SBD/Issue 34/Facilities & Venues

Amway Center's Acoustics To Get First Real Test Tonight

Magic Playing First Regular-Season Game At
Amway Center Tonight Against Wizards

Orlando city officials and Magic employees "have spent weeks making sure that Amway Center will be ready" for tonight's home opener, but even after "countless dry runs and four preseason exhibitions, no one can definitively answer a fundamental question: Just how loud will the new arena be when the Magic play a game that counts,” according to Josh Robbins of the ORLANDO SENTINEL. Magic fan Dennis Salvagio said, "The new arena, with its mezzanine, with its skyboxes, breaks up the crowd. And although I think the crowd remains the best crowd in the NBA, I don't think the building is susceptible to echoing the noise as well as the old arena did." Magic President Alex Martins said that the arena's architects "paid extra care to the building's acoustics." The lower bowl's “exposed concrete has been treated with special tiles,” and “special banners hang from the rafters to accentuate the sound.” But Robbins noted all of the "acoustic touches in the world won't make much of a difference if the crowd doesn't focus on the game." The $480M building “features so many amenities -- including a full-service restaurant called Jernigan's, touchscreen TV sets for loge-level patrons and a kids' zone named after the team mascot -- that fans will be tempted to divert their attention away from the court” (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 10/27). In Orlando, Zach McCann notes with “all of the places to see in the new arena, it’s a genuine concern that fans won’t be in their seats enough during the game.” The “array of restaurants, Stuff’s Magic Castle, and the Fan Zone” make it “easy to get sidetracked from the actual basketball game” (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 10/28). There also are “about 300 pieces of artwork inside and outside” Amway Center (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 10/28). The Magic have “sold more than 14,000 season tickets, a franchise record” (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 10/27).

HOME SWEET HOME: In a special to the ORLANDO SENTINEL, Martins writes Amway Center is “an iconic building for those who call Central Florida home.” It is the “most technologically advanced arena in North America, featuring 1,100 digital monitors and the tallest, most capable video-board in an NBA venue.” The “environmentally-friendly building” is the “first designed and originally constructed LEED-certified basketball arena in the country.” Martins: “In short, we have the best arena in North America. Serving as the developer of the new Amway Center, we at the Orlando Magic poured our heart and soul into its creation. … As we tip-off our new season tonight, take a moment to enjoy your new Amway Center, and think about the legend that has been created for our children and grandchildren” (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 10/28). 

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