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The Orlando Magic has signed a three-year deal with Anheuser-Busch for naming rights to the Budweiser Baseline Bar, a premium-style lounge that will be accessible to all patrons at new Amway Center.
The 8,700-square-foot bar is on the main concourse behind the basket in the building’s south end zone. There is no food served in the lounge, but four of the arena’s largest concession stands are outside its doors, and hightop tables will be set up for people to bring items into the bar.
Magic President Alex Martins would not disclose the deal’s value. Anheuser-Busch is a premier partner, one level below the arena’s Champions of the Community Partners. Those firms pay seven figures annually for their sponsorships.
Anheuser-Busch has been a team partner since the Magic entered the NBA 21 years ago. One point of difference with Bud’s deal at the new arena is that it gets category exclusivity inside the seating bowl on LED screens, Martins said.
At old Amway Arena, Bud shared brand exposure with other malt beverage companies in the bowl. The concourses at Amway Center are open to other brands, and the Magic is in talks with MillerCoors to do a deal elsewhere in the new facility, he said.
The Bud Baseline Bar is one of the public hospitality spaces the Magic talk about when they say the $480 million facility has premium amenities for all ticket buyers, regardless of where they sit. The lounge has open views to the event floor for fans to enjoy a bite to eat and a drink without missing the action on the court, Martins said.
“It is in a high-traffic area so it will become a popular destination,” he said. “Lots of TVs, a wood-grain bar with granite countertops and a terrazzo floor. Traditionally, those finishes are limited to premium [club level] spaces.”
The Bud Baseline Bar is at the arena’s stage end, and the Magic and officials of Orlando, the team’s partner in the arena project, continue to discuss how the space will operate for concerts and other special events.
“Obviously, we feel it will be a cool spot to be, so it probably will be determined on a case-by-case basis,” said Magic spokesman Joel Glass.
THREE CHIEFS: The Kansas City Chiefs have hired three people in Arrowhead Stadium operations, two from other NFL facilities.
David Young, vice president of stadium operations, was formerly assistant general manager for the Seahawks and Sounders and Qwest Field in Seattle. Jason Stone, director of security, came from Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., where he was the Patriots’ director of operations. Brandon Hamilton, director of facilities, is former superintendent for Konrath Group, the firm that represented ownership during Arrowhead’s $375 million renovation.
The three hires are part of the Chiefs’ reorganization, said Mark Donovan, the club’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. Donovan, a 12-year NFL veteran, enters his second season in Kansas City after spending six years with the Philadelphia Eagles.
FOOD CRUMBS: Sodexo has a new five-year deal to be the food provider at Kansas State’s Wagner Field at Bill Snyder Family Stadium and Bramlage Coliseum. … Centerplate has a simple name for its new strategic design initiative: Stir. John Sergi, the firm’s chief design officer, is responsible for the program, to refresh menus and hospitality spaces in sports venues. Current projects are Safeco Field, Tropicana Field, Saratoga Race Course and Swedbank Arena near Stockholm, Sweden.
Don Muret can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @breakground.