A Lesson in Change From the Atlanta Hawks You Need to Know
According to Matt Kempner’s recent AthleticBusiness article, “Boosted by Mayor Kasim Reed's promise to kick in three-fourths of the upfront cost, leaders of the Atlanta Hawks are planning a $192.5 million renovation of Philips Arena aimed at wooing more young adults.”
In a statement made in the article, Hawks CEO Steve Koonin explains that “this will be the first arena designed for a millennial audience.”
What does he mean? Why are Koonin and his team spending millions to change Philips?
As we dove into the article further, we recognized why. We immediately understood and applaud the decisions made by the Hawks to make changes to their current arena.
They’ve accepted the need for change. The Hawks believe that change will help the organization achieve greater success down the road.
Koonin has a goal to be “a top-tier” arena, and he feels like they just aren’t there, yet. So, the Hawks see what’s holding the organization back, and they’re going for it and making the changes.
According to Koonin, the arena was “designed in the '90s, and I think a lot of the pieces are antiquated. It is not a top-tier arena, which makes it tough to capture the best fan experience."
This fact could be a hard pill to swallow for any organization and their executive team. But, it’s commendable nonetheless to see the Hawks conceding to their weaknesses.
To recognize where your organization needs to change is something big to overcome. It’s also a great lesson you need to know.
Embracing the need for continuous change is the key to long-term success for your operation.
Atlanta Hawks Aim to Craft a “Social Occasion.”
Let’s take a look at what change looks like for the Hawks.
Kempner’s article explains that “The current setup at Philips Arena includes more than 100 suites stacked atop one another like a moldy layer cake you can stare at but not eat. The higher up you go, the harder it is to find someone willing to pay for the distant view. It's a design innovation I'm told was meant to serve the competing interests of basketball and hockey, which are best viewed at different levels.”
In response to the current layout and purpose of the arena, Koonin focuses on making changes that target millennials.
The article explains that, “Koonin is eyeing renovations that could cut the number of big suites by about half -- they each fit 20 people -- and scatter what remains along with new, more intimate premium seating around the arena.”