ORLANDO - I just spent a few hours touring the brand new Amway Center with Magic CEO Alex Martins and media director Joel Glass and came away beyond impressed. As I wrote hours earlier, I am preparing an in-depth article next week that addresses how the league's newest sports/entertainment complex was financed, the entitites and officials involved, why the process took 11 years to complete, etc. But for a quick peek: The arena is compact (built on nine acres), spectacular and functional. It is easily the standard for new NBA arenas, or as David Stern has said, for any new arenas around the world. When I arrived, the crew for Brad Paisley was hauling equipment into the locking docks, and the logistics seemed pretty easy - in the doors and right onto the stage. Before I return to Sacramento and start writing, here are a few facts:
Opened in October 2010.
Cost $385 million, $5 million in cost overrides paid by the club.
Located in downtown Orlando, connected to the Church Street entertainment district.
Owned and operated by the City of Orlando.
Seating capacity of 19,000 can be expanded to 20,000
Primary funding source: A one cent increase in tourism tax (from five to six cents); half of that additional center is designated for tourism
The deal is three-pronged and includes the Amway Center, the Perforrming Arts Center and renovations to the Citrus Bowl.
All signage and advertising within the arena is digital.
Ok, we'll offer Bee readers a closer look next week.