Amway Center: Enter Legend

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Here is the official word from the Orlando Magic:

"Amway Center: Enter LegendAmwayCenter.comFrom a vision to blueprints to reality.The Orlando Magic served as the developer of the new downtown Amway Center which will compete to host major national events, concerts and family shows. The facility is owned and operated by the City of Orlando on behalf of the Central Florida community.The Amway Center was 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 features a modern blend of glass and metal materials, along with ever-changing graphics via a monumental wall along one façade. A 180-foot tall tower and spire serves as a beacon amid the downtown skyline.Amenities for all levels of ticket buyersAt 875,000 square feet, the new arena is almost triple the size of the old Amway Arena. The building features a sustainable, environmentally-friendly design, unmatched technology, featuring 1,100 digital monitors and the tallest, high-definition videoboard in an NBA venue, and multiple premium amenities available to all patrons in the building.Every level of ticket buyer will have access to a number of premium amenities, including the:The Budweiser Baseline BarClub RestaurantNutrilite Magic Fan ExperienceOrlando on Demand Info. GardenSTUFF’s Magic Castle presented by Club WyndhamGentlemen Jack TerraceSky BarMultiple indoor-outdoor spaces which celebrate Florida’s climate.“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 President Alex Martins said the night of the approval, July 26, 2007, 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 Orlando, SeaWorld, the Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association, the Orlando/Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau, as well as the entire Orlando tourism and 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 were major financial participants in the public-private partnership – contributing $50 million toward construction of the Amway 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 in the downtown venue projects to more than $150 million.In a historic move, the Magic agreed that Amway Center would 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 Amway Center. Hunt Construction group was selected as the construction manager.  The official groundbreaking celebration was held July 25, 2008.  The events center was named the Amway Center on August 5, 2008 and the building opened to the public for the first time on October 1, 2010.Inside the arena, patrons will find modern amenities in a comfortable setting – perfect for hosting family events as well as basketball games. Concourses are spacious, offering unique concessions and activities for kids and adults alike. The Budweiser Baseline Bar on the main Terrace concourse overlooks the event floor, and children will enjoy spending time in the kid-oriented STUFF’s Magic Castle presented by Club Wyndham and retail opportunities on the upper Promenade concourse.“From the inside out, beginning to end we were committed to developing a world class venue that would bring a myriad of events that would appeal to the diverse taste of Central Florida residents,” said Mayor Buddy Dyer.  “Whether it’s a child experiencing his or her first basketball game or two friends singing along at a concert, these are the shared experiences and memories that will be created at the Amway Center.”The Magic’s old home, Amway Arena, housed 17,500 seats in just 367,000 square feet of space. The new arena features 875,000 square feet of space – more room 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.The new $380 million facility features eight levels, five public concourses, 37 restrooms, 55 concession points of sale, 60 suites, 68 loge boxes, 1,400 club seats.  The Amway Center features up to 17 hospitality spaces for rental on a per event basis.Uniquely Orlando “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 AIA, Populous  Sport Senior Designer Brad Clark. “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 is filled with a variety of indoor-outdoor spaces. For instance, once guests enter the voluminous, 80-foot-tall Disney Atrium main lobby, they are able to return to the outdoors via a spacious balcony, the Gentleman Jack Terrace, 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 features a large public entry plaza connecting the arena’s spacious entry lobby.“In designing the community’s new center we feel we 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.” Jobs in a tough economyThe massive construction project served as a boon to the local construction business in a time when jobs were scarce because of the sharp downturn of the nation’s economy.The Magic and City of Orlando worked closely with local minority and women-owned businesses — some of which were based out of the nearby Parramore community — awarding them with more than 30 percent of the contracts totaling $90-plus million, exceeding the 24 percent benchmark established by the City of Orlando.Of the 170-plus minority and women-owned firms which worked to construct the facility, 61 were African-American-owned firms, 51 women-owned firms, 36 Hispanic-owned firms, 20 Asian-American-owned firms and two Native-American-owned firms.Environmentally-friendlySustainable design and construction specifics focused on the opportunities to create an environmentally-friendly building in various categories. Among them:  providing water efficiency; optimizing energy and atmosphere protection; conserving materials and resources; monitoring indoor environmental quality and health; selecting environmentally preferred operations and maintenance.These elements combine to create one of the most environmentally-friendly, high-performing professional arenas in the country.Amway Center includes such sustainable design and construction elements as:Remediating a brownfield site that is connected to numerous high density residential, retail and community developmentsCreating a pedestrian-oriented, vegetated plaza area at arena entrancesTreating storm water runoff from the arena siteIncorporating a special roofing material to reduce the building cooling loadInstalling low-flow plumbing fixturesImproving the building ventilation and lighting systems with various monitoring devicesUsing recycled content materials during construction, and monitoring construction waste to divert materials from landfillsImplementing a green housekeeping programProviding space for storage and collection of recyclable materialsIncorporating green building signage elements throughout the building to educate visitors about sustainability.Most technologically advanced building in North AmericaHarris Corporation is the official technology partner of Amway Center. The arena has more than 1,100 screens of high-definition content via Internet Protocol Television and a state-of-the-art digital signage network which maximizes fan engagement and interaction, distributes an unprecedented amount of patron information, as well as providing unlimited opportunities for advertisers and sponsors.The Daktronics center-hung scoreboard alone includes four primary high definition LED video displays with 840 lines of resolution, eight auxiliary video/scoring/statistics displays and two LED ring displays. The venue will be the first in the world to utilize high resolution 6 mm surface mount LED pixel technology on all of the center-hung digital displays. More than 9 million individual LEDs will be used in the 18 displays incorporated into the center-hung scoreboard. Overall dimensions of the center-hung scoreboard are 42 feet by 41 feet by 41 feet (HxWxD), making it the tallest and most capable of any in NBA venues. Complementing the primary scoreboard will be twoLED ribbon boards mounted on the interior fascia of the seating decks.The bigger size, flexibility and advanced technology allows Orlando to attract bigger concerts, major political conventions and compete for more major sporting events such as conference and NCAA tournaments.Amway Center is located just south of Church Street on the west side of I-4 in downtown Orlando.“We’ve designed a facility that has so many built-in amenities for every level of ticket-buyer,’’ Martins 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 Amway Center, 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 a building that has a high level of amenity for everybody.’’“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.”"

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, a contributor on the Fansided Front Page, and co-host of CB Sports Radio from 5-7 pm week days (1420sports.com). Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Twitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here).