Here is the official word from the Orlando Magic:

&..."/> Here is the official word from the Orlando Magic:


More On The New Amway Center


Here is the official word from the Orlando Magic:

"Here Comes the Amway CenterAs the final seconds of 2009 ticked away and a new year was ushered in, Orlando Magic Chief Operating Officer Alex Martins couldn’t help but think of one thing: 2010 is the year that Central Florida and the Magic will finally welcome a sparkling, new events center.Forgive Martins and his planning team these days if they are a bit consumed with the construction of Amway Center, which is scheduled to open in October. In addition to his daily duties of running the Magic, Martins has also has been the leading figure behind the design and construction of the 875,000-square-foot facility. Martins and his executive team of planners and designers usually spend a large chunk of their day dedicated to the construction of the new, state-of-the-art facility.In a matter of months, Amway Center has gone from a vision on blueprints to a massive, eye-catching facility adjacent to I-4 in downtown Orlando.Finally, the walls of the facility that is nearly three times the size of the current Amway Arena gives fans something tangible to see and get excited about.Martins has certainly shared in that excitement as he’s watched the building take shape. “I joke with some people in the community that we’re building one of the best buildings in North America, one of the biggest buildings in North America and the most technologically advanced building in North America. And, oh by the way, my other full-time job is running the business of a professional basketball team,’’ Martins said with a laugh. “But it’s definitely a labor of love building that building because it’s something that this community is going to be recognized for, for decades to come.’’Martins said the $380 million project is on schedule and set for a “Grand Opening Month’’ in October. The environmentally friendly, LEED-certified facility, which will seat 18,500 for NBA basketball games and up to 20,000 for other events, will be enclosed on three sides and along the roof by the end of January.In February, the air conditioning and heating units will be fully installed and once the humidity is taken out of the building, the interior design can begin in full. Martins said the fans that he talks to in the community and at Magic games marvel at the sheer size and design of the new building. And they should marvel, considering that it will almost triple the size of the current 367,000-square-foot Amway Arena.The new facility will have 60 suites, 1,400 club seats, seven levels, 37 restrooms, retail stores and one concession point of sale for every 125 spectators.The massive construction project has also served as a boon of sorts to the construction business in a time when jobs have been scarce because of the sharp downturn of the nation’s economy.And the Magic have worked closely with local minority and women-owned businesses — some of which are based out of the nearby Parramore community — awarding them with 34 percent of the contracts totaling a whopping $90-plus million.Of the 169 minority and women-owned firms under contract working at the facility, there are 65 African-American-owned firms, 48 women-owned firms, 34 Hispanic-owned firms, 20 Asian-American-owned firms and two Native-American-owned firms.“You certainly can’t miss it now when you drive along I-4 because it is so massive. It definitely sticks out on the western skyline of downtown,’’ Martins said. “The anticipation is definitely building toward October. Everybody has known that this building is going to be built and is on our horizon, but now that we can actually see it people are starting to get excited about getting their first look at events inside the facility.’’What truly makes Amway Center unique, however, is the technology and the level of amenities available to every ticket-buyer. The facility will feature Everyfan’s Bar and Food Court, a Club Restaurant, the Nutrilite Magic Fan Experience and Orlando Info Garden Kid’s Zone, three bars, an outdoor plaza overlooking downtown Orlando and several retail stores and novelty stores.And the facility promises to be affordable to Magic fans on several different levels.There will be 2,500 seats priced $15 or less, 7,000 seats priced $25 or less and 10,000 seats priced $50 or less. And for the first time ever, the Magic will be offering approximately 600 $5 tickets to each game.The overall goal, Martins said, was to make more amenities available to fans in the facility regardless of whether they are spending $5 or $500 for a ticket.“We’ve designed a facility that has so many built-in amenities for every level of ticket-buyer,’’ he said. “So many of these buildings in the past have been designed where a lot of the amenities have focused only on the premium ticket-buyer, the courtside seat holder or the club-seat holder.But here with the new building, we have bars, restaurants and clubs on every level for every ticket-buyer. And that’s for Magic games and every event. So it really is going to be a building that has a high level of amenity for everybody.’’And because the entire facility will be digitally wired by Harris Corp., the look of the venue will change from night to night depending on the event taking place.Advertising boards can be changed in various parts of the building to target certain demographics of people. Digital menus can be adjusted easily from night to night, allowing changes whether the facility is hosting a Magic game, a Latin concert or a motivational speaking tour.The bigger size, flexibility and advanced technology will allow Orlando to attract bigger concerts, major political conventions and compete for more major sporting events such as the SEC, ACC and NCAA tournaments.But Martins feels the true selling point of the facility is that it will bring a better sense of enjoyment for the arena’s patrons. “I think the community recognizes this will give us the opportunity to attract all of those events, but what people don’t recognize is how significantly improved this building is going to be over the current Amway Arena,’’ Martins said. “The common fan still doesn’t have an understanding of the level of amenities, the level of technology and the level of comfort that we’re going to have throughout the building. Those are the kinds of things that fans are going to be incredibly surprised by when they walk in that building for the first time.’’That “first time’’ for many fans will come in October when City of Orlando, Orange County and Magic leaders unveil the new facility to the public.Intensive planning is already underway to book a wide variety of events for the first few weeks to turn the grand opening into a month-long celebration of Orlando’s newest, grandest facility.“We want it to be spectacular and to live up to the hype of the design and live up to the expectations of the community. We want it to be very special,’’ Martins said. “It’s not going to be an opening day or an opening week; our intent is that we’re going to have an opening month of grand activities. “Our whole goal in that month-long celebration is to host events that touch every segment of our community,’’ Martins continued. “One night it might be a Magic preseason game, one night a rock ‘n’ roll concert and another night a country concert, another night a Latin show and another night a hip-hop show. Our intent is to fill the whole month of October with a diverse offering of events so that by the time our “Grand Opening Month” is complete we will have given every segment of the community something with which to have gone and seen in the new building.’’Martins said he’s eager to see the looks on the faces of fans when they walk into the new Amway Center for the first time.And he’s already dreamed about what Opening Night of the 2010-11 season for the Magic will look like. In fact, he already has in mind a scenario that would make the opening one of the grandest nights in Orlando’s history. “To be able to close down the Amway Arena by hoisting that trophy and then opening the Amway Center by hoisting the banner, that would be a storybook finish to building a new building. You couldn’t dream of a better opening,’’ Martins said. “We dream about that every day. We’ve never been better poised in the history of our organization to give us an opportunity to do that. This team is as deep and as competitive as any that’s ever played here in Orlando and it gives us our best chance ever to win a World Championship. “Hopefully we’ll stay healthy as a team, continue to improve as the year goes along and hopefully it will take us toward winning our first World Championship in June.’’ AMWAY CENTER FACT SHEETScheduled Opening: October 2010Cost: $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 OrlandoOperator: City of OrlandoPrimary Tenant: Orlando MagicFunctions: NBA and collegiate basketball, arena football, indoor soccer, concerts, hockey, circuses, stage shows and exhibitionsDesign 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“Champion of the Community” Partners: Harris Corporation; AirTranSite Acreage: 8.75 acresNumber of Levels: 7: Event Level; Mezzanine; Founders; Terrace; Club; Promenade; Sky; PressSquare Footage: 875,000 square feetSeating Capacities: 19,700 (center stage concert)16,000 (end stage concerts)18,500 (NBA)20,000 (NCAA basketball)17,200 (hockey/arena football) Premium Spaces: 60 private suites; 4 bunker suites; 2 super suites; 4 party suitesPrivate suites distributed on two levels1,400 club seats68 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 maintenanceTechnology: 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.MWBE Participation: Commitment to Blueprint (Goals of 24% total MWBE participation)AmenitiesThe new Amway Center will feature more value than ever before for ticket holders. All patron price levels will have access to premium amenities in the Amway Center such as:Everyfan’s Bar and Food CourtClub RestaurantNutrilite Magic Fan Experience and Orlando Info GardenKid’s ZoneNorth Terrace Bar; Terrace Sign Bar; Ozone Bar; Sky BarOutdoor Plaza and covered box officeRetail stores and novelty standsMultiple, wider concourses with convenient access to concession stands and restroomsImproved sightlines for all locations and wider seatsUnmatched technology, featuring 1,100 digital monitors and the largest, high-definition scoreboard in an NBA arena.An environmentally-friendly and LEED-certified buildingAccessible seating in all seating levels and for all seating productsParking: 6,967 spaces less than a five-minute walk; 2,676 spaces within a 10-minute walk and 3,738 spaces via shuttle/Lymmo bus service; All parking locations will have accessible parkingThe Amway Center will also feature:Iconic 120-foot-tall tower with sky bar and sky terrace at topGraphic wall on I-4 exterior façade31,000 SF arena floor can be used for exhibition/trade show space, banquets and meetingsSix banquet rooms and a board room on Founder’s levelInformation kiosks distributed throughout the arenaEnclosed bridge to connect to planned parking garageTwo street-level retail locations on Church StreetMain concourse will average 30’ widthState-of-the-art Daktronics center hung scoreboard with video capability; auxiliary boards located throughout the seating bowl; two LED ribbon boards on founder’s level and club level fasciaFull basketball practice court that can also be used for events seating up to 500 people2 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 personnel13,500 SF of office space for team administration and 15,000 SF for City Venue AdministrationMedia interview room and working media facilities on event level6 enclosed truck docks and rampWide variety of food & beverage optionsADA Accessibility on every level18 men’s restrooms and 19 women’s restroomsMinimum one concession point of sale for every 125 spectatorsATM machines at each entrance lobbyThe Orlando Magic will open next year in the new Amway Center and has already announced it will continue its practice of affordable pricing options. Ticket highlights for 2010-2011 in the new Amway Center include: –       2,500 seats priced $15 or less, 7,000 seats priced $25 or less, and 10,000 seats priced $50 or under per game, while supplies last.–       For the first time ever the introduction of a $5 per game ticket (more than 600 available).DESIGN PRINCIPLESAmway Center is designed to reflect the character of the community, meet the goals of the users and build on the legacy of sports and entertainment in Orlando.  The building’s exterior will feature a modern blend of glass and metal materials, along with ever-changing graphics via a monumental wall along one façade. A 120-foot tall tower will serve as a beacon amid the downtown skyline.Civic buildingCreate a community gathering place for Orlando and Central Florida, with a clear front doorContextDesign each façade with respect to its distinct environment; respond to the neighborhoods immediately adjacent to the specific façadeSustainableImplement design strategies to create one of the country’s most environmentally friendly arenasIndoor-outdoorCelebrate Central Florida climate by allowing movement indoors and outFront porchCreate an entry design element that relates the design to local architectureLandscapeIntegrate a variety of native landscape forms of various scale and typePattern and textureUse a variety of design elements in both horizontal and vertical surfacesAliveBring the building to life with color, graphics and signagePublic artIdentify key locations for public art to further define the building’s personality Amway Center Bio On July 26, 2007, by a 5-2 vote, the Orange County Commission approved a public building program that includes a new state-of-the-art events center, a new performing arts center, and a renovation of the Citrus Bowl Stadium. By a 6-1 vote, the City of Orlando gave its approval July 23. An official groundbreaking celebration was held July 25, 2008, and on August 5, 2009 the new events center was named Amway Center.Amway Center, which is scheduled to open in fall 2010, will be home to the Orlando Magic and will compete to host major national events, concerts and family shows. The City of Orlando will operate the new events center, while the community will own the facility. A large portion of the funding is derived from Orange County’s Tourist Tax which is levied on hotel stays.“It’s a great day for Central Florida. History will look back on this day in the same light as the day that Walt Disney announced he was building his theme park in Orlando,” Magic Chief Operating Office Alex Martins said the night of the approval, adding: “I would like to thank Mayor Rich Crotty and Mayor Buddy Dyer, as well as both the County and City Commissions for their vision and leadership. I would also like to thank the Walt Disney World Company, Universal Studios, SeaWorld, and the Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association, as well as the entire Orlando business community for their active participation in ensuring this positive outcome for new downtown sports and entertainment facilities for the people who call Central Florida home.”The Magic are major financial participants in the public-private partnership – contributing $50 million toward construction of the Events Center, $10 million toward the arts center, and $25 million toward construction of five community recreation centers.  The Magic’s other contributions toward operations, fundraising and financing push the team’s total participation to more than $150 million.In a historic move, the Magic agreed that Amway Center will be designed and constructed to meet the certification criteria for an environmentally “green” building development standard.“We want this facility to not only serve our community but to reflect our community’s values,” Martins said.Populous, formerly HOK Sport, was selected as designer of the new events center.Amway Center will feature a modern mix of metal and glass exterior materials.An iconic, 120-foot entry beacon at the northeast corner of the new arena will be clad in a translucent stainless steel mesh skin illuminated by more than 200 LED lights. This energy-efficient light display allows for an ever-changing kinetic light display with the ability to program its color based on the events inside the arena. The beacon is grounded in the first-floor retail space and penetrates upward through meeting/hospitality space and outdoor terrace bars on each of the public concourse levels, creating an interactive element through all four levels. The element will identify the very top portion of the Amway Center as it terminates at the sky bar overlooking downtown Orlando.  This design emphasizes verticality and creates a forward-looking experiential design element.“Over the past three years, we have focused on revitalizing the Parramore neighborhood and have experienced a resurgence in our downtown,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer as the design for the building was unveiled on December 11, 2007. “Today marks another important day in our efforts, as the facility takes shape with the design unveiling of this new landmark…a landmark that will be a gathering place for all of Orlando and Central Florida.”“In designing the community’s new center we feel we have created the framework for a facility that will be the catalyst for economic revitalization in downtown’s west side, while establishing a flexible design that will serve as a great home and attract the nation’s premier events,” added the Magic’s Martins. “The building has a design unique to Orlando, while providing a framework for environmental sustainability.”“We took a hard and long look at the essence of Orlando before coming up with a design that we believe reflects the best and most distinctive aspects of this community,” said Brad Clark, AIA, HOK Sport Senior Designer. “And just as importantly, the building will set a new standard in sustainable design as one of the greenest professional sports facilities in the country.”To celebrate Central Florida’s moderate climate, the building will be filled with a variety of indoor-outdoor spaces.  For instance, once guests enter the voluminous, 80-foot-tall main lobby, they will be able to return to the outdoors via a spacious balcony overlooking Church Street.The arena was designed to respond to its distinct urban setting while revealing the activities occurring within. Bounded by Church Street, Hughey Avenue, South Street and Division Avenue, the arena’s primary entrance faces north to Church Street, creating a natural extension of the nearby downtown entertainment core. The Church Street entry will feature a large public entry plaza connecting the arena’s spacious entry lobby.Local architecture firms C.T. Hsu + Associates and Baker Barrios Architects, Inc. assisted HOK Sport with the arena’s design, with C.T. Hsu + Associates serving as exterior architecture consultant and Baker Barrios Architects serving as interior architecture consultant. Both firms were selected as part of the minority- and women-owned business initiative for the project. Minority- and women-owned architecture and engineering firms will comprise 31 percent of the design work.While sustainable design specifics will be finalized in the coming months, designers will focus on the opportunities to create an environmentally friendly building in various categories. The design and construction team will focus on creating a sustainable site; providing water efficiency; optimizing energy and atmosphere protection; conserving materials and resources; monitoring indoor environmental quality and health; and selecting environmentally preferred operations and maintenance. These elements will combine to create one of the most environmentally friendly, high performing professional arenas in the country.Inside the arena, patrons will find modern amenities in a comfortable setting – perfect for hosting family events as well as basketball games. Concourses will be spacious, offering unique concessions and activities for kids and adults alike. The public bar on the main concourse will overlook the event floor, and children will enjoy spending time in the kid-oriented fun zone and retail store on the upper concourse.Harris Corporation is the official technology partner of 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 provide unlimited opportunities for advertisers and sponsors.The Magic’s current home, Amway Arena, houses 17,500 seats in just 367,000 square feet of space. The new arena will feature 875,000 square feet of space – more space to incorporate more modern day amenities found in most professional arenas of the day – and seating which will be expandable to more than 20,000 seats to accommodate major national events.Populous, formerly HOK Sport, has vast experience in arena design, including 32 professional arenas, 48 civic arenas and 56 collegiate arenas. The firm’s experience includes such recent urban arenas as Pepsi Center in Denver; Toyota Center in Houston; and Philips Arena in Atlanta.  Additionally, the firm is working on the only two professional sports projects striving for LEED Certification – the new Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. and the new Twins Ballpark in Minneapolis.Amway Center will be located just south of Church Street on the west side of I-4 in downtown Orlando."

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, a contributor on the Fansided Front Page and at Sir Charles In Charge. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Twitter to follow him daily and you can get the HTD app here).