Orlando Unveils Plans for New Sports and Entertainment District

Rendering of Westcourt Orlando, Downtown Orlando's New Sports & Entertainment Hub

Skift Take

If you think all Orlando has to offer meeting groups are theme parks, think again. A new addition has been given final approval, an 8.5-acre downtown sports and entertainment district.

A mixed-use project, now named Westcourt will be build adjacent to Kia Center, Orlando’s main sporting arena and home of the NBA’s Orlando Magic. Westcourt aims to transform downtown Orlando and will include a variety of meeting and event spaces.

Construction of the 900,000-sq.-ft., mixed-use project will break ground later this year. It will include a 260-room hotel, 270 residential units, a 3,500-capacity live entertainment venue, office space, and a variety of dining and shopping options. The development also includes a 1.5-acre multipurpose outdoor “urban living” room green space. March 2027 is the set completion date.

SED Development, JMA Ventures, and Machete Group are behind the project. The Machete Group has experience creating sports venues with Barclays Center in New York, Chase Center in San Francisco, and the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai as examples.

A popular destination for groups, Orlando is continuously ranked as Cvent’s No. 1 meeting destination in the country.

This fiscal year, from October 2023 to September 2024, the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) expects 1.7 million attendees across 184 events. This will generate an economic impact of $2.96 billion.  

OCCC is also expanding. A Convention Way Grand Concourse is in the works. It includes 60,000 square feet of additional meeting space and an 80,000-square-foot ballroom. A new entry to the Center’s North-South Building will also be added. 

Michelin Recognizes More Orlando Restaurants 

There is more to celebrate in Orlando. Michelin has recognized 48 of its restaurants. “With 7 starred, 11 Bib Gourmand, and 30 Recommended Restaurants in the 2024 Michelin Guide, Orlando continues to drive culinary innovation forward,” said Casandra Matej, president & CEO of Visit Orlando.

Photo credit: Westcourt Orlando / Westcourt Orlando