Dec 7, 2006, 12:06 AM
Orlando Magic's home to be renamed 'Amway Arena'
I was thinking that more than the NBA fans should find this a bit strange. It's not that the arena has been renamed but it's the name of the company on it that's unusual.
Here is the article:
The Orlando Magic will play in the "Amway Arena" under a naming-rights agreement that will be announced Thursday, the Orlando Sentinel has learned.
Team executives didn't have to look far to find someone willing to put a name on the building formerly known as the TD Waterhouse Centre: Magic owner Rich DeVos, who co-founded Amway Corp. in 1959.
The Ada, Mich., company will put its name on the city-owned arena for the next four years and have the initial exclusive option to negotiate for the right to name the team's proposed new arena, according to a city official familiar with the terms of the deal.
The official, who was authorized to discuss the agreement before its formal announcement, spoke Wednesday on the condition of anonymity.
Though the team controls the building's naming-rights, the name must be approved by the City Council. Commissioners will likely be asked to vote on Monday.
It would be the fourth official name for the 17-year-old facility, which many residents affectionately call the O-rena. It was called the Orlando Arena when it opened. After the city gave the Magic control over naming rights, it was renamed TD Waterhouse Centre in 2000.
Earlier this year, the brokerage firm was bought by Ameritrade, and the new owners told the Magic the old name could not be used after Dec. 1 -- 30 days after the expiration of its naming-rights contract. Last week, without a new deal in hand, the city draped tarps over the 10-foot "TD Waterhouse Centre" letters on the building's exterior, removed all reference to the company from the city Web site, and re-christened it The Arena.
Amway Corp. will pay the city $1.5 million for the four-year deal, or $375,000 a year, the official said.
TD Waterhouse paid about $1.7 million a year, but the Magic kept most of the money. In 2005, the city's share was $466,100.
While the city will earn less under the new deal, the old agreement came with strings: the city had to spend a portion of its share on improvements to the arena. In 2005, the city collected $303,000 after those expenses.
The new agreement does not dictate what the city can do with the money, so its net income is greater, the official said.
It's not clear how much Amway will pay the Magic -- if anything -- under the agreement. Company officials could not be reached for comment late Wednesday.
The deal comes amid discussion of a new arena that Mayor Buddy Dyer wants to build a few blocks away at the corner of West Church Street at Hughey Avenue at a cost of $480 million.