It’s official: the Magic will play their games at the Amway Center

At today’s announcement that the Orlando Magic would call their new home Amway Center, there were some technical difficulties. I’ll let Tania Ganguli explain:

Martins gave an introductory speech this morning with the arena as his backdrop. That was to be followed by some pyrotechnics and Dwight Howard and Nick Anderson, standing in hard-hats on what looks like it will be a concourse ramp when the building is finished, dramatically unfurling an Amway Center banner as heroic music played. Then the banner got stuck. And for the next five or six minutes Martins, along with several media members, dignitaries and Magic employees watched a third (and shorter) man in a hard hat work to unfold it. When he finished, Howard and Anderson stood side by side and lifted their arms triumphantly.

I was in attendance and I have video of the event. In an effort to save your time, I won’t be posting the video – just trust me on this one. It’s three 1-minute videos of a little man fixing a banner (my phone only takes videos 1 minute at a time), with Howard and Anderson standing in the background.

But it was a pretty cool scene as a lot of Orlando big shots convened for the ceremony, including Orange County mayor Rich Crotty and several other political figures. While some people may assume the deal with Amway was easy because Rich Devos co-founded the company, they’d be wrong.

“I think it’s important to point out that Amway is only 50 percent owned by the DeVos family,” said Alex Martins, the Magic’s chief operating officer. “There’s another family that has a 50 percent stake in the company, and has no financial interest in our team whatsoever, that had to be a part of this decision.”

And then things got worse on a global scale, and the deal became even more difficult.

“As we got into the negotiations some 15 months ago, the heart of the recession hit us,” Martins said. “I think it’s a testament to Amway and their vision of what this building is going to bring from a global perspective.”

Now, with the naming rights complete and the building’s completion less than a year away, Martins is excited.

“I think [the deal] is a testament to our community and the global reach that it has, because of the tourism,” he said. “And I think it’s a testament to the building that we’re building here. This is going to be the most modern facility in North America. It’s going to be the most technologically advanced building in the world.”

After the jump there’s more information on Amway Center than you know what to do with.

AMWAY CENTER FACT SHEET

Scheduled Opening: October 2010 Cost: $380 million (total construction cost)
Location: Downtown Orlando; bound by Church Street (north); Hughey Avenue (east); South Street (south); Division Avenue (west)

Owner: City of Orlando Operator: City of Orlando

Primary Tenant: Orlando Magic Functions: NBA and collegiate basketball, arena football, indoor soccer, concerts, hockey, circuses, stage shows and exhibitions

Design Architect: Populous (formerly HOK Sport)

Local Architects: C.T. Hsu + Associates; Baker Barrios Architects, Inc. Construction Manager: Hunt Construction Group in association with Rey Group, R.L. Burns, Inc., HZ Construction and Albu & Associates, Inc.

Program Manager: Turner Construction Company

Champions of Community Partners: Harris Corporation

Site Acreage: 8.75 acres

Number of Levels: 7: Event Level; Lower Bowl Access Level; Founder’s Suite Level; Main Concourse; Club/Loge Level; Terrace Level; Hockey Press Box Level

Square Footage: 875,000 square feet

Seating Capacities: 19,700 (center stage concert) 16,000 (end stage concerts) 18,600 (NBA) 20,000 (NCAA basketball) 17,200 (hockey/arena football)

Premium Spaces: 60 private suites; 4 bunker suites; 2 super suites; 4 party suites Private suites distributed on two levels 1,400 club seats 68 loge boxes (328 seats)

Sustainable Design: Anticipated LEED Certified: Sustainable building design will exist in various categories, including a sustainable site; water efficiency; energy optimization and atmosphere protection; materials and resource conservation; indoor environmental quality and health; and environmentally preferred operations and maintenance

Technology: Harris Corporation is the official technology partner for the Amway Center. The arena will have more than 1,100 screens of high-definition content via Internet Protocol Television and a state-of-the-art digital signage network which will maximize fan engagement and interaction, distribute an unprecedented amount of patron information, as well as providing unlimited opportunities for advertisers and sponsors. MBE/WBE Participation:Commitment to Blueprint (Goals of 24% total MWBE participation);

Amenities • Amenities for every level of building and ticket price point and all patrons include: o Outdoor Patio overlooking Church Street with Food & Beverage Service o Full service themed restaurant and lounge on club concourse overlooking event floor o Themed fan experience zone and adjacent children’s fun zone in upper concourse o Public bar and food court on main concourse level with view of event floor o Wide variety of food & beverage options o ADA Accessibility on every level o 18 men’s restrooms and 19 women’s restrooms o Minimum one concession point of sale for every 125 spectators o ATM machines at each entrance lobby • Six Clubs on various levels • Iconic 120-foot-tall tower with sky bar and sky terrace at top • “Media Mesh” graphic wall on I-4 exterior façade • 31,000 SF arena floor can be used for exhibition/trade show space, banquets and meetings • Six banquet rooms and a board room on Founder’s level • Information kiosks distributed throughout the arena • Enclosed bridge to connect to planned parking garage • Two street-level retail locations on Church Street • Main concourse will average 30’ width • State-of-the-art center hung scoreboard with video capability; auxiliary boards located throughout the seating bowl; two LED ribbon boards on founder’s level and club level fascia • Full basketball practice court that can also be used for events seating up to 500 people • 2 NBA locker rooms; home hockey locker room; home arena football locker room; visiting hockey/arena football locker room; officials’ locker room; 6 star performer dressing rooms; green room for staging and hospitality; additional auxiliary locker room for show personnel • 13,500 SF of office space for team administration and 15,000 SF for City Venue Administration • Media interview room and working media facilities on event level • 6 enclosed truck docks and ramp

Philip Rossman-Reich

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily

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