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The Amway Center is a sports and entertainment venue in Orlando, Florida, situated in the Downtown area. It is part of Downtown Orlando Master Plan 3: a plan that also involves improvements to the Citrus Bowl and a new performing arts center. The arena is home to the Orlando Magic of the NBA, the Orlando Predators of the Arena Football League, the Orlando Solar Bears of the ECHL, and hosted the 2012 NBA All-Star Game, plus the 2015 ECHL All-Star Game.
Amway Center hosted the second and third round games of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament in 2014. On January 14, 2013, the Arena Football League's Board of Directors voted to award ArenaBowl XXVI to Orlando in the summer of 2013. It hosted UFC on Fox: dos Anjos vs. Cerrone 2 on December 19, 2015, and held the 2016 WWE Royal Rumble pay-per-view on January 24, 2016.
Prior to Downtown Master Plan 3, the Orlando Magic's ownership, led by billionaire Amway founder Richard DeVos and son-in-law Bob Vander Weide, had been pressing the City of Orlando for a new arena for nearly ten years. Amway Arena was built in 1989, before the recent era of technologically advanced entertainment arenas. With the rush to build new venues in the NBA (and sports in general), it quickly became one of the oldest arenas in the league.
On September 29, 2006, after years of on-and-off negotiations, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orange County Mayor Richard Crotty, and the Orlando Magic announced an agreement on a new arena in downtown Orlando, located at the southwest corner of Church Street and Hughey Avenue. The arena itself cost around $380 million, with an additional $100 million for land and infrastructure, for a total cost of $480 million (as of March 8, 2011 the arena was expected to be within $10 million of the estimated cost). It is part of a $1.05-billion plan to redo the Orlando Centroplex with a new arena, a new $375-million performing arts center, and a $175-million expansion of the Citrus Bowl (Later, declining economic conditions led the improvements to the Citrus Bowl to be delayed until at least 2020). When it was announced in the media on September 29, it was known as the "Triple Crown for Downtown".
As part of Amway's naming rights to the old Amway Arena, the company received right of first refusal for naming rights to the new venue, and exercised those rights, announcing a 10-year, $40-million naming deal to name the venue the Amway Center on August 3, 2009.
Amway Center main entrance at the opening game of 2010-11 regular season Orlando Magic
Populous (formerly HOK Sport) was named the Architect of Record on August 3, 2007, with Smith Seckman Reid and Walter P Moore Engineers and Consultants as planning partners.
California-based art curator Sports and the Arts assembled the Amway Center Art Collection. The collection includes more than 340 works of art, including about 200 museum-quality photographs. Fourteen of the 21 artists housed in the collection represent Central Florida. The Amway Center Art Collection includes over 140 pieces of fine art paintings and mixed media originals, over 200 photographs, and graphic wall treatments highlighting both the Orlando Magic and the spirit of Orlando and Central Florida.
Responsive to a challenging 876,000 SF program, the design intention of the Amway Events Center was to mediate its disparate context of elevated highways, central business district and low-rise housing. The simple, planar form of precast, aluminum and glass presents a timeless civic quality. The solidity of the precast and aluminum skin is punctured in carefully considered locations with expansive areas of glass including a crystalline entry lobby facing historic Church Street, blurring the boundary of inside and outside.
The elevated I-4 freeway bordering the east side of the site posed a distinct challenge, threatening to disconnect the arena both physically and psychologically from the downtown core. In response, the corner of the arena is anchored by a diaphanous feature tower bathed in color changing LED lighting that reveals the color and pageantry of sporting and entertainment activities within while marking the facility within the flat topography of downtown Orlando. This tower is both architectural and occupied - housing the Orlando Magic Team Store, hospitality space, Gentleman Jack Terrace and rooftop Sky Bar. The latter two are exterior spaces that take full advantage of the warm Orlando climate, commanding views to the plaza below and the greater community beyond. Further city connection is achieved via a 40’ × 60’ LED video feature that addresses downtown from an elevated façade position above the highway.
The heart of the facility is anchored by a complex and varied seating bowl. Designed with long-term flexibility and changeability in mind, it responds to definitive design goals posed by the team.
Amway Center is among the most technologically advanced venues in the world. Inside the building, a distinctive centerhung installation, manufactured by Daktronics of Brookings, South Dakota, is the tallest in any NBA venue. It maximizes creative programming options by using high resolution, 6mm-pixel technology on each of the 18 displays, including two digital ring displays and four tapered corners. Additional displays include approximately 2,100 feet (640 m) of digital ribbon boards, the largest of which is a 360-degree 1,100 feet (340 m) display surrounding the entire seating bowl. These displays have the ability to display exciting motion graphics and real time content, such as in-game statistics, out-of-town scores, and closed captioning information. Outside the building, a large display utilizes greater than 5,000 Daktronics ProPixel LED sticks, each a meter long, which make up a 46 feet (14 m) by 53 feet (16 m) video display. This display will reach millions of motorists traveling by the Amway Center on Interstate 4.
Amway Center has an assortment of mid-level luxury seats and club seating, located below the upper bowl. This contrasts Amway Arena's design as its luxury boxes are above all seats and suspended from the ceiling. The arena's design was unveiled at Amway Arena on December 10, 2007, with an official press release the next day. The floor of Amway Center is designed with arena football in mind, as it features more retractable sections that will permit squared end zone corners, a feature previously not possible for Orlando Predators games.
400 West Church Street Orlando, Florida
400 West Church Street
Orlando, Florida, United States of America
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