A centerpiece staple of the city of Orlando is the Amway Center. Home to the Orlando Magic, the Orlando Solar Bears, Orlando Predators, and host of numerous concerts, shows, events, and more. Taking over for its predecessor, the Amway Arena, the Amway Center is a relatively new site that took some major convincing to build.
The Orlando Arena was the original downtown arena that was approved for construction in 1983. Previously, the majority of events in Orlando were held at the Orange County Convention Center. To ensure the convention center would not lose money during the arena’s construction, the city delayed the opening until 1989. However, the city was looking forward to having an NBA team in Orlando and they decided to break ground on the arena early. This was so early in fact, the NBA Board of Governors had not yet decided that Orlando would be added to the league.
Aerial view of the Orlando Arena (right) Courtesy of Orange County Regional History Center (Image by Gil Ihrig)
The Orlando Arena opened on January 29, 1989. Renamed to the TD Waterhouse Center in 2000, then renamed again to the Amway Arena in 2006. It eventually closed on September 30, 2010 to make way for the new and improved Amway Center.
In 2006, an agreement was finally made about the rebuild. This discussion went on since 2000 between the Orlando Magic, Orlando and Orange County Mayors. This was due in part to the amount of construction time it would take, and the profitability it would produce thereafter.
On October 1, 2010, the Amway Center officially opened. October 28 of that same year, the Orlando Magic played their first game in their new home. In October of 2012, the Orlando Solar Bears also made their move and played their first game.
Images by amwaycenter.com
The Amway Center is not only huge, but was also built sustainably. Due to the building’s environmental construction, it received the LEED Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.
According to their website, the building hosts approximately 225 events annually including sports and concerts. It is also home to a number of restaurants, including a rooftop bar. The venue as a whole can seat up to 20,000 people, with capacity differing based on the event. The Amway Center is also home to the Orlando Magic Team shop. There are a couple of them throughout the building, selling team merchandise including jerseys and foam fingers. The Disney Ticket Center is also located here.
With a rich history and 3 teams calling it home, the Amway Center is such an important part of Orlando. The center hosts concerts, comedians, holiday events, and more! It allows hundreds of thousands of locals and visitors to experience so many exciting shows and games every year.
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