Amway Center: Enter Legend

Sep 24 / 2010
Sep 24 / 2010

Amway Center: Enter Legend

From 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 buyers

At 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 Bar
  • Club Restaurant
  • Nutrilite Magic Fan Experience
  • Orlando on Demand Info. Garden
  • STUFF’s Magic Castle presented by Club Wyndham
  • Gentlemen Jack Terrace
  • Sky Bar
  • Multiple 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 economy

The 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.


Sustainable 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 developments
  • Creating a pedestrian-oriented, vegetated plaza area at arena entrances
  • Treating stormwater runoff from the arena site
  • Incorporating a special roofing material to reduce the building cooling load
  • Installing low-flow plumbing fixtures
  • Improving the building ventilation and lighting systems with various monitoring devices
  • Using recycled content materials during construction, and monitoring construction waste to divert materials from landfills
  • Implementing a green housekeeping program
  • Providing space for storage and collection of recyclable materials
  • Incorporating green building signage elements throughout the building to educate visitors about sustainability.

Most technologically advanced building in North America

Harris 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 two LED 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.”

Amway Center Fact Sheet

Opened: October 2010

Cost: $380 million (total construction cost)

Location: Downtown Orlando; bound by Church Street (north); Hughey Avenue (east); South Street (south); Division Avenue (west)

Owner and Operator: City of Orlando

Primary Tenant: Orlando Magic

Functions: NBA and collegiate basketball, arena football, indoor soccer, concerts, hockey, circuses, stage shows and exhibitions

Design 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

Theming and Environmental Graphics Designer: RipBang

“Champion of the Community” Founding Building Partners: Harris Corporation; AirTran; PepsiCo; GEICO; Disney; Florida Hospital

Site Acreage: 8.75 acres

Number of Levels: 8: Event Level (E); Mezzanine (Level 1); IOA Founders (2); Terrace (3); Club (4); Promenade (5); Sky (6); Press (7)

Square Footage: 875,000 square feet

Seating 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; 2 bunker suites; 2 super suites; 1,400 club seats; 68 loge boxes (328 seats); and overall 17 hospitality areas available on a per-event basis.

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 maintenance

Technology: 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; Achieved in excess of 30 percent MWBE participation, above the benchmark goal of 24 percent.

Amenities: The 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:

  • Budweiser Baseline Bar and Food Court
  • Club Restaurant
  • Nutrilite Magic Fan Experience and Orlando on Demand Info. Garden
  • STUFF’s Magic Castle presented by Club Wyndham
  • Coors Light Mountain Bar; Gentleman Jack Terrace; Ozone Bar; Sky Bar
  • Outdoor plaza and covered box office
  • Retail stores and novelty stands
  • Multiple, wider concourses with convenient access to concession stands and restrooms.
  • Improved sightlines for all locations and wider seats.
  • Unmatched technology, featuring 1,100 digital monitors and the tallest, high-definition videoboard in an NBA arena.
  • Accessible seating in all seating levels and for all seating products.
  • Parking: 11,000 parking spaces available to the public within 14 garages and surface lots near the Amway Center. There are: 5,000 spaces less than a five-minute walk, of which 2,100 are directly adjacent; 2,500 spaces between a 5-10 minute walk and 3,400 spaces via Lymmo, the downtown circulator; All parking locations will have accessible parking.

Amway Center Additional Features

  • Iconic 180 foot-tall tower with sky bar and sky terrace at top
  • Graphic wall on I-4 exterior façade
  • 31,000 SF arena floor can be used for exhibition/trade show space, banquets and meetings
  • Six banquet rooms and a board room on IOA Founder’s Level
  • Information kiosks distributed throughout the arena
  • Enclosed pedestrian bridge to connect to GEICO parking garage
  • Two street-level retail locations on Church Street, including Metro PCS digital loft
  • Terrace concourse with average 30’ width
  • State-of-the-art Daktronics center-hung scoreboard with video capability; auxiliary boards located throughout the seating bowl; two LED ribbon boards, one 270-degree on the IOA Founder’s Level and a 360-degree board on the Club Level fascia
  • Full basketball practice court that can also be used for events seating up to 500 people
  • Two NBA locker rooms; home hockey locker room; home arena football locker room; visiting hockey/arena football locker room; officials’ locker room; six star performer dressing rooms; green room for staging and hospitality; additional auxiliary locker room for show personnel
  • 13,500 SF of office space for team administration and 15,000 SF for City Venue administration
  • Media interview room and working media facilities on Event Level
  • Eight enclosed truck docks and ramp
  • Wide variety of food & beverage options
  • ADA accessibility on every level
  • 18 men’s restrooms and 19 women’s restrooms
  • 18 elevators
  • Minimum one concession point of sale for every 125 spectators
  • ATM machines at each entrance lobby

Ticket Pricing

The Orlando Magic will continue its practice of affordable pricing options in the new Amway Center. 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 Principles

Amway 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 180-foot tall tower will serve as a beacon amid the downtown skyline.

Civic Building: Created a community gathering place for Orlando and Central Florida, with a clear front door.

Context: Designed each façade with respect to its distinct environment; responded to the neighborhoods immediately adjacent to the specific façade.

Sustainable: Implemented design strategies to create one of the country’s most environmentally friendly arenas.

Indoor-Outdoor: Celebrated Central Florida climate by allowing movement indoors and out.

Front porch: Created an entry design element that relates the design to local architecture.

Landscape: Integrated a variety of native landscape forms of various scale and type.

Pattern and Texture: Used a variety of design elements in both horizontal and vertical surfaces.

Alive: Brought the building to life with color, graphics and signage.

Public Art: Identified key locations for public art to further define the building’s personality coordinated by Sports & The Arts.

Amway Center: By the Numbers

270,181,975: Pounds of concrete used to build the Amway Center.

9,400,000: Pounds of total steel used to build the Amway Center, including six, 380-foot, 150-ton roof trusses which were locally fabricated just six miles from the arena site. The total length of all arena steel roof framing equals 55,287 feet or 10.5 miles.

9,000,000: Number of LED lights in the center-hung video board, the tallest and most high-definition in an NBA venue measuring in at 42 feet high and weighing in at 80,000 pounds.

875,000: Square footage of the new Amway Center – almost triple the size of the old 367,000 square foot arena.

800,000: Gallons of water saved annually in the environmentally-friendly building which employs a rainwater collection system for irrigation and high-efficiency water flow fixtures in restrooms. Water consumption will be reduced by 40 percent over a comparably sized building.

750,000: Estimate dollars in annual energy savings because of the high efficiency “green” systems in place in the Amway Center. Overall the environmentally-friendly systems will cut energy consumption by 24 percent over a comparable, code-compliant, designed building.

20,000: Maximum number of seats in the flexible Amway Center. Orlando Magic seating will be 18,500.

13,000: Number of light fixtures in the building.

10,000: Number of parking spaces within a 10-minute walk of the arena.

7,000: Number of Magic tickets priced $25 or less, including the first-time ever introduction of $5 tickets (while supplies last).

2,250: Number of construction workers who built the Amway Center.

1,196: Number of plumbing devices in the building, including 563 toilets/urinals.

1,100: Number of high-definition video displays in the new Amway Center.

470: Combined number of devices used (240) to make the Amway Center wireless, and touch screen control-based units (230) for patrons to order food, beverages and merchandise.

340: Number of pieces of artwork (140 original pieces and 200 museum quality photographs) in the Amway Center, as part of the public arts program for the building. Fourteen Central Florida artists contributed an estimated 110 pieces to the collection.

248: Combined number of Pepsi soda taps (113) and beer taps (135) in the building.

227: Food and beverage points of sale in the new Amway Center. There are 18 permanent concession stands and 45 portable units, while 40 percent of the stands have cooking capability.

180: Feet the iconic spire atop the tower overlooking downtown reaches into the sky.

177: Number of local/minority and women-owned companies that were awarded contracts to construct the Amway Center. Of the total businesses, which received more than $90 million in contracts, 67 were African-American-owned, 52 women-owned, 36 Hispanic-owned, 20 Asian-American-owned, two Native-American-owned.

68: Number of loge boxes.

60: Number of suites.

48: Miles of cable used to wire the Amway Center.

37: Number of restrooms (19 women’s/18 men’s) in the new Amway Center, as compared to just eight restrooms in the old building.

20-24: The range of seat widths in inches in the new Amway Center, compared to an average 18-inch width in the old building.

18: Number of elevators, compared to four in the old building. In addition, there are 19 staircases and six escalators easing vertical travel over the seven levels of the building.

17: Number of hospitality spaces available for rent on a per-event basis.

10: Fan interactive areas open to all level of ticket buyers, highlighted by the Nutrilite Magic Fan Experience, Orlando on Demand Info. Garden, STUFF’S Magic Castle presented by Club Wyndham, the Budweiser Baseline Bar and Gentleman Jack Terrace.

9: Number of retail locations, anchored by the Orlando Magic’s Team Shop, presented by Adidas.

9: Miles of pipe in the event floor used to make and melt the ice surface.

5: Number of public concourses in the new Amway Center, averaging 30-feet in width, compared to one twenty-foot wide concourse in the old building.


Key Dates

July 26, 2007-- By a 5-2 vote, the Orange County Commission approves 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.

July 25, 2008-- The official groundbreaking celebration is held.

August 5, 2009– The new downtown events center is named Amway Center.

October 1, 2010– The Amway Center opens, as the public is invited for the first time.