Philips Arena - Atlanta, GA
Atlanta’s Philips Arena, home to Armageddon in 2004, has been a sports-entertainment fixture since opening its doors in September 1999. Besides hosting multiple Raw and SmackDown events over the years, the indoor venue was also the site for the 2002 Royal Rumble, where Triple H outlasted 29 other Superstars in the main event, and Ric Flair beat the living hell out of Mr. McMahon in their now-legendary Street Fight.
With a seating capacity of 21,000, the $213-million Philips Arena was built on the former site of the Omni Coliseum. Sponsored by and named after Philips Electronics, it is the natural habitat for the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks, the Arena Football League’s Georgia Force and the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers. Inside the “Thrashers’ Nest” area is the Philips Experience, a 10,000-square-foot showcase offering visitors numerous interactive activities. The building adjoins the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), the Georgia World Congress Center and the CNN Center via its “HawkWalk,” a massive indoor thoroughfare complete with retail stores, four nightclubs, and 12 restaurants. A steel, glass and concrete exterior sports three layered roofs that illuminate at night, plus angled steel columns that spell out “ATLANTA” on the downtown side, and “CNN” on the side facing the Georgia World Congress Center. Sitting adjacent to the arena is Centennial Olympic Park, which was built specifically to host the 1996 Summer Olympics.
Founded in 1837 as the end of the Western & Atlantic Railroad, Atlanta was named Marthasville, after the daughter of then-Governor Wilson Lumpkin, and nicknamed Terminus for its rail location, before finally settling on a feminized version of Atlantic in 1848. Officially recognized as Georgia’s capital in April 1868, Atlanta is the county seat of Fulton County, despite a portion of the city extending into DeKalb County. More than 470,000 reside within the “City Too Busy to Hate”—a title earned for its anti-segregation stance during the 1960s Civil Rights Movement—though its metro population totals nearly 5 million. Regarded as a business leader in the “New South,” Atlanta houses consulates, trade offices, and chambers of commerce from more than 50 countries, and is the world headquarters for 13 Fortune 500 companies.