ORLANDO, Fla. - In less than a week, the old Amway Arena will be
imploded, and some local business owners say Orlando is losing millions because if it.
The arena is coming down to make room for a creative village for high tech companies and digital media schools.
The city is putting up $2 million for the arena to be imploded.
But WFTV discovered a rodeo magnate in Brazil wanted to buy the arena's metal superstructure for nearly $2 million and move it to South America.
The Brazilian businessman's Orlando partners say they are surprised the city is passing on the offer to more slowly disassemble the building and ship it south to put it back together again.
They say the city never responded to a detailed proposal submitted late last year.
But the company that's developing the creative village told a different story.
They told WFTV the team was "treated with the utmost respect" and that, "We took several weeks to reconsider the process and determined that the cost would increase and the time line would be extended."
The plan was to take apart the arena piece by piece over a course of months. Each steel section would be removed, shipped and reassembled on the other end. It would have been the largest recycling effort of its kind ever and the city would have made $1.8 million.
Instead, those who drew up the plans spent more than $100,000 only to be left in limbo, they say.
The city and creative village development insists the group was politely told that Orlando would pass on the offer.
The arena is set to implode on Sunday, March 25.