In modernizing Atlanta’s 20-year-old State Farm Arena, the design team saw an opportunity to do much more than a mere renovation. The aim was to completely transform the live entertainment experience.
“HOK blew us away with an initial pitch full of original ideas about seating and socializing,” said Thad Sheely, Atlanta Hawks and State Farm Arena chief operating officer. “Less than 30 months later, we opened the doors to a renovated arena that exemplifies renovation as innovation.”
From the unique seating concepts to a completely reimagined food and beverage experience, the arena creates a new benchmark for sports venue design. Inspired by the BeltLine, an ambitious urban redevelopment project that is connecting Atlanta’s neighborhoods through a 22-mile loop of trails and parks, the team designed the arena’s open concourses to create diverse social experiences.
The design removed an existing wall of suites that had spanned four levels on the arena’s west side and repurposed this space for use as viewing terraces, multilevel connection points, open suites and the 18,000-sq.-ft. Atlanta Social suite experience.
The Hawks’ local partnerships and celebrity connections led to the creation of additional curated dining and service experiences, including Zac Brown’s Social Club, Killer Mike’s SWAG Shop and restaurateur Giovanni DiPalma’s Little Italia collection of eateries.