I’m not talking about Disney or any of the other theme parks, I’m talking about Orlando Magic – the basketball team. When in Florida I highly recommend taking in some local sporting events if you get the chance. We love going to the basketball which is even more fabulous now that they are in their new stadium. Seeing sports in the US is a different experience, it is really a social event, people meet, eat, drink and talk – the basketball sort of happens in the background. It is a family event and the stadium even has a children’s play area to keep the kids amused.
If you are from the UK (like us) and you are used to going to the Football (soccer), Rugby or Cricket you will be used to going to watch the sport – you will watch it very intently and shout and cheer your team and probably call the ref or umpire names. At our first basketball game we adopted this approach and got some very funny looks from the locals around us. We also soon discovered that we couldn’t maintain the whooping and cheering of every basket as the game was so fast paced and high scoring compared to the Football at home. There is so much to take in with frequent time outs, sponsors, dancers, audience participation during the breaks. When we visited with our godson (17) he was rather smitten by the Magic Dancers who were available in the foyer for photographs!! Like I said, something for everyone.
The season generally runs December through April (as they say in the States). We were soon addicted and have managed to see quite a few games over the years now, we consider Magic our ‘home’ team on the other side of the pond. One of the best games we’ve witnessed was when Magic played the Miami Heat – it was the closest thing to a local football derby that we’ve seen and the atmosphere was electric.
The new stadium is called the Amway Center. Situated just off the I4, taking exit 82B – leave plenty of time to get there because the traffic builds on game night. Visit http://nba.com/magic for more information