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E-ZONE: IF IT'S ENTERTAINMENT IN ORLANDO, SHAQ'S INVOLVED
Published November 16, 1995
Universal Studios unveiled plans yesterday for its "E-Zone," a 12-acre complex of themed restaurants, nightclubs, movie houses and shops as part of its Universal City Florida resort in Orlando. But "center stage" at the announcement, according to this morning's ORLANDO SENTINEL, was Shaquille O'Neal, whose "Shaq's Place" -- a "giant nightclub for a giant" -- will be one of nearly a dozen restaurants and entertainment outlets anchoring the $2.6B project. O'Neal's club will be a 31,000-square-foot, multi-level facility designed to cater to all ages, featuring plans for a "half court" basketball/dance floor, live performances by recording artists, including, "from time-to- time," O'Neal himself. Shaq's Place will have games, Shaq memorabilia for kids and a billiard lounge. Christine Shenot writes, "Shaq's Place has the potential to be a big draw, especially with Orlando residents" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 11/16). SHAQ'S WORLD? Plans for Shaq's Place come after a developer said this summer that they were "in final negotiations" with O'Neal to build a retail, restaurant and office complex in downtown Orlando to be dubbed "Shaq's World." The SENTINEL's Shenot notes the developer, Church Street West, Inc., had similar features planned for Shaq's World as Universal has for Shaq's Place. O'Neal's agent, Leonard Armato, would not comment on the downtown project, but he did say if Shaq's place "proves to be a hit" in Orlando, nationwide expansion is a possibility, with L.A. mentioned in particular (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 11/16).