ORLANDO - Almost exactly a year ago, the Orlando Magic got approval from the Orlando City Council to purchase land downtown for a new team training center and community health center.
The next major phase of the development came on Monday when the Magic announced they had reached an enhanced, multiyear partnership with AdventHealth to make this facility one that many throughout Central Florida will benefit from.
Among those going to benefit in a big way are the Magic’s players and the team’s front office staff. The way Magic President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman sees it, a state-of-the-art practice venue will help attract prospective free agents and show players the commitment the organization has for their skill development and physical and mental health.
“No question, the practice facilities around the NBA have become somewhat of an arms race and it’s amazing how quickly buildings go from cutting edge to obsolete and to be at the frontline of being able to, not just show the way that we can increase the chances for our players to be successful, but the investment of the organization into everything that goes into their success and well-being is a huge, huge factor in being able to express what this organization is about to players who may be considering us as a free agent destination,” he said.
Grateful for the DeVos Family’s continual commitment to building a world champion on and off the court, Weltman says the facility will positively impact the team in every way imaginable – on the court, in the weight room and with rehabilitation.
“This is such a great day for the Orlando Magic,” he said. “It would be appropriate for me to thank the amazing support that we always receive from the DeVos Family and the amazing partnership with Advent and through both of those the manifestation of this project is going to be so exciting and it’s going to really open doors going forward.”
Sharing that perspective is Magic Head Coach Steve Clifford, who remembers the impact the Amway Center made when it was brand new. He was an assistant coach at the time and recalls opposing coaches, players and team staff wanting a tour while in town.
“I think it does a lot of things. One, it shows the players that you are committed, that you are taking care of them, that you want to do whatever it is to give them the best chance to play well so the team can win,” he said. “The other part is obviously the recruiting piece, free agency, where you can bring someone in and they see that you have a great facility and a good place where they are going to be spending a lot of their time. It obviously shows a commitment on the part of ownership.”
Magic coaches and players are going to be excited when they learn about the details of the $70 million, privately funded, two-story 130,000-square-foot building to be named the AdventHealth Training Center, which will live on a nearly four-acre site one block away from Amway Center on South Division Avenue and West Central Boulevard.
Slated to open in the spring of 2022, the venue will feature two basketball courts where the Magic will practice, expanded strength and conditioning, training and recovery facilities, an aquatic area with physical therapy areas and hydrotherapy pools, sports science and nutrition facilities, cutting edge audio-video and imaging technology, flexible hospitality areas, and work space for the team’s coaching and basketball front office staffs. The Magic and AdventHealth are committed to working with minority-owned and women-owned local businesses to provide job opportunities during construction.
“Our hope is that this facility is more than a world-class training center, but a true ‘win-win’ for the community and the team,” Magic Chairman Dan DeVos said. “We’re dedicated to two things – building a championship organization for the long-term and being an accountable and invested community partner with local residents. Health and wellness are so important to all of us and hopefully this center will contribute to meaningful outcomes on and off the court.”
Another key addition of the facility will be AdventHealth’s 33,300-square-foot medical center that will be designed for elite athletes, youth athletes, and weekend warriors. It will provide world-class, multi-discipline medicine with a focus on whole-person health and sports science. Services will include orthopedics, primary care, sports medicine, imaging, rehabilitation and sports performance. Patients will also have access to AdventHealth’s network of sports-trained gastroenterologists, cardiologists, sleep, psychology and nutrition experts.
By strengthening their partnership with AdventHealth, the Magic are confident their clinical sports medicine expertise and dedication to research will help lengthen the careers of Orlando’s players and give them the resources they need to excel.
“We’re thrilled to broaden our long-standing partnership with AdventHealth,” Magic CEO Alex Martins said. “We’ve trusted AdventHealth to care for our players and staff for over 30 years now and we are both committed to innovation and to employing medical experts at the top of their field. This enhancement to our basketball operation further solidifies the DeVos Family’s commitment to the Orlando community and to building a championship organization here in Orlando with the Orlando Magic.”
Open to the public, guests utilizing all of the center’s services will in many ways be able to strengthen their bodies like a pro athlete. By working with the Magic for many years, AdventHealth has a great sense of what it takes for people to “train like a pro” and optimize their overall health.
“All of us would love to think we are an elite athlete,” said Randy Haffner, president and CEO of AdventHealth’s Central Florida Division. “The reality is many of us are not. However, we can learn from those that have made this their profession. In addition to being able to care for Magic players, this is a center that will be open for all public and take the learnings that we have relative to caring for those elite athletes and bring those to the bedside and bring those to the exam room for every community member who wants to come and receive their care at this center.”
As part of the partnership, AdventHealth and the Magic also announced Healthcare Heroes Night to honor, recognize and thank healthcare workers for taking care of all Central Floridians throughout this current crisis and beyond. The Healthcare Heroes Night program will include tickets to home games for healthcare workers throughout the remainder of the 2020-21 season along with in-game recognition.
“Our healthcare heroes have done such amazing work,” Haffner said. “The rest of us have gone through a lot in terms wearing masks and so forth, but every day to walk in knowing that it’s another day to save a life is just remarkable. I am inspired every day as I watch those coming in with scrubs that they return every day with a smile on their face, with love in their heart and it just makes a huge difference.”