Orlando’s New Arena: Best in the League?

by September 29, 2010

The Magic say that their new gym is the best facility in the NBA, and well, the local paper is certainly convinced: “Seriously, Orlando Sentinel staffers were given a tour of the plush and palatial new Amway Center Tuesday, and three words kept popping into my head as we were shown around by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Magic President Alex Martins: Wow, wow and wow. This place is the anti- Citrus Bowl, which makes Orlando truly a unique place. What other city can say it has the best basketball arena and the worst football stadium in the country? The Amway Center has everything you could possibly imagine. Well, almost. The only thing missing is built-in catheters at every seat so fans don’t actually have to get up to go to the bathroom. ‘This place is the best of the best,’ Magic center Dwight Howard said. Sorry, Staples Center in Los Angeles, United Center in Chicago and TD Bank Arena in Boston. Orlando now has the American Idol of arenas, and everybody else is playing for second place. And that includes you, Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. You have just been dethroned as the NBA’s premier facility. ‘Conseco is a beautiful facility, but it’s not the best anymore,’ Martins says. ‘We have the best – bar none.’ Martins, of course, was instrumental in getting the place built. He lobbied, negotiated, pushed and prodded politicians to tap into the tourist tax in order to pay for the brunt of the project. For their part, the Magic chipped in nearly $100 million and built five community gyms throughout Orange County.”