier this week when the conversation turned to the importance of being prepared when opportunities in life arise. Cheap Bears Jerseys Authentic . Rousey will put her perfect 8-0 record and hardware on the line against another undefeated fighter, 7-0 Sara McMann in the main event of UFC 170, which will be held at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas Nevada on February 22nd. http://www.cheapbearsjerseysauthentic.com/ . They had already blown a double-digit lead, fans were hitting the exits, and a long seven-game road trip waited at the end. Cheap Bears Jerseys . Mats Zuccarello and Derek Stepan scored shootout goals, and backup goalie Cam Talbot earned his second win in two nights as the Rangers shook off a late tying tally and beat the Maple Leafs 2-1 Monday night. Wholesale Chicago Bears Jerseys . The 15th-ranked Canadian men lost the opening two games of their European tour: 19-15 to No. 17 Georgia and 21-20 to No. The Cincinnati Bearcats were voted as preseason favorites in the American Athletic Conference for 2016-17. Its the first time the basketball team has been picked to win a conference since 2002-03, when the Bearcats resided in Conference USA.They received 95 points, including six first-place votes. UConn?came in second with 94 points and five first-place votes. SMU (76), Houston (75) and Memphis (63) round out the top five in the coaches poll.Cincinnati senior guard Troy Caupain, who led the team in scoring (13.0 per game) and assists (4.8 per game) last season, earned preseason co-player of the year honors, along with Memphis sophomore guard/forward Dedric Lawson.Bearcats junior forward Gary Claark, who averaged 10.dddddddddddd.4 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocks a season ago, joined Caupain on the preseason all-conference first team.UConn freshman guard Alterique Gilbert, the 30th ranked player in the ESPN 100, was voted as the preseason rookie of the year in the conference, and sophomore guard Jalen Adams was awarded second-team preseason honors.The Bearcats are ranked 25th in the USA Today preseason poll, while UConn is ranked 16th. They both begin the regular season on Nov. 11, as Cincinnati takes on Brown and Connecticut faces Wagner.-- Josiah Turner ' ' '