Harris Corporation is joining the Orlando Magic and City of Orlando to celebrate the culmination of a year-long, multi-million dollar project. At precisely 10:01 a.m. on October 1, the new Amway Center will open its doors for the first time — unveiling the most technologically advanced arena facility in North America.
The Amway Center will provide fans with extraordinary access to event coverage both inside and outside the arena — delivering more captivating video in higher definition, dramatic lighting and sounds, and an overall entertainment event that exceeds anything fans have previously experienced.
"Our new arena will set the standard for fan engagement in sports and entertainment venues," said Alex Martins, president, Orlando Magic. "We took on this technical challenge with confidence because of our relationship with Harris."
"The Amway Center really is the next generation for sporting venues," said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. "With this Harris technology, the energy and immediacy of the live sports experience has been combined with the benefits of watching on your home entertainment system to create a superior fan experience."
The Harris solution comprises a high-definition video production and distribution and Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) system, integrated with digital signage — a unique convergence of IP and broadcast technology that provides the Magic with an entirely new workflow and fans with an exceptional, multimedia event experience. In one of many firsts, the solution's enriched screen format presents all aspects of the Amway Center experience at 10 times the resolution of current technology.
Combining IPTV and digital signage over the same network allows the Magic to address more than 1,100 individual screens located throughout the arena with tailored content. On the fly, displays can be driven to show high-impact replays and highlights, venue messaging, out-of-home advertising, or any combination of the three. In addition, the system enables advertisers to have their name displayed on every screen in the facility at the same time, providing an unprecedented "moment of exclusivity" marketing opportunity.
The network that drives all technology in the Center is managed via a Harris-built control room featuring more than 800 broadcast devices. Approximately 75 miles away, employees at Harris headquarters monitor the network 24/7 via a Network Operations Center — similar to the one that manages the nation's air traffic control system — to ensure fans experience no interruptions during events. Harris stands apart in the entertainment venue space in its ability to deliver an end-to-end broadcast and IT technology solution, as well as provide ongoing management of the network with guaranteed cost of ownership.
The comprehensive production and distribution system includes all the components the Magic needs to present event action on scoreboards, television monitors and digital signage throughout the arena, in the front lobby and even in the parking garage entrances. The unique, low latency of the overall Harris system enables content on the screens to be changed during the event and updated to the network with no interruption to the screen information/graphics or live action. For the first time, every fan in the arena will experience broadcast of the action in real time — with no delays and no waiting.
The Harris system will deliver extraordinary audio-visual and sensory effects, while also providing fans access to a universe of merchandise, services and information, such as traffic and weather updates, highlights of other sporting events and directions to seats, restaurants and other amenities within the facility. As all the digital signs are connected, important safety messages and clear directions — for example, in the event of an evacuation — can be easily broadcast throughout the Amway Center.
The network has been designed so that in the future, fans will be able to receive applications via their mobile devices that allow them to enable their own experience in ways they choose, such as pulling up stats on an opposing team or finding data on the average free throws in each game by a particular player.
"Our partnership with the Magic and the City of Orlando has resulted in an unprecedented technology showcase for Harris and a next-generation venue for staging events that far exceed anything fans have experienced in the past," said Harris Morris, president, Harris Broadcast Communications. "And whenever the next killer concept arrives, the uniquely scalable infrastructure we've put in place for the Magic will be ready. The fans will love the Amway Center today — but just wait until tomorrow!"
The Harris system provides a highly integrated workflow that will enable the Magic organization to enjoy improved staff efficiency, while at the same time enhancing the team brand. Displays in lobbies, concourses, concession areas and luxury suites can be addressed with individually tailored messaging and out-of-home advertising — providing significant new revenue-generating opportunities for sponsors and advertisers. The dynamic signs can present different products and messages every few seconds, and Harris software enables huge quantities of advertising to be efficiently scheduled, tracked and billed.
The screens can also be used to bring fans to concession stands, where video menu boards make it simple to change the offer to coincide with various venue events. Concession price changes appear on any screen in the blink of an eye, and because the menu board is connected directly to the cash register, sale items will automatically be priced correctly.
Harris is also working with venue concessionaires, the City of Orlando and the Magic to enable the delivery of managed social media marketing services that reward fans with special offers and contests via multiple social media platforms and mobile devices.
About Amway Center
The Orlando Magic developed the Amway Center, which will compete to host major national events, concerts and family shows. The facility opened in the fall of 2010, and is operated by the City of Orlando and owned by the Central Florida community. The Amway Center was designed to reflect the character of the community, meet the goals of the users and build on the legacy of sports and entertainment in Orlando. The building's exterior features a modern blend of glass and metal materials, along with ever-changing graphics via a monumental wall along one façade. A 180-foot tall tower serves as a beacon amid the downtown skyline. At 875,000 square feet, the new arena is almost triple the size of the old Amway Arena (367,000 square feet). The building features a sustainable, environmentally-friendly design, unmatched technology, featuring 1,100 digital monitors and the tallest, high-definition videoboard in an NBA venue, and multiple premium amenities available to all patrons in the building. Every level of ticket buyer will have access to the Budweiser Baseline Bar and food court, Club Restaurant, Nutrilite Magic Fan Experience, Orlando Info Garden, Gentleman Jack Terrace, STUFF's Magic Castle presented by Club Wyndham and multiple indoor-outdoor spaces which celebrate Florida's climate.