Orlando Magic turn their attention to next big development project (finally)

The Orlando Magic are now focused on their next big development project around the Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
The Orlando Magic are now focused on their next big development project around the Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports /

The Orlando Magic are still beaming with joy and excitement over their big development project in the AdventHealth Training Center.

And they do have something to celebrate. The Magic’s new training facility is already the envy of the league and may well set the standard for the next wave of free-standing training facilities. Magic players are eager to move in there over the next few weeks as they begin to return to town.

Just judging by their social media reactions as they get their tours of the new facility, everyone is buzzing about the new building and workspace.

The Magic have been working on this new training facility for quite a while.

This was a 4.5-year project. Something Jeff Weltman brought up almost immediately upon arriving in Orlando as the team’s president of basketball operations.

Orlando is getting everything it wants to make its players as good as they can be. The Magic have all the tools at their disposal now.

That is an exciting thing for the team to look at. And Orlando put up a good chunk of the $70-million (if not all of it) to get this building done.

Yes, there is a public-facing part to the facility — serving athletes of all kinds with rehabilitative and diagnostic services — but this is a largely Magic project meant to give the team the space and resources to make the team better.

Everything has to spring from that. This business is a basketball team after all. And so this project had all the focus and attention from the team and organization.

Now that the Orlando Magic’s training center is complete. The team is set to refocus on its other big development project — the long-awaited entertainment district.

That has left the lot across the street from Amway Center vacant. The entertainment district the team has dreamed up for several years was put on hold, even after the team completed its purchase of the parking garage and former Orlando Police Department headquarters formerly situated across the street.

Magic CEO Alex Martins has said several times that they were ready to put a shovel to the ground for their new entertainment district. But that lot has been left largely empty through the pandemic and now through the process of building the training facility.

That will be changing soon with one project completed and the next one getting set to start.

Martins told the Orlando Business Journal the plan is to begin construction on the long-awaited entertainment district in early 2023 with a completion date targeted for 2025.

This project has been one the Magic have been thinking about and planning since moving into the Amway Center for the 2011 season. They have gone so far as to have artist renderings drawn and to promote the whole idea. But there has been little action.

The vision the team has is to build something similar to LA Live outside of Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles or Beale Street outside FedEx Forum in Memphis.

The complex would feature a plaza outside the Amway Center for fans to gather and even watch games on big screens for big games. Inside the complex would be restaurants, bars and entertainment options for fans visiting the Amway Center.

It would also feature a hotel with a small convention space and some office space for the Magic’s corporate offices (they recently moved out of the RDV Sportsplex in Maitland to an office in Downtown Orlando as the Magic continue to bring everything a bit closer to home).

It is hard to say how much this project has evolved in the time since the Magic last gave a real update. But this project is moving off the backburner now and into the foreground with the team finishing up its latest big development project.

The land for the entertainment complex is clear now so it is just a matter of getting the permits, finalizing plans and getting to work.

Next. Time to step up: Wendell Carter's passing. dark

That appears to be on the horizon for the team.