There are about half a dozen bona-fide, true blue, superstars in the NBA, and here in Orlando we’re fortunate to have one of them.
That might not be the case soon.
You, see when the Orlando Magic fell to the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday, the clock officially started counting down to the day when All-world center Dwight Howard will leave town. Now, you’re probably asking what the heck does this have to do with your elected officials and why should they care?
It comes down to the future of the Amway Center and any other fun investments the city and the county makes. Let me explain.
The Orlando Magic don’t sell out every game, it would be nice but it doesn’t happen. We are a community made up of transplants from all over the country, go the Amway on a night when the Lakers or Celtics are in town and you’ll find just as many fans from Boston and Los Angeles, as you do from Winter Park or Altamonte Springs.
The Magic will plunge from a contender that was in the NBA Finals just two short years ago, to one of the NBA’s bottom feeders and if we can’t sell out when we’re near the top of the standings, the Amway Center will turn into a ghost town.
The venue’s most important tenants leaving the building more than half empty.
We could go into specifics on why the Magic will stink it up after Howard leaves but I’ll leave that to the sports guys, you didn’t come here for a sports report but it will be bad. Pre-Shaq n’ Penny bad.
Bad plays equals bad attendance and that will push us towards decreased revenues and you don’t want to know what comes after that.
We’ve also got the looming NBA lockout that might take All-Star weekend away from us. That is suppose to be the real coming out party for the Amway center, and if “The house that Dwight built” doesn’t have Dwight? Well, it’s a recipe for some real sad times.
I’ll get to the point. So, what does this have to do with local politicians? Well, they need to show Dwight some love. If he wants to be a movie star, give him the keys to Universal and Disney. Lawmakers need to reach out to him and find out what they can possibly do to keep him in town. I know they’ve got the lobbying ties to make other things happen, you know they can find a way to keep the city’s most important resident happy.
Losing Dwight Howard and Sunrail in the same summer? Watching attendance in the Amway plummet, almost immediately?
It will be a sad time in O-town.