The Orlando Magic: A Break from the Parks
The Orlando and surrounding Central Florida areas may have more than enough activities to keep families entertained for weeks on end, but many vacationers do not venture out too far from the attractions area of the city to see what else the City Beautiful has in store for them. In fact, one of the best-kept, yet not-so entertainment secrets of Orlando lies only 10-15 miles away from Disney and Universal. So what is this entertainment giant that is so close by? The answer is the Orlando Magic, an NBA team that plays its home games at Amway Arena in downtown Orlando.
The Magic are the only professional sports franchise in the Orlando area and are one of just two NBA teams in Florida, with the other team being the Miami Heat. The team has been in existence since the 1989-90 season and will be celebrating its 20th year in the city with the start of the 2008-09 campaign. Those 19+ seasons in Orlando have seen many highlights, from the multiple star players who have donned a Magic jersey (including Shaquille O’Neal, Penny Hardaway, Tracy McGrady, Grant Hill and now two-time All-Star Dwight Howard) to a trip to the 1995 NBA Finals. But, many visitors who come into town don’t take advantage of being able to see some of the world’s elite athletes on the hardwood even though they have many opportunities to throughout the year – with 41 home games from November until mid-April (and that’s not counting pre-season and the playoffs), chances are that the Orlando Magic will have a home game if you are in town during those months!
As for the squad itself, the team has progressively gotten better since the drafting of Dwight Howard back in the summer of 2004. Though the team missed the playoffs in Howard’s first two seasons, he has emerged as one of the league’s premier centers, taking the Magic right to the top along with his emerging star. The 22-year-old is now a two-time All-Star, even earning a starting spot for the Eastern Conference as the third-leading vote-getter in the 2008 All-Star fan voting, and he became the first Magic player in team history to win one of the NBA All-Star Saturday events when he took home the Slam Dunk Contest title on Feb. 16, 2008 with his now infamous “Superman” dunk.
In addition to Howard, the Magic also have one of the league’s most improved players, Hedo Turkoglu, and the newly-acquired Rashard Lewis, who came to the Magic in the off season as the most sought-after free agent in the Summer of 2007 market. With these pieces in place, along with the hiring of first-year coach Stan Van Gundy, the Magic are looking for only their fourth 50-win season and are hoping to win the NBA’s Southeast Divison and advance to the playoffs for the second consecutive season. And, with a new Events Center set to open just in time for the 2010 season, the sunshine outside isn’t the only thing looking bright here in Orlando – the future of the Magic is as well!
If you are a sports enthusiast, or just want to try something new on your next vacation to Central Florida, check out the Orlando Magic at the Amway Arena in downtown Orlando. But before you go, be sure to check out our discounted prices on Magic tickets. With discounts in the upper and lower bowls, we can help you cheer on the squad for less money! And don’t forget – for discounted tickets to all of the top attractions in Central Florida, OrlandoFunTickets.com is your one-stop-shop for vacation planning and money saving!