Orlando Arena -- alternately known as Amway Arena, TD Waterhouse Center, and most annoyingly (a rare feat, considering the corporate naming entities) the O-rena -- was demolished on Sunday. With the Orlando Magic now playing their home games in the newish Amway Center (opened in 2010), it came time to end the O-rena's run. But not before it once played host to Greg Kite in pinstripes, and not without its debris taking a scratch out of a bystander's leg some two blocks away.
A man nearly two blocks away from the old Amway Arena was struck and injured by a piece of rebar when the building was imploded, Orlando fire officials said.
The building was imploded about 7:30 a.m. Sunday, and the man was hit on Amelia Avenue, more than a block away from the site. The man, apparently gashed on his left leg, was taken to a hospital in an ambulance. He was alert and talking while emergency officials placed him on a stretcher.
The old arena was actually a pretty nice place to play ball, mainly because it boasted 1980s-style intimacy and solid acoustics for a basketball game. The pyrotechnics and PA announcements could turn annoying at times -- the Magic were an expansion team that grew up in the 1990s after all -- but the place also hosted some pretty impressive NBA teams, and two NBA Finalists in 1995 and 2009.
The arena, constructed in 1989, was 23 years old. And, no, Shaq didn't sit on it. Lame joke, Steve. Grow up.
Here's another look at the destruction, as commented upon by the type of people that wake up at around six in the morning in Orlando, Florida just to see a big building go down. Assuming that the "uh, I'm not a basketball person"-guy went to bed that night:
- Orlando Magic
- Orlando Arena