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Orlando Magic’s $500 million sports and entertainment district plans to begin construction in 2024

The ambitious endeavor by Orlando Magic to establish a sports-centered hub near downtown's Amway Center unveils a fresh perspective for the local community, inviting a myriad of business opportunities. Earlier, the NBA team disclosed the collaboration with San Francisco's JMA Ventures LLC and Houston's Machete Group, who are the creative minds and financial muscle behind the $500 million envisioned Sports + Entertainment District. This 8.5-acre venture is set to house a 260-room hotel tower, 200,000 square feet of prime office space encompassing the Magic's corporate headquarters, 270 residential units, a parking garage with 1,100 spaces, 125,000 square feet of retail space, a live event venue with a capacity of 3,500, a central plaza among other features.

Orlando Magic’s $500 million sports and entertainment district plans to begin construction in 2024

Aiming to initiate construction by the close of 2024, with a construction timeline of 2.5 years, the project is projected to grace the region in 2026. This initiative could significantly address the district's demand. For instance, the additional office space may bridge the existing gap of contiguous space, essential in luring major companies with extensive workforces keen on relocating to downtown. According to the third-quarter 2023 data from Cushman & Wakefield, there's a 14.7% overall vacancy rate in the central business district.

The rise of mixed-use sports destinations, now becoming more prevalent, offer a unique allure to urban centers with their diverse offerings. A notable example is The Battery Atlanta, a $400 million mixed-use complex that launched in 2017 next to Truist Park, the home ground for MLB's Atlanta Braves. This hub hosts an array of dining, beverage, and entertainment venues like Wahlburgers, Blue Moon Beer Garden, and Fat Tuesday among others. The success of Atlanta's venture underscores the potential economic impact, with Atlanta Business Chronicle reporting that the 2.3 million-square-foot Battery development generated $53 million for the Braves organization last year, marking an increase from $42 million in 2021 and $36 million in the preceding year. Moreover, the venture alongside the baseball field contributed over $38 million in tax revenue for the city.

In a similar vein, MLB's Tampa Bay Rays are venturing into a multibillion-dollar project, inclusive of a $1.3 billion, 30,000-seat stadium. This initiative is a fraction of the larger $6 billion redevelopment vision for Tropicana Field, set to morph into a mixed-use district. As per Tampa Bay Business Journal, this redevelopment encompasses a grand 7 million-square-foot plan featuring 5,700 multifamily units, 1.4 million square feet of office space, 300,000 square feet of retail, and 700 hotel rooms, spread across 86 acres.

The project aims to break ground by the end of 2024 with 2.5 years of construction — potentially opening sometime in 2026.

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