The $500 million Amway Center is a busy place. Over a 16-day stretch, there are 13 different events planned for the 2-year-old arena, which is good for employees, area businesses and taxpayers.
For the first time, WFTV got a look at time lapse video of the Amway Center transformations. And while it takes eight-plus hours in real time, the video shows how flexible the Amway is when the schedule backs up.
“We'll go basketball, concert, hockey or hockey, basketball, concert and we can do that in three successive nights,” said Charles Leone Jr., the operations division manager at Amway Center.
Over the course of the last 13 days, workers have had only one day off. They’re back at work, getting ready for Magic basketball and then a Justin Bieber concert.
The Bieber concert is sold out, as is country star Luke Bryan's show on Saturday. Then it's more Magic basketball on Sunday, but there’s no break for the crew and the toughest change will be converting the Amway Center back to hockey for a game Tuesday with the Solar Bears.
“We're very excited about what we're going through here,” said Leone. “It's a great opportunity to turn this venue over from event to event.”
It’s also great for workers, downtown businesses and keeping taxpayers from paying any expenses.
The city said that while the tourist development tax pays down the bond, which is now at $303,000, the venue comes out of an enterprise fund, which means it is self-funded and has to generate revenue so it doesn’t use tax payer dollars.
“The reason why you build these arenas is to fill them up and provide sports and entertainment for the community,” said Leone.
In February, crews will do eight conversions in 12 days. In March, there are seven conversions in 11 days.