Inside the Amway Center – The Launch


Orlando’s newest and brightest crown jewel, the Amway Center, is set to officially open it’s doors to the public on October 1st.  The Amway Arena, forever and always affectionately  known to us locals as the O-Rena,  is now officially in the rear-view mirror.  The Central Florida community has never been able to say that we have a first class sporting home.  As great of a job as Florida Citrus Sports does at dressing up the Citrus Bowl for the bowl games, the truth is that the building is dilapidated and decaying.  While the facilities at UCF are very nice, they certainly aren’t world class.  The new Amway Center will finally provide Central Floridians a sense of pride and a place to call “our own”. 

In Part 1 of Inside the Amway Center, we take a look at the opening weekend festivities and how you can get involved to receive your own inside sneak peek!  Read all about it after the jump. 

The Launch:

Opening weekend at the Amway Center will feature a series of free, community events that showcase all of the fan amenities and state-of-the-art technology available only in Downtown Orlando’s new events center.

Opening day activities will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, October 1 on Church Street in front of the Amway Center.  At precisely 10:01 a.m. on 10/01, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orlando Magic President Alex Martins, Orlando City Commissioners and other Central Florida leaders will open the doors to the new Amway Center for the first time to the public.  Following the ceremonial ribbon cutting and building dedication, the community will be invited into the lower bowl for Mayor Dyer’s Annual State of Downtown Address.  This year, the State of Downtown is a free event where the entire Central Florida community can participate in this historic day.    

On Saturday, October 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mayor Dyer invites Central Florida residents back to the Amway Center for a free, community open house.  This event will feature self-guided tours, entertainment and local performances, free popcorn and soda and commemorative items to celebrate this historic accomplishment.  Representatives from the Orlando Magic and Orlando Predators will also be on-hand. Residents can experience a “taste of the Amway Center” with a sampling of the newest food offerings available for purchase.  Fans can expect much better choices at the new building than Subway and Pizza Hut, that’s for sure.  The open house is a ticketed event.  Residents can obtain their FREE tickets online at 

The self-guided tour of the Amway Center will take patrons through the most technologically-advanced events center in the country, showcasing two levels of spacious concourses that include an impressive array of concessions; a stop along the way so the kids can climb STUFF’S Magic Castle, then up to the contemporary, open-air setting of Gentleman Jack’s Terrace, then up 100 feet to the Sky Bar spotlighting some of Downtown Orlando’s best views; past the player locker rooms and ultimately in the lower bowl where you can see the largest arena videoboard in the country.

 For more information on Opening Weekend activities including how residents can obtain their free ticket to the community open house and free parking options, visit  A new, improved and interactive web site – – is now available to keep Central Florida residents and patrons updated with the latest information about Amway Center events and offerings.  The new is a one-stop destination for complete information including box office, ticket sale, parking and event calendar details.   

WHAT:              Mayor Dyer’s State of Downtown Address 

WHEN:             Friday, October 1, 2010 

9:30 a.m.   Community celebration begins

10:01 a.m.  Ribbon Cutting ceremony followed by State of Downtown Address

PARKING:        FREE parking is available in the Geico Garage and West Church Street Garage    WHAT:              Community Open House       

WHEN:             Saturday, October 2, 2010 

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

9 a.m. – 10 a.m. open house preview for Parramore residents only

TICKETS:         The open house is a ticketed event. Residents can obtain their FREE tickets online at  Additional ticket pick up locations will be announced on  

PARKING:        FREE parking will be available in all City of Orlando owned garages.  A list of free parking garages will be available at

Brian Serra is a contributing blogger at Howard the Dunk and the founder of  You can follow/add him on Twitter and on Facebook.