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Volume 24 No. 156


When construction crews begin demolition of Amway Arena later this year, "they'll do it in a fairly deliberate fashion and take as long as six months," according to Mark Schlueb of the ORLANDO SENTINEL. Much of the building, home to the Magic from '89-'10, "will be recycled or reused." Already, "furniture, fixtures and even some palm trees have been removed and either sold or moved to other city buildings as part of the arena's decommissioning." When the "actual demolition starts, aluminum and miles of copper will be salvaged and sold, with the proceeds donated to the Nap Ford charter school" across the street from the arena. In addition, "drywall and steel will go to recyclers." Schlueb notes the "biggest part of the building -- concrete -- will be reused" as part of the Creative Village, the proposed development that is Orlando's "new high-tech dream." Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer's administration and private developers will "turn the arena and the 68 acres around it into a mix of educational institutions, homes, commercial and retail space, offices and parks, all with a focus on digital media and high-tech employers" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 8/25).

Walt Disney World “is getting out of the golf business” after four decades, announcing yesterday that it has “struck a 20-year-deal to turn over its five golf courses” to Arnold Palmer Golf Management, according to Jason Garcia of the ORLANDO SENTINEL. The move allows Disney World to “step back from a business that has become less attractive amid competition from a glut of new courses built during the housing bubble.” As part of the agreement, APGM on Sept. 25 “will take over day-to-day operations of each of Disney World's golf courses: Palm, Magnolia, Lake Buena Vista, Osprey Ridge and Oak Trail.” Financial terms were not disclosed, though Texas-based APGM “will make annual lease payments to Disney and split revenue earned from the courses with the resort.” Roughly 330 Disney employees "will be affected by the change," but Disney said that "nearly all of the workers will be offered other jobs, at comparable pay, elsewhere in the resort.” Disney “expects others will be hired" by APGM. Garcia notes a “key attraction” for Disney in the deal “is the involvement of Palmer.” As part of the deal, Palmer “will personally oversee a redesign of Disney's Palm course." The arrangement is designed to get Disney “out of the golf business, which has become much more challenging in recent years, particularly in Orlando and the rest of Florida.” Disney said that “turning to an outside company is as much about drawing traffic as it is about cutting costs.” In addition to being able to market Palmer's involvement, Disney “hopes to tap into a membership organization run by the company” dubbed "Palmer Advantage." Disney Sports Enterprises Senior VP Ken Potrock said, "This allows us to reach people that we haven't been able to reach previously that haven't considered Disney golf as a destination for them” (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 8/25).

In South Carolina, Andrew Miller reported College of Charleston's basketball and volleyball arena "will be renamed TD Arena this fall under the terms of a new licensing agreement with TD Bank." The naming-rights agreement "replaces the former agreement with Carolina First Bank, which was acquired by TD Bank last year." TD Bank "will pay a one-time fee of $600,000 to the College of Charleston." Under the former agreement, the school "received payments totaling $412,500 from Carolina First Bank" (Charleston POST & COURIER, 8/24).

RAISE THE ROOF: The Vikings this Saturday will play their first game at the Metrodome since the roof collapsed on Dec. 12, and Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission Exec Dir Bill Lester said yesterday, "We're back in business. Even though it's a preseason game, there's a lot more electricity to it. The roof's in great shape." In St. Paul, Charley Walters writes the "most stunning observation for spectators inside might be the Dome's brightness." The new roof also "has a new acoustical product for better sound." Lester said, "It's still going to be the noisiest stadium in the NFL, but it will improve the quality of the sound" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 8/25).

ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN: The Dynamo announced yesterday that all 213 President's Club seats in the MLS team's new stadium have sold out through the '13 season. Located at midfield on the west side of the stadium and covered by the roof, the President's Club seats include tickets to all Dynamo home games and 10 additional stadium events per year. Fans also receive VIP parking passes, access to the VIP Stadium Club Lounge and additional amenities. The team is expected to open its new facility next season (Dynamo).