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Newz Forum: BASKETBALL: Stern: TD Waterhouse Centre is getting too old, at 15 years

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posted on Oct, 24 2004 @ 08:38 PM
ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Magic need a new arena to ensure their viability in central Florida, according to NBA Commissioner David Stern.

Stern, who spoke at the team's tip-off luncheon Friday, said if the 15-year-old TD Waterhouse Centre isn't replaced soon, "then I think we'd have a problem."

The Magic's ownership has wanted a new home court for years, claiming their 17,248-seat arena lacks moneymaking amenities such as club seats and midlevel luxury boxes. But the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, hurt the region's tourism-dependent economy, and negotiations with local officials were shelved.

Magic president Bob Vander Weide said his office recently fielded calls from Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer and preliminary talks have begun.

"This is the year," Vander Weide said. "This is the year to start talking. We've been quiet. There's going to be time to have dialogue and get the process started."

If an arena isn't built, the Magic might move. Both Kansas City and St. Louis, which are building or already have built new downtown arenas, are trying to land an NBA team.

"I think Orlando, its city government, the chamber (of commerce), its business community, understand what's at stake here," Stern said. "The NBA likes to keep franchises where they are. Situations usually work themselves out. Sometimes they don't."

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