Fulton County to refinance $60 million in bonds for Hawks renovation


Fulton County will have to refinance $60 million worth of loans on Philips Arena as part of a plan to refurbish the building, Fulton County Commission Chairman John Eaves said.

The Hawks basketball team plans to contribute $50 million toward a $192.5 million renovation of the arena. Fulton County is a part-owner of the property as part of the Atlanta-Fulton Recreation Authority.

Eaves said by refinancing the bonds, Fulton will serve as a backstop to the Hawks if the team folds. As part of the deal, Fulton is asking the Hawks to set aside $500,000 for community benefits, like refurbishing neighborhood basketball courts.

A spokesperson for the Hawks declined to provide more details about the bond refinancing.

Atlanta Hawks CEO Steve Koonin called Eaves and other county commissioners last month, imploring them to vote in favor of the bond refinancing. The Atlanta City Council in June approved the use of car rental taxes to fund the majority of the city’s $142.5 million investment in the renovations.

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