The inaugural year of the Amway Center has brought in rave reviews from fans, players and everyone else. It is a really good building and has all the amenities a fan could want. And yeah, eventually you can watch a basketball game there too.
That might be the only complaint about the new building — it is so wide open and spacious that it is difficult to actually watch a basketball game and for fans to make an impact on the game. I think that is still to be seen once the postseason comes along, but we have already seen Boston come in and bring in fans that were loud and vocal.
There are plenty of former Magic players though that are impressed with the new building… or what little they are able to see of it before they play a game.
“I hadn’t had a chance to take a tour yet, but from what I see it looks amazing,” Bucks guard Keyon Dooling said. “Visually it shows very well on television. And when you walk in, you obviously see the upgrades. It was a successful project, in my opinion.”
Dooling spent three very successful seasons in Orlando and his name will probably continue to come up as both a potential trade and free agent acquisition as long as Stan Van Gundy is coaching in Orlando. He called Orlando his favorite place to play. He said he expects the building and its fans to do their job when the time comes.
I went into the visitor’s locker room for the first time, and it is a lot smaller (understatement) than the Magic’s locker room. But I imagine it ranks among the nicer visitor’s locker rooms int he league. Also it is so small it makes it a lot more difficult for players to sneak away (I am looking at you Hedo) from the media.
One guy who knows all about the old Orlando Arena is Scott Skiles, the current coach of the Bucks.
He said he does not miss the old place, and the visitor’s locker room may have been one reason.
“[The new arena is] nice, very nice,” Skiles said. “Bad carpet in the visitor’s locker room. Bad showers in the visitor’s locker room. It was a great place to play when I was playing, just stayed a little too long.”
Interesting insight from the 30-assist man.
The Magic have sold out every home game this season and are 14-5 at the Amway Center. There is still plenty for the players to get used to — not to mention Jason Richardson is still living out of a hotel — in the new building. And it has yet to see its first postseason.
We are nearly halfway through the inaugural season of the Amway Center, and I am sure we have yet to learn all the things it has in store for us.