Fan Experience

Atlanta Hawks vs Dallas Mavericks: Opening Night

Connie Irvin

On Wednesday, State Farm Arena (SFA) opened its doors for the first Atlanta Hawks home game of the season. I toured the arena last Saturday, so I already knew the layout, but it was a different experience stepping into SFA to attend an actual game. Opening night was a magical night.

When you enter the arena from the main entrance and walk down the stairs you’ll notice that Jerome and Stan of Fox Sports are no longer at the bottom to the right. They’ve moved to the back right corner in the Hawk Walk Market. The Hawks Shop is still on the left but instead of entering and exiting from the front only, when you walk towards the back, it leads you directly to seats in section 120. While the Hawk Shop doesn’t look bigger it has a more modern design which compliments the overall design of the arena.  I wanted to eat before the game and walked back and forth a couple times between the Hawk Walk Market and Zac Brown Social Club before I settled on the concession stand that sold wings. I ordered the smoked wing combo which was $19 and came with bottomless fries and a bottomless souvenir cup. Well worth the money!

On opening night there’s always a t-shirt on each seat, however, fans got another goodie. We received a wristband that that was interactive with what was going on during the game. It lit up during the player introductions, whenever a Hawks player scored three points, during the halftime show and during the post-game concert.

Atlanta Hawks Opening Night. October 24, 2018

I wasn’t prepared for such a fiery player introduction. There was no stimulation stone left unturned. From the lights to the fire to the lighting up of the wristbands, the player introductions were breathtaking…the new arena looked stunning.

Atlanta Hawks Opening Night. October 24, 2018

I have to admit that I couldn’t focus on the game during the first half because there were so many new details that caught my attention. First and foremost I was looking for DJ Big Tigger and Sir Foster. Normally Big Tig would be behind the Sixth Man section and Sir Foster would be playing close by were I was sitting. As my eyes started to scan the arena, I saw him up and to the left of me. I still don’t know where Big Tig was hiding. During the open house party I didn’t get to visit the S.W.A.G. Shop so I didn’t realize that the shop is open to where you clearly see a barber cutting hair and still see the game if you need to get a fresh lineup. So dope.

There’s a lot of stimulation, the new video board and video screens displayed on the four corners of the arena alone captivate your attention. I’m not quite sure if having so much to look at enhances or diminishes your experience. I’m also unsure of how social the Hawks organization wants their fans to be. The area behind section 108 has a bar, plenty of places to sit and socialize and other dining option. I found this area to be too loud and it took away from the game experience.

Atlanta’s own, Future, performed during halftime and also for the post-game concert. Hawks x Freebandz merchandise are available in the Hawks Shop. The tees are $30 and a windbreaker is $60. I hope that these items are still available for purchase during the entire season. I need to alert Chief that these items are it.

Atlanta Hawks Opening Night. October 24, 2018

The Hawks were down by 10 at halftime and even were down by twenty six points during the game and decided that a wins don’t start tomorrow they start today. They joined the brotherhood and rose up to beat the Dallas Mavericks 111-104 in front of a sold out crowd. The Hawks are 2-2 and if they play liked they played in the fourth quarter of this game, they’ll have a pretty decent season.  The Hawks play the Chicago Bulls tonight. Let’s hope the ATM machines and electrical outlets are working for the fans tonight. I’m looking forward to the 2018-19 season and hoping that each time I enter the arena, the magic never stops.

She’s always #TrueToAtlanta.

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